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Vikes / Favre Ought Take a Mulligan

Posted By Steven Keys On Apr 1 2011 @ 5:16 pm In Minnesota Vikings | 3 Comments

Mul-li-gan: a free shot sometimes given a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly hit (Merriam-Webster).

I don’t golf.  I may be the only man in America not living under a bridge who doesn’t hit the links come springtime.  But I know the golf term, mulligan.  When a tee-shot is so bad, so uncharacteristic it’d be hasty and foolish to play it through.  So you give yourself a do-over, a mulligan.  Forget the stroke and take another swing at the ball.

Rather than trolling for a new QB, the Minnesota Vikings should be taking a mulligan for their disastrous 2010 and have another swing at it with Mr. Favre.  It wouldn’t be a free shot ($20 million) but it would give ‘em a real shot at contending once NFL 2011 kicks-off.

Minnesota wasn’t the only pre-season hopeful that pulled a Rodney Dangerfield, a la Caddyshack.  It proved to be the year of favored-flops as Cincinnati and Dallas both missed the early cut.  Slow starts by the Giants and Chargers took them off the leaderboard while clumsy final rounds by Saints and Steelers topped-off a lackluster NFL 2010 season.

Vikes’ troubles began with the brutal hits heaped on # 4 in the NFC title game.  The ankle injury he suffered lingered-long while top target Sidney Rice was hip-hobbled.  Moss was added to fill the void, quickly imploded, the team tanked, Chilly got the hook, the roof collapsed, Brett broke-down and his long, storied journey ended with a strange, unsettled silence.

Why would Brett Favre return for another season?

For starters, he didn‘t hold up his end.  Zygi Wilf paid him a king’s ransom for 2010 and, as hard as he tried, he didn’t perform: missed games, injuries, INTs up & TDs down.

By the time Leslie Frazier was tabbed, the Suits should’ve been floating the idea about a 2011 return. The dearth of top-prospects and tested vets has been well-know for months.

When Brett left Green Bay, Rodgers was ready and Jets had Sanchez lined-up.  Barring a family protest or serious health issue, Favre owes the QB-beset Vikings a true 2nd season.

I’m not blind to the physical & mental pain Favre endured in 2010.  He could’ve had a chapter in JFK’s Profiles in Courage.  And it’s hard to know where exactly his skills are at, given the injuries that dogged him all season long.  What is known is that, absent any concussion issue, he’d likely begin a 2011 season in better shape than he began 2010.

As for the Sterger saga, only lawyers and Favre-haters have any interest in what legal residue remains.  He might be better off back on the gridiron while it plays out.

With age comes aches & pains but also a new perspective.  Pride, ambition, vengefulness can all wane and give way to an easier, pragmatic outlook.  If Brett hasn’t yet fully mellowed, I‘d think recent events (Saints NFC game / 2010 collapse / Green Bay’s breezy title run) would be motivation plenty to lace ‘em up one more time.

With roof repaired, a sane 2011 schedule, a healthier squad and familiar coach there’s no reason these Vikings couldn’t get back into the mix with a savvy QB under center.  But who is that QB: McNabb, Kolb, Palmer?  Big question-marks all.  Given the current bare market for capable signal-callers, Favre’s easily the best choice to lead the Vikes in 2011.

The window of opportunity closes quickly in the NFL.  The Vikes remain a talented but senior team, meaning, this crew can’t afford the time to groom a Joe Webb, Rhett Bomar or draftee while the Pack and Saints charge hard to build a dynasty.  If rostered, veteran Pat Ramsey merits a start but with Favre the groundwork’s already laid in playbook & rapport.

It’s time to go for the green (and the gray) and give Brett a jingle, Minnesota.  When he refuses, politely remind him: the Pack handed ya’ your hat, Jets cut ya’ loose but we rolled out the red carpet, amigo.  There’ll be plenty of time to hunt grouse and whack Titleists after you’ve hung up the football cleats.  This year, we need ya’ back, brother.

Keys to Sport

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