Favre looks like he’s coming home!

“Stay tuned for breaking news from the Minnesota Vikings today on Brett Favre’s possible return. Visit the Vikings.com and Officialbrettfavre.com for more information.”

These are the words currently on Brett Favre’s official website. The man himself has arrived in Minnesota, and a private jet has taken him, Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson to Winter Park. It looks like Favre Watch may finally be over for another year!

I’ll try to keep as up to date on this one as possible, but it is my bedtime already! Otherwise Adam at the Vikings Gab is also on the case!

Exclusive Interview* With Brett Favre

The mouth of the horse is here! And by horse, I mean Siver Fox. And by here, I mean in my mind. Yes, in honour of recent news stories which may or may not have been based on nothing but here say, I’ve decided to unleash my previously unreleased/unimagined interview with the one and only Brett Favre.

Me: Sooo, Brett, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal. How’s your summer been?

Brett: Yeah, it’s been okay. I’m a grandpappy now so I’ve been spending some time with the kid, trying to impart some of my wisdom. Lil Parker Brett is a future hall of famer, mark my words on that one. Last week he even drew out an I-38-Sweep play in spaghetti hoops, but I intercepted his meatball before it reached the end zone, ha ha ha.

Me: So has Parker told you he wants to follow in your footsteps?

Brett: Not yet, I’m still waiting to hear on that. Parker keeps making noises which I think sound like “I’ll let you know in my own sweet time.” But I’ve bought all the gear just in case, and should have hung up my boots by the time the 2028 draft comes along, so I’ll be waiting at Radio City Music Hall just in case he decides to show up.

Me: And what about you? Any news on this coming season?

Brett: Oh yeah, I’ll be back unless my foot falls off… aaarrrrrgggghhhh!

Me: You okay there Brett?

Brett: Yeah I’m fine. I mean my foot just fell off, but I’m alright.

Me: So you probably won’t be playing next season then will you?

Brett: Did I say that? Well never say never, that’s what I always say. Nah I’ll probably still be back. Just need to get this thing re-attached. Say, can you hold on a sec while I send a text?

Me: Sure. Do you mind me asking who it’s to?

Brett: Yeah, it’s the guy who paints the fences at Winter Park. He was just asking if I knew any good jokes. Right all done. Next question…

Me: So do you ever get tired of people asking you about your retirement?

Brett: What retirement? Who said anything about retirement?

Me: You know, what with your foot falling off, and the story which just broke about you texting people at the Vikes that you are going to retire?

Brett: Oh that! Yeah, I’ve decided that I should call time on everything. It’s been a great year, but I’m getting on a bit now and just want to sit back and enjoy life.

Me: And how do you think the Vikings and their fans are going to react to this news?

Brett: What news?

Me: You retiring?

Brett: I’m not retiring.

Me: Oh, but I thought you just said…

Brett: I didn’t say anything. That was Shank. Next question.

Me: Ooookay. So what are you looking forward to next season?

Brett: Beating the Saint. Beating the P*ckers. Rubbing Chilly’s beard for good luck. Slapping Jared. Singing to Percy before he goes to bed. And then, once I’ve lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy, prank called Aaron Rodgers, and put a potato in Tahi’s tailpipe, I think I’m going to call it a day.

Me: I didn’t realise you called the scum, P*ckers too?

Brett: Everyone calls them the P*ckers.

So there you have it, and by it, I mean nothing, apart from some cheap laughs perhaps.

* The above interview, is entirely fictitious. Any similarities with real people or events are purely coincidental, and a result of cunning satire.

Favre and Falsification

There are times when I hate the press. I really hate them. I appreciate they have a job to do, but sometimes they are just parasitic vultures, who love to pounce on any scraps they can find and then try to pass them off as caviar.

And now, 2 days after the Favre’s Textgate scandal, I am reminded once again of how flawed the press system is, and why so many are going out of business as the blogosphere continues to grow. At the end of the World Cup, I read an excellent article on Three and in about the terrible television presentation by British broadcasters during the World Cup, and what I particularly agreed with was how the old guard of bitter and cynical journalists need to be replaced by positive and enthusiastic bloggers, because viewers are sick of pundits moaning incessantly, rather than conveying their passion and enjoyment of the sport, and getting behind their team. It’s a great article and I suggest you read it.

