Friday, October 29, 2010

Have a seat, Brett

In case you haven’t noticed, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has been besieged from all areas of his life over the past two weeks. The investigation into the “sexting” scandal is ongoing, with Favre having met with NFL security last week and his accuser, former New York Jets employee Jenn Sterger, considering a meeting with the league to give her version of the saga. Then last Sunday, Favre was utterly inept in the stadium where he was revered for sixteen seasons, resulting in his head coach throwing him under the bus.

But the one reliable aspect of Favre’s career, his never missing a start under any circumstances (injuries, family tragedy, etc.), may come to an ignominious end this Sunday. After Favre fractured his left ankle in last Sunday’s games against the Green Bay Packers, there is serious doubt he will be allowed to continue his incomprehensible streak, which stands at 315 consecutive games (including playoffs).

It’s quite obvious that Favre’s on-field play has already been a detriment. He’s had two games this season where he has thrown three interceptions, both four-point losses (Week 2 to the Miami Dolphins and last week versus the Packers). You can also look at the game against the Jets on Monday Night Football a few weeks ago. With the Vikings trailing 22-20 in the fourth quarter, Favre overthrew a wide open Percy Harvin on a screen pass on third and short yardage. Had that play been successful, Harvin might have scored, or at least got the Vikes into field goal range.

A common retort would be that the Vikings wouldn’t have even been that close in any of those three games had Tarvaris Jackson been the starting quarterback. That’s a fair point. But who knows? Jackson has only had a total of nineteen career starts in his 4-1/2 NFL seasons. That’s barely more than one full season’s worth, which is hardly a fair gauge of the guy’s potential.

So am I saying it’s time to usher in the T-Jack era? Yes, at least in this Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. It’s painfully obvious that Favre has been a liability thus far, and only the stigma of “the streak” has allowed him to continue playing when it’s plain to see that he is showing every day of his 41 years. Plus, Jackson is coach Brad Childress’s guy. Remember when Chilly was so insistent that the Vikes trade up to the second round of the 2006 draft just to land Jackson, even though few other teams projected him as high as the third round? The head coach must have seen something in Jackson to warrant such a move, so it’s high time Childress go with the courage of his convictions and finally give Jackson the start.

This doesn’t mean Favre should never start another game this season. But at least when he’s rehabbing his injured ankle in an effort to regain his starting job, he’s doing so for the sole purpose of helping his team and not fortifying his ego to continue an unprecedented record.


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