By George, get over it

Jeff George was back on the airwaves this week publicly begging for another shot with the Vikings if Brett Favre retires. It's only been a decade since his last meaningful NFL pass.

If it wasn't so strange, it would have been hard to believe it was true.

At training camp Wednesday, KFAN host/Vikings play-by-play man Paul Allen was hosting his weekday radio show from Mankato. He's riling up the young gawkers and lookie-loos and takes a call from Jeff in Indiana.

The voice sounded familiar. It should. It was Jeff George.

Apparently acting as his own agent, George, who brought the Vikings back from a disastrous start to the 1999 season following the 1998 dominance, waxed nostalgic as well as talking about his future.

On Wednesday morning, there wasn't as much intel on the Brett Favre denials of telling teammates or team personnel that he was planning to retire. As far as most knew, an official confirmation of the retirement was pending. So when George made his comments, he was unaware that Favre was doing an about-face and the panic of Tuesday had become the Wednesday afternoon sigh. George brought back some harsh memories of the Vikings trying to replicate a dominant season.

Nobody ever questioned George's ability as a player. He had a cannon for an arm, but always seemed to be at odds with coaches or teammates or fans. Where certain quarterbacks were embraced by fans, George never was. He played for horrible teams, but, unlike guys like Archie Manning, he was just branded a loser. When he came to the Vikings, all the stories about his arrogance and problems with the media were hard to find. He was nothing but a gentleman, but, in discussing his only year as the primary starter for the Vikings, he got into a little second guessing.

He stated that the Vikings needed to take a defensive player in the first round of the 1999 draft following their huge 1998 season. He mentioned Jevon Kearse by name as a player the Vikings could have drafted and helped the team win a Super Bowl. Instead, Dennis Green took Daunte Culpepper, whose name was never mentioned, but it seemed clear to the trained George listener that he didn't endorse the selection of Culpepper, who helped run him out of town.

That came in the early months of 2000. Tens years and change later, George got to the crux of his conversation – wanting to let the Vikings front office and the fans know that, if Favre doesn't come back (and you missed a chance to trade for Donovan McNabb or Jason Campbell, sign Marc Bulger or draft a quarterback), he is ready to go. Locked and load. Welcome to the gun show. Let's get ready to rumbll-l-l-l-e!

That's right. He's ready to come out of his own retirement – perhaps more appropriately deemed exile – to help save the Vikings from another hangover season following one of best in franchise history. While Allen threw out some friendly jabs at his age, George was quick to point out he's the same age as Favre.

The problem? Favre's last pass was an interception in late January of this year. George last threw a meaningful NFL pass Sept. 24, 2001 at Green Bay. He was the starter for the Redskins in the first two games of that season. He completed 23 of 42 passes for just 168 yards, had no touchdowns, three interceptions, was sacked six times, fumbled twice and lost one of them, had a passer rating of 34.6 and his team got outscored 67-3 in those two games. Not enough? The winning quarterback in the Week 1 blowout was Doug Flutie (how long ago was that?) and the winning QB in the second game was none other than Favre himself. He completed 20 of 31 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns.

That loss to the Packers was the last time he would throw a pass for the Redskins. 2002 came and he landed in Seattle, but didn't throw a pass. He was out of football in 2003 and returned to the Bears in 2004, but once again he never threw a pass. The last game George threw a pass in was against the guy he wants to replace. The fact is Favre has started 142 regular-season games and a slew of playoff contests since George left.

While it sounded like a put-on, George still believes he can make a comeback almost nine years after he last played. Talk about a reality show? Sign me up if that happens, but apparently George is missing one thing – the Vikings would really have to hate Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels or Joe Webb to make his dream come true. Last time we checked, they seem fine going into 2010 with the three of them if Brett decides to stay down in the Gulf.


  • There is no timetable yet as to when Percy Harvin will return to the team. He left the team to be with his family following the death of his grandmother.

  • The Lions released former Vikings defensive tackle Leger Douzable Wednesday. He became a roster victim when Detroit came to a contract agreement with No. 2 overall pick DT Ndamukong Suh.

  • The Vikings are spending their 45th year in Mankato, Minn., for training camp. The streak ties the Pittsburgh Steelers for second place in longevity at the same camp site. The Steelers are conducting their 45th training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. The Packers hold the longest streak of training camp homes. They have practiced at St. Norbert College in De Pete, Wisc., for the last 53 years.

  • Ah, Twitter! The gift that keeps on giving. Chad Ochocinco tweeted to the world that he doesn't understanding why Favre's potential retirement got so much ink, replacing the term "drama queen" with "attention whore" – which is apparently the drama queen's sketchy cousin. Ocho pondered why people like he and Terrell Owens are mocked for their attempts at getting attention and Favre isn't? Perhaps because cameras have to stalk Favre to get photos, video or comments. T.O. and Ocho have self-important "reality shows" that make them look like arrogant narcissists. Question answered.

  • Think Vikings are sick of being asked Favre questions? Think guys like Andy Reid and the slew of other coaches with Favre connection are sick of hearing the questions? Think the Packers are tired of it? How about Commissioner Roger Goodell? At the Ravens camp Wednesday, Goodell was asked about Favre. He responded, "Brett Favre is great for our game and I think the passion he has for the game is extraordinary. I think we would all like to see him play, but we want him to do what's best for him."

  • Add former NFL safety Rodney Harrison as the latest Favre-hater to expose himself. Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, he was asked about Favre. He accused Favre of knowing exactly what he is going to do and said he couldn't believe he could expect just to show up for Week 1. When asked if he thinks Favre is "me-first" player, Harrison said, "That's why they didn't find themselves in the winner's circle last year against New Orleans." He also said that you would never see Tom Brady or Peyton Manning do something like that, saying they are "the guys who really have class."

  • Who else is being asked Favre questions? Try Miami coach Tony Sporano. When asked for his reaction to Favre's potential retirement at Miami's training camp, Sporano said, "I'll believe it when the season starts and he's (on) that couch somewhere." He has a vested interest in Favre not coming back. The Vikings' regular-season home opener is against the Dolphins in Week 2.

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