From this awful World Cup coverage, my attention was then drawn to day-in, day-out stories centred around Arsenal’s captain, Cesc Fabregas, as the media in both Spain and England decided to have a competition to see who could come up with the most stories based around an “unnamed source close to the player” in an effort to unsettle him and Arsenal, and help Barcelona sign one of the most coveted players in world football. The trouble is that it all gets a bit tiring after a while, there are only so many “unnamed sources” you can read about before things start to smell very fishy indeed. And worse than this was British papers printing articles that supported the exploits of a Spanish team, rather than backing up the British side.

Perhaps this explains why my blood boiled when I watched Chip and Judd’s roundup video this morning on the Tribune’s website. Now let me start by saying that I appreciate how difficult Favre is to cover. He’s very elusive, and loves to throw the media the odd curveball to keep them on their toes. I also appreciate that the press are in a bit of a fix at the moment, they need to sell papers and get online ad revenue because times are very tough. But this does not excuse the reporting of stories that are damaging to the team these guys are meant to represent, and I think this Favre text story has backfired on them a bit. Now before I go into full rant mode, I just want to say that I do enjoy most of the work from the Star Tribune and the team lead by Chip and Judd. They are very close to the team, give excellent coverage during the season, and I do think that they broke this story believing that it was true (which it may be), but I think this time they may have shot themselves in the feet by reporting on something detrimental to the Vikings and their fans.

Okay, I’ll start by paraphrasing the key points of the video… First off the pair are sticking by their guns that Favre did send text messages to the team, despite Favre’s denial yesterday, but once again they reveal nothing about their source, or how they’ve verified the claims. They then go on to point out that Favre likes to mess with the media, and is lying. Then some bla bla bla about Favre’s absence from Training Camp possibly annoying some of the players who might not think it’s fair that the Silver Fox is at home playing football with high school kids. Then they move onto the key point for me. Then there’s their take on the 24hr news coverage around Favre, and how it’s left readers confused and frustrated (I’m guessing with them). They say that the Favre camp and the Vikings camp aren’t always truthful, and that they need Vikings fans to use their common sense when reading news stories on the team. Don’t blindly follow the Vikings they say, apparently there are fans who just wanna believe what they hear. They then say that they have worked hard to build up sources within the teams, and there is no doubt that Favre sent those text messages.

Sorry but this all sounds like they are trying to justify their actions to a group of disgruntled fans who are sick of hearing stories which seem to have no basis. There could well be a source, and a reliable one at that who broke the story to the Tribune, but because they have not offered anything apart from their word that the source is reliable, they have left many of us feeling very pissed off. And while they mention that both the Viking and Favre camps tell lies, they say nothing on themselves, and I’m afraid that the press are not infallible, far from it. And how dare they tell fans how to read the news! I’m sorry but it is your responsibility to report things truthfully and reliably (which often means going beyond basing a story off just one source). Yes, we should use common sense when we watch or read the news, but sometimes it is hard to know what is fact and what is fiction, especially when there are stories coming 24 hours a day from places that need to make money and who cite someone who we as readers cannot verify. We rely on them for our news, but we don’t have the access they do, so we need them to be honest rather than arrogant.

But more than that, we need them to fly the flag for the Vikings. Let ESPN or one of the other big sports networks run with stories like this, because they have no affiliation to the Vikings. But knowing how important Favre is to the team and how much most of the fans admire him, they should have showed some control rather than running wild with the story, because it left many of us, me included, fearing for the future of the team. And I think they need to acknowledge that their release of this story left many readers this way, or worse in a state where they started slagging off the team, and a player who could still come back for another year wearing the Purple.

Instead of jumping on the team, they need to get behind them. If stories like this come along, they should really try to verify them beyond just the anonymous source, if they can’t get through to Favre (they couldn’t), then hold the story for a day or two before they have the truth or a more verified version of it.

Maybe this whole article is naive, in fact I know it is, but for me the newspaper of a team should not spread gossip, especially when it can damage the team or just upset the fans, leave that to the big networks who cater to everyone. Like team specific blogs, papers like the Tribune should always endeavour to be positive about the team (like they were after the NFC Champ game last season), and in the case of the past two days I think the Tribune have found out what happens when they aren’t.

Agree, disagree or are you just totally lost in my ramblings? Comment and tell me! And Chip, or Judd? If you are lucky enough to read this, know that I still love you both, but you won’t be getting an invite to my wedding. And Brett? I’m still waiting for your RSVP, I even left a box saying “I’ll let you know the day before” just for you!

