MILWAUKEE – Does Brett Favre really want to play quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings – or is he simply willing to jump at any chance to play against Green Bay and prove a point to the man who traded him, general manager Ted Thompson?
That doesn’t seem to be a particularly important question in the Twin Cities right now, where the potential signing of Favre is seen as the final piece in an otherwise Super Bowl-ready roster. The chance to tweak a division rival makes it even juicier.
Even Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – perhaps forgetting that he’d need to pick up a vote or two in Wisconsin if he runs for president in 2012 – called the potential Favre signing “a wonderful little salt to rub in the eyes of some of our Green Bay Packer friends” on Wednesday.
“Can you imagine Brett Favre going into Lambeau Field in Viking purple and maybe even wearing No. 4?,” Pawlenty asked. “There would be audible gasps.”
Right now, the collective sound emanating from Wisconsin is a loud, protracted groan.
The 39-year-old Favre, who is a free agent after retiring for the second time in as many years and being released by the New York Jets, is scheduled to meet with Minnesota coach Brad Childress this week to discuss the possibility of playing for the Vikings.
Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, told USA TODAY that Favre remains retired, said he wasn’t aware of any meeting with Childress, and denied that Favre would return simply out of spite.
“If he came back, it would be because he wants another chance to win a Super Bowl,” Cook said.
For now, much remains unclear about Favre’s situation, including just how much he has left to give. He was awful at the end of last season, and apparently hasn’t had surgery to fix an arm injury that might explain his subpar play.
And he shouldn’t expect his former Packers teammates to take it easy on him.
Packers linebacker Nick Barnett posted on his Twitter account Wednesday that Favre should “do whatever he feels is in his heart” – as long as he’s prepared for Packers players to treat him like the enemy.
“Once he puts (on) that purple, he will become an enemy which is all part of the game,” Barnett said. “It’s hard to imagine him doing that.”