Favre is being skewered in the national media about continually sticking to his "I'm not sure" defense. Why? Multiple reasons. He has earned a place in his career to get away with it, which essentially trumps any other potential obstacles. He has the blessing of his teammates – any skepticism was snuffed out early on last year. And he has the blessing of his coach, which trumps teammates' opinions. It's a trifecta rarely seen in sports. Shake your Magic 8-Ball and the answer is "all signs point to yes."
What brought this ongoing assault to a boil for me was, of all things, talk radio and a caller, who, for the sake of his own anonymity, I will call Floyd from Mayberry. He was bashing Favre for skipping the soup and shrimp cocktail of the meal and showing up for a big slab of prime rib when the main course arrives. Clearly, he was unaware of the perfect storm in place in Favre's side of the equation. What followed was "Dual Road Rage." A comment so stupid that it got me angry in my car, but compounded that he wasn't called on it.
Floyd (if that is his real name) made the insipid declaration, "Bud Grant wouldn't have taken that." The host agreed. My fingerprints in the steering wheel will show up years from now.
Favre's situation is not without precedent. In the NFL. With the Vikings. With Grant!
When Alan Page came to the Vikings, he was more than just a superior athlete. He was a student-athlete, as the term was intended – with the "student" component coming first. He made his case that he was seeking a law degree and needed to attend summer classes to make that happen – classes that conveniently overlapped with training camp. Many of his teammates have grumbled off-the-record that Page was given special permission from Grant. Page promised to be dominant when he showed up and he ostensibly attended classes in the summer to continue the conflict from one year to the next.
Grant, who hated prima donnas (still does) and wouldn't tolerate players thinking they should have a separate set of rules, made an exception in the case of Page. Had he refused, Page may not have ended up on the Minnesota Supreme Court. As it turned out, Page was right and Grant was right. He made a noteworthy exception, but, when Page showed up, it was at 100 percent from Day One.
Not playing the Lloyd Bentsen card with Brad Childress, but, the next time he is criticized for moving into a season without his star quarterback, he can take heart in knowing that the Old Trapper did it and it worked out just fine.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.