As the Favre dust settles… lay off the sauce.

Isn’t the press a wonderful thing. Sometimes the slightest pin can drop and suddenly there is a stampede. Which is what it seems happened yesterday. This morning, as things get back to normal, and those that forgot (myself included) that we are still in a time of Favre Watch, are now able to pick through the pieces of yesterday and try and figure out what the hell happened.

It all started with the Star Tribune breaking a story which was later “confirmed” by Associated Press, that a confidential source (who I’m calling Mr Sauce) at the Vikings said Favre had told teammates he wasn’t coming back. Then NFL.com jumped on this and every writer on the books had their say on the matter. One of the writers, Steve Wyche claimed a source at the team confirmed these reports (in this case it was Mr Sauce’s cousin, Timmy Sauce), but then Steve Mariucci is saying Favre’s told him that he isn’t ready to retire yet, saucy!

So, who to believe? Or is it just the case that they are all blowing hot air? Personally I’m not a fan of this style of journalism, where sources are not named so stories cannot ever really be confirmed. The media loves to be led down roads that go nowhere, purely because it sells. But I don’t have a friend called Mr Sauce at the team to feed me information, or even a friend who legally had his name changed to “Confidential Informant” who can make stuff up just to give me something to write about, so all I can do is look at what is being reported and try to figure out what is guff and what is gold. Either that or get into conspiracy theories, but I’ll end up writing several thousand pages on that and never really go anywhere…

The main piece of concrete(ish) news this morning comes from our old friend, Visanthe Shiancoe. Last night he said:

“He told a couple guys on our team he’s going to retire… He hasn’t told me yet. I’m going to check my phone right now, but it hasn’t been said publicly yet so I don’t know what to believe.”

So some second-hand news there, but note that he isn’t saying which players have been told, and that he hasn’t heard anything himself, but at least Mr Sauce seems to be out of the equation, unless Shank is Mr Sauce in which case we’re all doomed. But…. stop me if I’m wrong, but Brett making a muted and staggered announcement about the potential career just doesn’t seem like his style. I heard a few people joking yesterday that he might setup a Will He/Won’t He, Lebron Style, ESPN special where at the end he’ll piss off the whole of Cleveland, but really this does seem a lot more likely than what appeared to have happened yesterday. I’m expecting a fanfare, jets overhead, and Rush Limbaugh’s head on a spike when Favre finally calls it quits, any less and there would always be the nagging feeling that he’ll turn up on Week One expecting to start.

The only other news on the whole situation comes from our lovely friend Judd (*shakes fist and bellows* JUDDDDD!) Zulgad. Apparently our other friend Mr Sauce (or in the case of this article the whole Sauce family, “sources” = sauces, get it? ehhhh? come on work with me? is this thing on?) says the Vikes are going to lure Favre back with a combination of money (and extra $7mil), blackjack and hookers (actually forget the blackjack and the hookers, I just wanted to quote Futurama). Very exciting *yawn*.

In other news, a source has just told me Favre is coming for another year. A family source who doesn’t want to be named, can’t be contacted, has no phone, no email, no name, and if you shine a light in it’s direction it suddenly disappears. Reminds me of a famous Theologian called Anthony Flew and his parable of a Gardener. Oh yeah! See what I did there? Theology + Vikings news! POW! Okay, I need another cup of coffee. See you all tomorrow for more fun and frolics, especially if the Sauces rear their apparently invisible heads.

– Just skip to about 45 seconds in, this kid rocks!

If Favre’s retirement ‘news’ is to be believed – 5 Reasons to be cheerful

So Favre is allegedly on his way out and the “official announcement” will be soon. But regardless of the validity of this “news” story, here are 5 reasons why the Viking Nation should hold no fear, regardless of whether the Silver Fox comes back or not… and yes I know in my post below I said I’d keep schum on any other Viking matters around our #4, but the “news” (and I use that word lightly) has got the purple juices flowing again, and I just can’t help myself, so here we go!

1) Adrian! The best running back in the league. Forget Chris Johnson, All Day took us to the playoffs in 08, and he can do it again. He’ll have more time on the ball and hopefully renewed focus to hold onto the pigskin like his life depended on it. His yardage may have been less last year but that was only because Favre could pass. No Favre would equals a Peterson focussed offence, which will scare the buggery out of pretty much every defence in the league.

