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!

Faster than a speeding bullet…

There are times in this muddle of an offseason that I feel like a hobo, on the look out for scraps. This past fortnight has been a little too heavy on the empty chip bags, but there are occasionally days like today when I find myself staring at a half-eaten doughnut, and it would be rude not to tuck in when such an occasion presents itself.

Whilst it isn’t really “news” in the traditional sense of the word, it is a little nourishing, and so, for all your Viking fanatics out there, I present, leftovers…

First up we pass over to Viking Nation who are reporting on AD addressing his “problem” with balls. I’m sure a lot of this is coming as a result of public criticism, but regardless of the cause, I’m glad to hear that the lad is applying himself to holding on to the damn pig skin. If he can halve his fumbles then we are going to be a lot more stable on offence, and we should be able to create some real momentum in games where we really need to pin down the opposition.

From there, it seems that we are the new whipping boys of the NFL, after Steve “Supermegaepictool” Wyche published his 2010 rankings. Cowmoobs at 3? Vikes at 9? P*ckers above us at 5? But after a gentle peruse through the list it’s clear that Stevey probably just got bored / broke and needed something to get money / attention / a dry slap, and didn’t care much for reasonable thought.

And finally for today, Ben Leber is on the NFL Films broadcaster boot camp. Perhaps he could be the next Troy Aikman, Michael Strahan or some other pathetic sack of fail who excretes pointless opinions next to Al Michael (I love you Al, I really do, but only cos you were in Dodgeball)… Or, he could team up with Jared, Brett and Percy for their own series all about Hunting, Butt Slapping and Footbawl! I know which one I’d rather watch.

Told you it’d be a quick one, back to the daily grind now. SKOL!

From the Beard of Chilly

Good morning Vikings‘ fans! It’s been a busy week and I’m looking forward to soaking up some sunshine and chilling out this weekend, but before any of that can begin, I feel compelled to bring you the next part in my offseason series from Brad Childress‘ mighty Beard!

8.00am: I think I went too far last week. I tried to call his bluff, and failed. He’s gone for the Selleck look again. So here I am, the day after, with egg on my face. And Brad? Well I think he’s already missing me. For starters, he had to face the media in the sun yesterday, and without little ol’ me to protect his face from the harmful UV rays, he was forced to wear some r-tard fisherman’s hat. Who’s having the last laugh now?

10.00am: “Now we’re Cooking”. Ugh!!! If I hear him say that one more time, what little stubble there is left of me is going to molt! Chris Cook, Chris “Effin” Cook! I get it, you like him! And I know how nice it is to be proved right, especially on your #1 draft pick, but please stop singing “Now we’re Cooking” while making your breakfast!

11.00am: Ha! That brought you down to Earth didn’t it? Sweat is poring down Brad’s face now, and without me to catch it all, he’s ruined his nice new polo shirt! Shouldn’t’a worn grey should ya?

11.30am: It’s taking him a whole 30 minutes to calm down, and I think it’s just about safe to let you know what put a bee in his bonnet… Brett, is having a Memorabilia sale in July… Brad didn’t get an invite. He’s now mumbling “I’m not paying 400 buck for a sodding helmet!

1.00pm: The sweat’s back. It could be the buffalo wings, or it could be the though of his meeting after lunch. All I know is, he wants me back!

2.30pm: Made it to the state capitol after an hour in traffic. Brad’s AC was broken in the car. He had to run into Gap to get a new shirt. His 3rd of the day.

3.00pm: He’s on number 4 now. At least this time he ruined it for a noble cause, as he and the rest of the Vikes handed over an ultimatum about a new stadium.

5.00pm: He’s on the phone with Brett, who is livid at my unceremonious removal! It had all started so well, stories from the OTA, his new hat, but when Brad moved the phone slightly on his face, Brett heard me scraping on the handset and… BOOM!

5.30pm: There are not enough shirts in the world. And Brad is now huddled in a corner of the bathroom, rocking back and forth. The future is no longer in his hands, instead, in an act of pure vengeance at my disappearance, Brett is tying his destiny to that of Southern Miss. Brad better grow me back soon or he’s going to need to start a Gap loyalty card.

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How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yurrr meat?

Good morning Nation, there’s another dust cloud looming on the horizon, threatening to shut down society as we know it, but that’s not nearly as concerning as the rather torrid week the Vikes have had, unless you’re on holiday, but I’m not…

The main issue is the impending suspension of The Wall. I already spoke about this last week but Viking Nation dug up that interesting story from PFT which suggests we could be without both of our starters for 8 games, as the suspensions could be staggered. I’m not sure how much meat there is to this claim by PFT, but if it is the case then it is worrying.

Then again, the Nation’s other link potentially opens the door for Albert “Complete waste of money” Haynesworth to don Purple and come play for us next season. Now I say waste of money because he went to Washington to be paid to keep Zorn’s car seat warm, but like GB Nordic, I do think he would do a lot better as a Viking, and we need someone to fill the enormous void that Pat will leave when he retires. But I also think that we should be careful in this uncapped season, because we shouldn’t live beyond our means, and risk putting ourselves in a difficult position when the salary cap returns.

The potential, but in my opinion, improbable arrival of Haynesworth is not something we need however according to Andy Rarick at Bleacher Report. Taking a look at the Vikings’ depth chart unearths some promising players like Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy who could step up, and gain valuable experience, and we also have Everson Griffen to keep them on their toes. Add to that the constant threat of the Mullet, and a mildly disgruntled Ray Edwards who will no doubt be looking to have a good season to improve any future contact offer, and we may lose a bit of our reputation but our bite should be just as strong.

That’s all from me today, for some reason WordPress is having a superfuntime reformatting my paragraphs so I hope this post comes out okay. Back later in the week with more Purple News. Skol!

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From the Beard of Chilly

We’ve got a hung Parliament in Blighty! Huzzah, life is good! And that slimeball-toff-w*nker David Cameron is going to have to do some serious dealing if he’s going to become PM. But all in all, election night has been pretty disappointing. Nick Clegg, leader of the Lib Dems has had to endure some disappointing results, and is left to marvel at our electoral system that sees someone who gets around 23% of the vote only take about 10% of seats in the House of Parliament. Whilst Gordon Brown is hanging in there, but only just. I’m hoping for a Labour coalition government because the Tories are scumbags who are going to line the pockets of the aristocracy, but I’m gutted the lib dems didn’t get more seats…

But enough of Politics, its time for our weekly visit to the mind of one of football’s greatest figures. I’m talking of course of Chilly’s Beard.

3.30am – Brad can’t sleep, so I can’t sleep. Every time I drop off the bugger grunts something about a “good football team” or “how do you like these Wranglers?” STFU!

8.25am – So first he keeps me awake, then he oversleeps. Useless Brett Favre Bobblehead Alarm clock apparently decided to wake him up when it’s ready, despite being told numerous times to sound off nice and early.

10.03am – Late to court, Judge is not best pleased. Not looking good for my unrelated brothers from 2 different mothers.

12.00pm – This is why I hate court. Brad get’s restless, so he chews on his pen. Then he grabs that soggy pen with his stubby fingers, twirls it around, and then rubs those stubby, soggy fingers through me. After nearly 2 hours of this, I’m starting to smell like an Alice Cooper fan after a night of Jager-bombs. And then to cap it all off, the court rules against my boys! If only the Bobblehead had gone off an hour earlier, I could have arrived and intimidated the judge with my magnificent bushyness.

12.45pm – Pat’s been crying, and Kevin is nursing a hoagie the size of… well let’s not get into that now. I think Pat’s worried about losing his place to BigMac. Personally I’d love to throw that mug into the trenches, teach him a lesson about what happens when you piss of Roger Goodell. As for Kevin, well, while he’s engrossed in his bread-bundled, meaty-magic, I’m wondering if Loady can manage the load if we subbed him in. Like Maccy, he’s a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic, but he’s big, and scary, and big, maybe it’ll toughen him up a bit.

2pm – Some would call it lunch, I call it the frenetic shovelling of pot pie into hole in face. I think he’s stressed. Can’t blame him. He just got a call from Gov Pawlenty. Back-stabbing SOB.

3.30pm – My “ears” are burning. Brad decided to invite Rick, Jared and Tahi to go “intimidate” Pawlenty who decided he didn’t like the stadium bill despite crowing on about it a couple of months ago. Basically Brad just kept yelling “Heart of a Champion” whilst Rick tried to sign Pawlenty as our new DT, and Jared kept asking Tahi why he’s still there. Then Rick got bored and started playing Risk on his iPhone, and Jared said he’d treat Tahi to chicken wings after Tahi started sulking. On their way out the door I swear I heard Jared mutter; “I’ll show you what a dozen is”. This left Brad, red faced and feeling rather foolish. Think they’re going to try and work something out.

5.35pm – After a few awkward man-hugs, Brad left Pawlenty’s place with a revised bill. Whiskers crossed.

8pm – Brett called. Brad was a bit grumpy because Brett usually calls at 7, but he said he was busy laughing at JaMarcus Russell. “Funny you should mention that…” Brad said, “… he’s our Plan B if you don’t show.” It’s going to be a long summer.