Monday, October 25, 2010

Brett Favre Meets the End of the Road

I've hesitated all season. I keep waiting for the ol' gunslinger to come back. I keep waiting for him to have that moment where it all starts to come together.

Where he and his team look to be in synch again.

Instead, we see more and more instances like Sunday night, where it was abundantly clear that the Minnesota Vikings were far from "in synch," and the quarterback was largely responsible for his team finishing the game with fewer points than the opponent.

It keeps coming back to Brett Favre.

After a largely magical season in 2009, Favre has been absolutely pathetic in six games for the Vikings this season. Any hopes a bye week would cure his ails vanished in Week 5, when the Vikings lost on a Monday night to the Jets, and Favre looked tired and old after taking a week off.

He looked less tired, but still very old, in the win over Dallas last Sunday. It was a positive sign, and his improving elbow gave fans the indication that he would start to turn things around.

No dice.

Under bright lights that Favre used to thrive in, he did the exact opposite. In a stadium where he used to help the Packers win, he helped the Packers win.

Now, we're at a crossroads.

There is no bye week to rest Brett. There is no layup game coming up next week. Instead, the Vikings have to deal with the 5-1 Patriots. Yeah, we'll probably hear a few words about how Randy Moss wants to stick it to his old team. Surely, those who can't let go will talk about how this is where Brett shows how great he is.

Unfortunately for Vikings fans, it's reached the end of the road.

This is where Brett Favre has to exit. FanHouse comrade Kevin Blackistone opines.

Favre could use the time off right now. He could use it to physically heal and mentally prepare his exit strategy.

Favre looked and sounded by late Sunday night as if he's done. It wasn't just his saltier and more peppery hair. It was his limping on a surgically repaired left ankle -- and what he said it prevented him from doing.

"Who knows?" Favre said when asked if he'd be able to play next weekend. "Who knows, really? I hope I do."

It was his admission that his ungrateful coach, the one who earned a contract extension because of Favre's remarkable play a season ago, was probably right about his too-risky play at Lambeau.

The reality is that Favre has no way out, unless the league suspends him for his sexting -- and that shouldn't happen barring further evidence of wrongdoing than what we've been presented with by the Deadspins of the world.

That is, of course, if Favre's troublesome left ankle doesn't stop being troublesome.

Is it reasonable to suggest that Favre could miss the Patriots game Sunday? Yes. Of course, it's not reasonable to suggest it if there is any serious thought to him returning.

Favre is making $20 million. He's not going on the bench for a game or two. If Childress goes to Tarvaris Jackson, he's not going back to Favre barring a cataclysmic barrage of injuries. It's past the point of no return.

Sunday was not a virtuoso performance for Green Bay. It was meaningful, though, because the Packers needed to beat Brett Favre.

Of course, they needed help from Brett Favre to make that happen. In the end, it was too much for Childress to stomach.

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