2) Young blood! Toby Gerhart backing up All Day, and Percy coming off a stellar rookie season will be a joy to behold, and Chris Cook will beef up the secondary so we’re less vulnerable in the air.

3) Sidney Rice! Now the whole league knows this man can catch, and it means T-Jack or Sage or even Brett now have 2 very potent receivers at their disposal, with Berrian looking to bounce back after a disappointing 09.

4) No pressure? This may seem a little far-fetched, but without Favre, the Vikings won’t be expected to do a great deal in 2010. The P*ckers and Bores will be the ones carrying all the pressure with big players and overblown wage bills, while we can just get on with playing great football, and in case you had forgotten, we have a fantastic team which is still capable of winning it all. And with Favre? Well I think you already know just how good we’d be.

5) We are the Vikings! We are The Purple! We have the greatest fans, the greatest players, the most ferocious stadium in the whole of the NFL, and a certain little defence which loves to send helmets flying on a weekly basis. So show your horns and get behind the team!

Listening to Chilly’s presser at the moment, and the word is still very much “Mum”, nothing to confirm or deny Favre’s retirement. Business as usual it seems, so let’s just get back to the waiting game, and enjoy another wonderful chapter in the chronicles of Favre Watch.

And a special shout out to the “Anonymous Source”, and all the wonderful fabricated stories you’ve given us over the years. Just when I thought you’d had your fun pissing off Arsenal over Fabregas, you now decide to torment me over Favre

The dream it seems, ends here… Favre will retire

It’s been a very long time since my last post owing to a very slow offseason and a very busy summer with both work and wedding preparation. But I knew that the one thing most likely to bring me back into the blogging world was the Silver Fox.

Sadly however, it’s because of the news that is starting to come out of Minneapolis, reporting that he’s told Chilly he’s not coming back for another season because his ankle just isn’t healing as well as it needed to in order to play for another year. The original Star Tribune story is here but has taken 5 mins to load so far which suggests this is pretty big news, and not an overly belated April Fools joke. Either way a presser is scheduled for later today which I fear will call time on the career of one of the game’s greats.

Now, knowing the history of Favre and his retire-unretire-reture-unretire way of life, there may still be a glimmer of hope for him staying on to lead the team, but I’m not clinging to it, more holding my pinkie lightly to it. But it’s too early to say anything else right now at risk of making a fool of myself. So I will wait till tomorrow to make further comment. All I will say now is that if this is it, it’s been one hell of a ride, but we’ve gotta get our sh*t together for next year and move on. If it’s not, I’m going after Judd Zulgad armed only with a spoon!

Disney’s Next Film will be… “The Super Bowl Grandpa”

Starring Ben Stiller as Brett Favre, Lindsey Lohan as Brittany Favre, Alec Baldwin as Brad “Chilly” Childress, Will Ferrell as Jared Allen, and Brett Favre as Obi Wan Kenobi.

A lowly farmer (Brett) from a small town dreams of being a quarterback in the NFL, but needs to stop roping calfs for a living if he is to realise his dreams. Then one rainy night on his way back from a manure silo, he stops to pick up a hitchhiker (Jared) who got lost on a boar-hunting expedition. The pair immediately form an unlikely friendship, as the farmer teaches the hitchhiker in the ways of calf roping and spear throwing. Then at the end of a summer of butt slapping, hot wings and helicopter-tactical-nuke-fishing, the mysterious hitchhiker reveals himself to be none other than Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings, and he invites the intrepid farmer to join him in Winter Park for the Preseason Drills.

But Brett, being a lazy ass farmer decides to stay on a look after his heard and care for his new-born Grandchild, Parker Brett (No, really? Parker? Like the coat? That’s like 2 last names for a name, and then there’s the poor kid’s last name). But then, one night, while he’s practising his American Idol audition, a young Jedi by the name of Obi Wan Kenobi comes to him and tells him that it’s his destiny to become the first ever Grandfather to win a Super Bowl.

And so Brett makes the journey to Minneapolis to join Jared and the rest of the Purple on their crazy adventure. Will Brett find that which has always been missing from his life? Can he overcome adversity and the media who say he’s past it? And how will he fare when he comes face to face with his biggest farming rival-turned NFL Quarterback Aaron Rogers (played by Tim Curry-with his Muppet Treasure Island accent)?

Hey! It could happen… shuh! And monkeys might fly out my butt! Sorry folks, but it’s a very slow news day today…