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The Market Has Spoken

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Ed Werder got perhaps the NFL scoop of the year on Tuesday when he reported that Brett Favre and Brad Childress were set to meet.  As if they were afraid of some crazy Vikings fan carpet bombing them, the location of the meeting has only been described as “undisclosed.”  My guess is that they are meeting at an IHOP (that one is for my friends at Access Vikings).

Now I’ve made it plenty clear on this site that I despise Brett Favre and do not think that he’d be enough of an upgrade at this point in his career for the Vikings to even consider bringing in.  However, there are aspects of this option that make sense to me, and so let us explore both the football and the business side of a potential deal between the Vikings and Brett favre.

FOOTBALL SENSE

The Vikings are a solid team.  They have two of the league’s best running backs, a dominating offensive line, one of the best blocking tight ends to ever play, a stable of talented young wide outs, a mean defensive line, a solid linebacker group, and an improving secondary.  The one thing that is missing is a franchise quarterback.  Many have their doubts as to whether Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson are servicable enough to allow this team to make a deep run in the playoffs.

The thing is though, Favre stunk last year.  He’s old.  His bicep is questionable.  He’s been an interception machine for years now.  He was divisive in the Jets locker room.  His vision of revenge against the Packers is a terrible reason to play football.  He’s probably going to try and find a way to finagle a way out of participating in the Vikings offseason training activities.

Scouts Inc.’s Matt Williamson said it best when he told ESPN, “He didn’t throw the football well last year. Let’s face it. You looked at him last year, especially at the end of the year, and you saw a guy who didn’t throw the ball anything like he used to. If you have a gunslinger mentality and you don’t have the physical tools anymore, then all of a sudden you don’t have anything to hang your hat on.”

Plus, who would the Vikings get rid of?  Tarvaris Jackson has had draft picks and years of coaching invested in him.  Sage Rosenfels just cost us a fourth rounder and hasn’t played a game yet.  John David Booty was someone the Vikings traded up for in the 2008 draft and hasn’t had a chance to play outside of preseason yet.  The Vikings would run the risk of cutting one of these guys and possibly watching them be successful elsewhere.

At the end of last year, both Gus Frerotte and Tarvaris Jackson outplayed Brett Favre.  Signing Brett Favre makes zero football sense.

BUSINESS SENSE

Let’s face it, despite how talented the Vikings are on the field, this franchise is a business of “Have Nots.”  They generate one of the lowest amounts of revenue of any team in the league.  They score the most exciting running back in years and still have trouble selling out home games.  They trade for a freak of a defensive end and still have trouble selling tickets to a playoff game.  They have already admitted that season ticket sales are down even further froom where they were at last season.  They play in an old, run down stadium for which the lease will expire soon.  They can’t convince the State of Minnesota to help them build a new stadium in these economic times.  They only have 16 home games left before they are a homeless NFL franchise.  Just to make matters worse, the City of Los Angeles is waiting quietly for an NFL team to have a “For Sale” sign put on the front door.

So what does any of that have to do with Brett Favre?

If the Vikings don’t sign Brett Favre, then the Vikings will resume business as usual, and could still be a very successful football team, but even when they won the NFC North success didn’t translate into ticket sales and/or general support from within the State.

If the Vikings do sign Brett Favre then all of the sudden every casual football fan is paying attention to the Vikings.  The Vikings are suddenly prime-time material week in and week out, especially when they play the Packers twice.  Purple jerseys with the number four on them will sell like hot cakes.  People will be scrounging up pennies and nickles to try and buy tickets to witness the third coming of Favre.  The media bonanza will be an endless dreamland for the Vikings P.R. people.  Heck, they may even be successful and start to draw people’s attention towards the fact that they need support for their new stadium.  What is more, Brad Childress might even be able to keep his job.  Oh, the joy!

