Favre’s act becoming an annual rite of summer as the drama queen surfaces again

By Tim Dahlberg, AP
Saturday, July 24, 2010

Drama queen in Favre surfaces again

There was major flooding this week in Wisconsin, a state where Brett Favre used to ply his trade.

It was getting pretty deep once again in Mississippi, too, in what has now become an annual rite of summer. The drama queen of the South was giving interviews and accepting selected visitors, including one who for some reason still wants to coach him this season.

Brad Childress didn’t get a commitment, of course. That would take half the fun out of the thing.

There’s surgeries to recover from, and fans to tease. A guy needs his space to throw a teammate under the bus, too, so the people of Minnesota don’t blame him for what happened that January night in New Orleans.

Besides, the Vikings don’t break training camp until mid-August and those other quarterbacks need to get some playing time in during the exhibition season. Should be plenty of time left for Childress to wax the Escalade and head to the airport to pick up his quarterback before play begins for real.

And don’t worry, Vikings fans, Favre will be there for the opening snap. He’ll be there just as surely as LeBron James was always going to flee Cleveland for South Beach.

He’ll be there because he loves to play football, and because he’s guaranteed millions to do what he loves.

He’ll be there because he loves to be loved. And he’ll be there because he needs to be needed.

That’s why Favre can’t seem to do what normal veteran quarterbacks do, which is to arrive at training camp, get in his reps, and go about his business. It’s why he retires and unretires and then calls a press conference to report the astonishing news he hasn’t made up his mind about anything.

It’s why he invites a Men’s Journal writer down to spend a day with him in Mississippi, then complains that the writer somehow defamed his family by quoting his own agent as calling him a drama queen.

Drama queen, indeed. Asked on Friday to describe his first season with Favre, Childress started singing an old show tune to Dave Campbell of The Associated Press.

“Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you,” Childress sang.

By now, Childress should know plenty about the quarterback who just won’t quit. He’s been down to Mississippi twice this year to sit out on the front porch with Favre, presumably to discuss which part of his body is bothering him now.

What they surely didn’t discuss was the NFC championship game against the Saints, where the Vikings were a few yards away from a win in regulation until mistakes by both coach and quarterback cost them a trip to the Super Bowl.

Childress has to take the blame for two conservative runs with the ball on the Saints’ 33, followed by a penalty for having 12 men in the huddle. Favre should own up for the interception on the next play, though that’s not exactly his style.

Turns out it was Sidney Rice’s fault for not coming back to the ball like Favre thought he would.

“As a player you’ve got to pull the trigger,” Favre told Men’s Journal. “You can’t say, ‘Well, is he going to do what I think he’s going to do?’ He wasn’t wrong, and in some ways, I wasn’t either.”

OK. Now that we’ve got that cleared up, the Favre countdown watch can officially begin.

There will be breathless reports out of Hattiesburg, where the 40-year-old Favre is shedding a few pounds and limbering up the ol’ arm in practices with a local high school team. Expect Favre to talk one day about whether he still has it anymore, then the next about how he really wants to lead the Vikings to the promised land.

As the days turn into weeks and his teammates swat mosquitoes at the team’s training camp in Mankato, Favre will let everyone twist in the wind. Then he’ll begin making some noises about how a 20th season might just be possible, after all.

At some point all eyes will turn to the skies to see if the private jet sent by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf is on the way.

It will be, of course, and Favre will get the obligatory hero’s welcome he so desperately seems to want. Then he’ll put on the pads and, barring injury, play better than any quarterback his age has a right to play.

So far, the campaign is unfolding just as planned. About all that’s missing is a LeBron-like television special for Favre to announce his decision.

But while James held a city hostage to stoke his massive ego, Favre has him beat.

He has a whole state to toy with to satisfy his narcissistic desires.

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org

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