Brett Favre will be a Viking. That's a matter of opinion at this juncture, mind you, but I'll be willing to wager my two Twins' World Series commemorative Wheaties boxes (rotted cereal included), that we'll see #4 donning Purple sometime next month.
If a life of attempting to be a sound observer of jock humanity has taught me anything, it's that if the proverbial compass keeps pointing in a certain direction, that's the direction the ball will eventually bounce. Consider the mind-numbing timeline:
After Yahoo! reports in early May that Favre and the Vikings can't come to an agreement, it's less than a week before Favre is spotted tossing balls to high school kids and Viking brass soon re-confirms interest in the retired quarterback. In ensuing days, reports arise that Favre is/may/has/will be consulting with famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews about options to repair his damaged throwing shoulder. The Purple then begin OTA's sans Favre, although his aura lingers as Chilly confirms that he and the QB have spoken. Weeks later, Favre's surgery performed by Andrews is confirmed long after-the-fact; concurrently, ESPN inaccurately reports that the Vikings have set a signing deadline for Favre to return to football. Following stories report that Favre's family and friends have booked a block of hotel rooms at the Midway Motor Lodge in Green Bay for the Viking's November 1st game versus the Pack. The following morning, Chilly gets on local radio and says that no deadline for Favre had been set. At the closure of last weekend, a Viking trainer meets with Favre in Mississippi to provide advice on how to rehab the shoulder. On Monday, Favre appeared on HBO's premier of "Joe Buck Live," and, speaking publicly for the first time since retirement, largely intimates his interest in playing for Minnesota.
Am I missing anything? Probably. But what's saddest about this whole deal - aside from plight of ESPN's journalistic integrity - is that the situation has gotten so damn big and confusing and over-reported, that the Minnesota Vikings will have to ascend - at the bare minimum -- to the NFC Championship this year to avoid colossal scrutiny of the entire sporting universe.
Viking training camp begins on July 29th. When Favre signs with the team next month (still
wagering the Wheaties here), consider that if he doesn't take them to the NFC title game, the ensuing slights will involve: "He signed too late for teammates to wholly adjust"; or, "The club signed a 39-year-old guy coming off arm surgery"; or, "Sage Rosenfels never even had a chance to fail."; or, "Why are we throwing 30 times a game while A.P. blocks?"
Furthermore, the respective contentions that Favre can just slide back into the West Coast Offense, or that his familiarity with Darrell Bevel will grease his comeback, lose merit everyday that's he's away from the gridiron.
Now, if I'm wrong about the signing and Favre doesn't come here and I lose the Wheaties and the Purple don't advance that far, it's gonna be: "Why the hell didn't they get Favre - he could've taken them further."
But for disorganized-narcissist Brett, it won't matter, in any direction. If (when) he plays and we go to the Super Bowl (which could happen), his legend is enhanced beyond leviathan proportions. If we don't advance that far, what the hell does he care? He had an itch, he scratched it, he's got his ring, his money, his jean commercials, his MVP's, he'll be in Canton, and he'll sit on his tractor. And if he shockingly doesn't sign, well, then he'll just sit on his tractor, perhaps harboring a wee bit of silent wanderlust about which franchise he can screw with next.
The Vikings never should had started with this guy unless they were concrete and convinced in signing him by the onset of June. The next "breaking story" will involve an exhausted Ed Werder reporting that Favre purchased a pack of purple-wrapped chewing gum and the whole ESPN network will go shit crazy. This thing has gotten too big for the Vikings and the classy Wilfs. It's gone O.J. now. The only thing the franchise can do to save face at this juncture is to win, and win big.