In our Ford-tough, I'd rather get lost in a cornfield than ask for directions, hard-hitting society for men in America, asking for a favor -- or, gasp, pleading with someone -- is not very cool. After all, we don't need anyone, right? We're strong and independent.
So, naturally, the Vikings trio of Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson received some grief for their trip to Mississippi Monday night with the purported goal of getting an answer out of that Brett Favre guy -- ever heard of him? -- about his football-playing answer. They were hoping, of course, that the 39-year-old Hall-of-Fame gunslinger would agree to play one more year, but really, they just wanted a "yes" or "no."
(It's nice to know whom you'll be sacking other quarterbacks for so they can return to the field; whom you'll be protecting; and whom you'll be kicking for, respectively -- at least a couple weeks before the season.)
Former Patriots linebacker and ESPN analyst Teddi Bruschi, among others, was highly critical of the mini summer vacation, saying he lost respect for the Vikings and that the mighty Pats would never do such a thing. Yeah, and if Tom Brady wasn't so loyal and willing to play hard, at least for now, for much less money than he deserves, he'd be gone and New England would be a very subpar team.
The three Vikings, bottom line, did the right thing. They wanted to know, now, who's going to be behind center this fall, so they forced an answer out of Favre. And now that No. 4 is back in the saddle, anyone who's ever watched him on the field knows that he'll give his all to the organization and his teammates, risking his aging body on every offensive snap.
This is Brett Favre, people, not some clown who might quit after four games, take snaps off, or disrupt the team's chemistry. While he might not be as incredible as his 33-touchdown, seven-interception gem of a season in '09 -- the best of his career -- he'll give the Vikings a much better chance to get to the Super Bowl than Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels would.
Minnesota has never won a Super Bowl. Neither have Allen, Longwell and Hutchinson. The city wants one badly. So do the three of them -- all veterans without too many years left, by the way (except for Longwell, who, as a kicker, should play until he's 51).
So why not give yourself the best chance to win now?
This isn't a baseball team shipping away its prospects for one chance at the World Series. This is a good team becoming, possibly, great. The only sacrifice it's making is a year of "development" for Jackson and/or Rosenfels and, possibly, the realization that neither is the answer to the team's future at quarterback.
Could this thing backfire? Could Favre get knocked down in Week 1 and finally "retire?" Absolutely. Obviously. He might have a poor season.
But the odds are that he'll definitely take the Vikings back to the playoffs, and in January whom would you rather have...
Yeah, rhetorical question
Kudos to Allen, Lonngwell and Hutchinson for putting their "pride" aside and making that trip Monday night. They got a lot more out of the trip than some southern home cookin'.