More than 12 hours ago, it appeared that, by the end of the day, Vikings quarterback Brett Favre would announce his retirement. After all, multiple reports had indicated that Favre was telling team officials and teammates that he plans to call it quits.
As the day unfolded, the situation became far more ambiguous. No press release ever came. An unnamed family member contacted the official Favre scrivener in Biloxi and said that no decision has been made.
So what’s going on? As we’ve been saying all afternoon and evening on radio, it’s a power play. Whether he wants more money or more flexibility or both or something else or all of the above, Favre has the franchise by the nuggets. And, today, he squeezed them.
The Vikings have no choice but to do what he wants. Without him, the Vikings are a one-and-done playoff team, if that much. With him, they can get back to their first Super Bowl in 34 years, and possibly increase their record in the NFL’s ultimate game to 1-4.
Which is quite possibly what their record will be on October 17 after hosting Dallas, if Favre doesn’t play.
And here’s the most important point, which we’ve yet to see anyone else mention. The Vikings are down to their last chance to get a new stadium. If it doesn’t happen in the next legislative session, they’ll finish the 2011 season as geographic free agents, allowing Zygi Wilf to sell the team for more than $1 billion to interests that would possibly move the team right down the block from the purple and gold basketball team that once played in Minneapolis.
So the Vikings have to give Favre what he wants. If he wants more money, he’ll get it. If he wants permission to show up the Friday before the regular-season opener, he’ll get it. If he wants to give coach Brad Childress an atomic wedgie on national television, he’ll get it.
Whatever Favre wants, he’s getting it. Either because he wants it, or simply because he can.
To anyone who thinks it’ll set a bad precedent when it comes to dealing with other players, that ship sailed away last August.