Even the Vikings schedule plays to their advatage here.  Think about it, the Vikings start off by facing the Browns, Lions and Niners.  I think Ryan Leaf could lead this Vikings team to a 3-0 start against these opponents, let alone a living legend like Favre.  So the hype could be huge if the Vikings managed to go undefeated for the first three weeks, which would then lead into a prime time face off with Green Bay at the Metrodome.

At that point, the Vikings would be the center of attention in the NFL’s biggest (and most profitable) storyline of the year.

Signing Brett Favre makes perfect business sense.

MAKING SENSE

While the business side of things would be great for the Vikings, and I’d personally send Brett Favre a thank you card and John Deere hat if his comeback somehow translated into saving the Vikings franchise and getting a stadium built.  However, the business sense is also a huge gamble.

What if he tanks?  What if he coasts through the first few weeks but then throws away playoff hopes when he has to face teams like the Ravens, Steelers, Bears, Panthers, and Giants?  What if his aging body begins to break down when the tougher opponents begin to show up on the schedule?

What if the fact that this is nothing more than a publicity stunt shows through, and the fact that this signing made absolutley no football sense translates into on-the-field disaster?  Brad Childress would probably be fired.  There would be no sense of urgency amongst casual fans to stand up and scream their support for a new stadium.  They’d have trouble selling tickets.  The NFL would not flex-schedule the Vikings into any prime time games at the end of the year.

To me, the best bet is to do what makes football sense.  Winning equals revenue and support.  And nothing about Brett Favre makes me think that he has what it takes to win football games anymore.

Leave it be, Brad.  Leave it be.


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6 Responses to “The Market Has Spoken”

  1. Ace says:

    I think Favre played very well before he was injured last year and to say he “Favre stunk last year” is a bit misleading. He had 20 TDs and 12 INT and had the Jets at 8-3 through Week 12 before he was hurt and was miserable the rest of the year. It’s blatanly obvious the bicep was the reason for his decline. If the bicep is healthy then it’s worth signing Favre.

  2. speedvike says:

    your conclusion contradicts what you stated earlier in that Winning equals revenue and support. 1st playoff game in years and didnt sell out until the last minute which was extended twice. with favre at the helm im willing to bet if they did make the playoffs it would be sold out in 15min.

    the tanking bit would get childress fired, and thats one step closer to having billick here. its my belief that if rosen or tj tank, childress will be let go also, and i think childress knows that which is why hes trying to persuade favre into playing one more year.

  3. Aaron says:

    Ha, I like the IHOP tag.

    I pretty much agree with this take. It’s hard not to get caught up in the whirlwind of activity, and even just the MENTIONING of Favre to the Vikings has produced more ESPN air time than the team has had since the MOss days. But I have this gut feeling that his performance would be a repeat of last year with the Jets and he’d throw away our playoff hopes, let along fans’ Super Bowl hopes. At least the Jets had a stadium agreement already before he butchered that …

    But man, even with the small chance that it could work out … Wow. I just hope Childress does his homework.

  4. RCA says:

    Chilly is on thin ice–we all know this. He’s putting in his chips and trying to snag Favre for (hopefully) a year of success. I have to say I respect Chilly for that.
    I agree with Ace. If his arm is good to go, then Favre can take us deep.

  5. Adam Warwas says:

    Aaron & RCA, thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts!

    I agree that I did contradict myself earlier… something tells me I might do that a few times in the next few weeks as I try to figure out whether or not this is a good thing for the Vikes… haha.

    The thing is, I just don’t think he’s very good anymore. I think Favre will start out great against easy compeition, and then when his body starts to ache and the competition gets tougher, then it’ll be all over with.

    As far as revenue goes, I don’t know that Favre has what it takes to even get us to the playoffs because of his gunslingin’ ways. Rosenfels or even T-Jack would be far more suited to manage a game and let Peterson and the defense do the actual winning part.

    That’s just my opinion though… and the truth wont be known until December, haha.

    Thanks again for stopping in.

  6. Adam Warwas says:

    …And ACE too… thanks for the thoughts and stopping in. (Sorry I missed you in the first comment)

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