It’s no secret that Brett Favre and Brad Childress have had a rocky relationship. They’ve certainly gone through their highs and their lows since this player-coach relationship was established. 2009 brought highs such Favre-to-Lewis destroying a schism in the locker room to the lows of Childress wanting to pull Favre on the road versus both Green Bay and Carolina. As fans though we not just tolerated their turmoil, we actually embraced it going 12-4 during the regular season and getting within a couple of plays of the Super Bowl.
This year it’s an entirely different story starting the season 2-4. Judging from Childress calling out his QB publicly to Favre’s swallowing his pride with a response of “So I can’t disagree with him” it’s fair to wonder if it’s reached the point of no return. I’d even be willing to guess that there’s a certain level of hatred between the two going on right now.
As we all know by now, Favre’s ankle is in a boot right now with his status at New England this Sunday uncertain. I’ve read everything from “avulsion” fractures taking on average 4-6 weeks to completely heal to members of the media saying that Favre could possibly play this weekend if he receives an anesthetic injection into his ankle and wear a specialized brace. We may not know until Sunday afternoon if the NFL’s Ultimate Iron Man will continue his streak to 292 games. There’s also certain to be dozens of stories this week on Favre’s ankle. But for blogs sake lets say that Favre does not play this weekend and Tarvaris Jackson is lining up under center.
First of all, that sends a message directly to Favre that Childress is calling the shots in the locker room. It was a bit bothersome last night to see Favre waving off a trainer looking to help his ailing ankle. Then on the following drive Favre immediately throws an interception only to walk over to the sidelines hobbling. Listen Brett; if you’re hurt come out of the game or at least get help from a trainer that Zygi Wilf is paying. But if you insist on staying in and throw a pick, then get back to the sidelines as your teammates do when the play is over. Childress said in his press conference on possibly pulling Favre “I was going to give him that next series and he took us and moved us down the field.” Going with Tarvaris Jackson will surely give Childress a QB who’s more willing to “play within the confines of our system.”
Secondly, this game is destined to have an outcome. Say Tarvaris Jackson plays one of the best games of his career and we miraculously beat the New England Patriots in Foxboro. Note that I say miraculously because Tom Brady has won his last 23 home starts. At that point, how difficult would it be for Childress to go back to Favre? Yes, I know Favre makes 12x as much money, but even in Favre’s two victories this year his stats were more pedestrian like than All-Pro. Or lets say Tarvaris Jackson plays like well… Tarvaris Jackson… with Tom Brady having a routine day at the office. At that point we’d be 2-5 with the deck severely stacked against us to make the playoffs. Is Favre going to even want to play with that record? If so, for how long if the Vikings fall out of contention? I know the schedule gets easier, but does anyone really think we’d go 7-2 or better still having to play the Bears (twice… yes, I know they look awful for a first place team, but they still are a division rival who beat us last year), Eagles, Giants, Packers and Redskins?
None of us should be resigned to this being a lost season yet. But 2010 has been far from a pleasant one. And it could get worse.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig