There's been a lot of talk about what the Minnesota Vikings should do about their injured and struggling quarterback. Coach Brad Childress expressed his frustration after the game last night which demonstrated the predicament that he's in -- what seems to be best for his team right now is to move ahead without Favre as the starter. But how can Childress decide to bench the Hall of Famer who is nursing a winning streak first and a battered body second? No matter if it's the right decision for the Vikes, Childress would appear as the villain if he snapped Favre's streak this weekend. Which is why Favre needs to step up and announce his intent to sit out the game by his own will.
I still remember when Cal Ripken, Jr. decided it was time to sit out a game -- it happened on a Friday night that was only memorable because it was the day Ripken trusted his instinct and sat down. Favre should do the same. In fact, this decision is even more obvious than Ripken's since it won't be coming out the blue and comes at a time when people are emotionally ready to send him Favre off the field. Who knows, maybe the Vikes are even better off without Favre and this would be perceived as a kind, selfless act, something Favre could use right about now.
In that way, Favre would be acting like Mad Men's Don Draper who, instead of letting bad news dictate his fate, gets out in front of the dreadful story and spins it to make himself appear in control. Favre can still emerge from his bad start of the season with a justifiable explanation, as long as he is the one telling it and releasing word that he's hobbled and unable to perform at his best this week. Moreover, it's the best thing for his team and saves his coach from having to deliver the news himself on uncomfortable terms for everyone. Favre's announcement would change the narrative that's been developing over the first half of the season, but it depends entirely on how the gunslinger handles himself in the next 48 hours. Is he willing to take a backseat for the sake of his team and his legacy? Or does the streak matter more to him than anything else?
There reaches a point this week where Childress would have to make the call instead if Favre doesn't act first. If it comes to that, Childress should yank his quarterback from the lineup. At that point, it wouldn't only be a result of Favre's poor play; it would send the requisite message that the man has put himself ahead of his team one time too many.
This article originally ran on The Sports Nook Blog.