Let the charade begin: It's Favre Watch time

by | CBSSports.com National Columnist
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We now move from one overly dramatic, narcissistic, tone-deaf attention hog to another.

It's mid-July. That means the Brett Favre Watch has officially begun.

Oh, goody.

Brett Favre will surely be back in practice regalia for the Vikings ... a few weeks late. (US Presswire)  
Brett Favre will surely be back in practice regalia for the Vikings ... a few weeks late. (US Presswire)  
This is the time when sucker fans, sucker media (including me), and suckup networks (actually that's network ... singular) begin speculating whether Favre will or won't when we all know he will.

The slurping we'll see from Favre's apologists starts now. Favre's fake decision-making has become an eternal spring ritual, like the cherry blossoms in D.C. or a Cincinnati Bengal getting cuffed.

For us non-Favre worshippers, you can only laugh. Just recently ESPN ran a story saying Favre had yet to make a decision about his return. There was no context to the story. It just sat there, on the screen, like elephant droppings in a rose garden.

This is when Favre gives his critics plenty of ammunition. Favre is simply withholding the announcement of his decision to return so he can skip training camp -- or at least a significant portion of it -- thus cloaking his laziness with the faint illusion of indecision.

In the meantime, people will talk about him repeatedly and in his mind that isn't half bad, either.

The fact Favre still won't say what he's doing -- when Favre knows he's coming back -- proves he is still the reigning champion of all things hubris, the Moby Dick of ego who couldn't be sunk with a 1,000 harpoons. LeBron James has nothing on Favre.

"He says he's not sure [about playing] because he doesn't want to go to training camp," the legendary Joe Montana said in a recent published report. "He's smart. I'm sure he already has that agreement with [the Vikings]. Nine chances out of 10 they already know and they've already had this whole conversation and they should just let everybody know because they know he's coming back."

In other words, drop the charade.

"He knows he's going to come back," Montana continued, "but the reason they don't say anything is because he doesn't want to go through training camp. If he didn't have to go through training camp, his decision would already be made, but he should know by now going to training camp isn't going to be hard. They'd never make it hard on him."

There's almost a mocking of Favre in Montana's words. They'd never make it hard on him.

I've covered about seven NFL quarterback greats fairly extensively: Montana, Phil Simms, Peyton Manning, Jim Kelly, Troy Aikman, Tom Brady and Kurt Warner. Just don't see Manning skipping all of training camp if given the chance. Or Brady. Or really any of them, no matter what they may say publicly.

Taking shortcuts wasn't and isn't in their DNA.

For all of Favre's Hall of Fame skills and toughness on the field, he's consistently taken shortcuts off of it, especially in the film room. Favre probably skipping training camp again as he did last year would be yet another example of this.

James may be egomaniacal but at least he showed up to the same practices his teammates did.

And please don't tell me that since Favre's Vikings teammates say they don't have a problem with Favre skipping camp, no one else should. They'd say anything to stay in the good graces of Favre and the organization. Many of the players on the Vikings likely privately think Favre is a walking double standard but are afraid to say so.

It's doubtful Adrian Peterson is happy with the Vikings allowing Favre to skip mandatory minicamps and probably training camp after the way coach Brad Childress publicly chastised Peterson for missing a June camp.

"I think that, first of all, it's a special circumstance," Childress said in June, when asked to compare Favre and Peterson's situations. "I don't think Adrian's batting around retirement in his mind."

That statement is completely and utterly insincere and Childress knows it.

The Vikings report to camp in a few weeks and in the coming days we'll hear plenty about Favre's alleged decision-making when the decision is done. He knows it. The Vikings know it. You know it.

The Brett Favre Watch is back.

Here we go again.

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