The start of the 2009 football season has begun with a firestorm of controversy.
First, there was the return of disgraced one-time Atlanta Falcon, Michael Vick to the Philadelphia Eagles. Amid protests and ill-feelings, Vick will be playing alongside some of the most mature and distinguished men, both on the field and off. Personally, I think it is an excellent move for the Eagles organization to welcome Vick and take a chance on him. Jesus says, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone (at her).”–John 8:7 (NIV). Certainly, we all have our faults. And, it is a great thing to see forgiveness in motion through the actions of the Eagles franchise.
However, as someone who is a die-hard football fan, it is hard to understand or even sympathize with Brett Favre’s actions for the past two years. When it comes to football and the position of quarterback, Favre is legendary. This will be his 19th season. He has thrown for 464 touchdowns and 5,720 completions in his illustrious career. Impressive!
What is not impressive is his indecisiveness about the game off the field. Sure, football is an enticing sport. As an avid life-long football fan, the lure of the game is easy to see. But, this is the second time in two years that his decision to stage a comeback and play “one-last-time” will have caused upheaval with a team, its roster and possibly its morale.
Teams practice during the off-season. They bond and learn how to play well as a team. One person, regardless of how good he or she is, has never made a team. With all his ability and skill, even Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman to win a championship. The same thing can be said for the Minnesota Vikings. They have great players in running back Adrian Peterson, quarterback Tavarius Jackson, and others who have worked together to develop a playing style that could arguably carry them to the playoffs—without Favre.
With the addition of Favre, there is more media circus than there is a team environment. Favre has missed training camp and practice. No matter how good one player is, if the team wants to win, then collectively they have to find a way to work in tandem. For the second year in a row, Favre has symbolically turned his nose at the notion of teamwork, instead favoring his own selfish glory. Now the Vikings are stuck with a seemingly self-centered QB who favors the limelight more than the concept of being part of a team.
Between the two quarterbacks, Vick seems like the better deal. But, this season has yet to play out and as Favre has continued to prove, it’s still anyone’s game.