Tuesday, July 28, 2009

All But In Is Now All But Out

Three weeks ago, Minnesota Vikings' head coach Brad Childress was nearly consumed with glee at the prospect of former Green Bay Packers' quarterback Brett Favre joining the beloved Purple. At the time, all signs supported that optimism, as Favre was speaking positively about the performance of his surgically repaired arm and he and the Vikings were in agreement about the terms of a contract--even though no contract had yet been signed.

Today, all that optimism faded as Childress informed the local media that, in a call with Favre, the quarterback had made clear his intention to remain retired.

For the Vikings, the situation could not have played out much worse. Still needing to sell tickets--and having withheld single-game tickets to the Packers game in anticipation of Favre's signing--and having made clear that they were not fully comfortable with either Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson starting at quarterback in 2009, the Vikings suddenly are left with extra tickets that should already have been sold and having to resort to plan B at quarterback.

All of which means that Childress is more on the hot seat than ever, having cast his lot with Jackson too early and for too long, only to fail twice in wooing Favre to Minnesota to supplant Jackson, and now being faced with having to win with either Jackson or Rosenfels. If Zygi had his doubts in 2007 and 2008, there certainly should be little room for error for Childress in 2009.

Childress' predicament notwithstanding, the Vikings suddenly look less unbeatable than they appeared destined to be with Favre at the helm. Even with Rosenfels at quarterback, the Vikings' offense likely will be considered third-best in the NFC North. And with Green Bay and Chicago both sporting improving defenses, that could mean some tremendous consternation at Winter Park in 2009 and more than the usual angst among the Vikings' fan base.

C'est la vie.

Up Next: More Favre Fallout.

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