Lessons for Favre in Suffolk

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Throughout Suffolk for the past few hot, humid weeks, a lot of high school kids have been out in the blazing temperatures practicing away at football, field hockey, cross country, soccer, tennis and golf.

Yes, even golf is a big test. Go out in the midday heat and lug a bag around and try to concentrate to the best of your ability for five hours. There’s not much left in the tank by the end of the afternoon.

From the all-district running back to someone on the fourth string or a kid experimenting with golf for the first time, it takes some level of commitment to give up time and energy, let alone a big chunk of a summer vacation.

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In football in particular, sacrifice, dedication and commitment are always favorite words for coaches. Apparently, the Minnesota Vikings don’t go with the same pep talk. At least the Vikings can’t go back to it for a long while now.

Sure, it can be argued Brett Favre has earned the ability to blow off his new team, even while the new team is willing to pay him up to $12 million.

Looking at the last few seasons though, is Favre so good, so much better than other NFL quarterbacks, that he could ignore his new teammates? That he could ignore everything all other quarterbacks are expected to do during the offseason?

As soon as the Vikings were done with training camp and spending camp in dorms at a college in Mankato, Minn., Favre was in a private jet up from Mississippi ready to assume the starting quarterback spot, which the Vikings wholeheartedly gave him without so much as one day of practice or a preseason game.

Will the Viking players follow a quarterback who thought so little of them that he skipped all of the summer workouts, video sessions and even just being around to learn everyone’s names?

Let’s not forget the Jets. The Jets released Favre one year into a two-year contract after Favre’s second retirement. In hindsight, the Jets should’ve said, “That’s nice Brett, but we’ll keep this contract nice and safe in this file cabinet. Maybe it’ll be a collector’s item one day.”

At least Green Bay got to make a trade and get something for Favre once he was too old and tired for a Packers training camp, but good-to-go for Sundays. The Jets got squat.

If the Jets had Favre still on the roster, maybe they would draft differently, sign different free agents and do other things with a different plan in mind. Same with the Vikings, had Favre signed sometime from January to July. Favre is a great player — well, at this point more like an above-average player — but whole franchises shouldn’t revolve around him.

Maybe he could learn something about commitment from the boys and girls in Suffolk.