As it turns out, last night’s failed effort by coach Brad Childress to bench quarterback Brett Favre wasn’t the first attempt to yank Favre off the field.
Per separate reports from ESPN and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Childress previously tried to pull Favre on two other occasions.
Per ESPN, the first one came on October 5 against the Packers, after Favre audibled to a long pass late in a game that the Vikings led by 10 points with 3:27 to play. We criticized the decision at the time, though it wasn’t clear whether Childress called the deep pass at a time when the Vikes could have milked the clock, or whether Favre had changed the play at the line in order to further “stick it” to Green Bay G.M. Ted Thompson.
Chilldress reportedly was furious, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell persuaded Chilly to chill out.
When Favre learned of the near-benching, he confronted Childress, who blamed it on the emotion of the game.
Then, on November 15, Childress tried to do it again early in a 27-10 win over the Lions.
On the prior two occasions, Favre didn’t say anything about it to he media. This time, however, he popped off — and that apparently caused Chilly to blow a gasket, according to Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Powers believes that he was in the vicinity of the visiting coach’s office last night when Childress learned about Favre’s comments — and that Childress emerged from the office “like a wild man” and “went ballistic.”
Bottom line? It’s a mess right now in Minnesota, and that’s good news for ESPN, since the Monday Night Football slate ends next week with a suddenly spiced-up game between the Vikings and the Bears.