Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hurt Feelings

There's one line of logic regarding the Brett Favre speculation that I find sort of silly. The thinking goes that by flirting with Favre, the Vikings are sending mean signals to Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, and that these quarterbacks will be so psychologically damaged that if the Vikings don't get Favre, there will be some sort of major problem.

Jackson and Rosenfels are professional adults. I know being a professional adult doesn't make one immune to anxiety, insecurity, or any other negative feelings. It does mean, however, that despite whatever anxiety, insecurity, or negative feelings you may have, you will still need to make a gamely effort at doing your job. I assume Jackson and Rosenfels will.

Kevin Seifert expresses something like the psychological damage thesis:

"The simple act of setting up a meeting with Favre sends a mixed message, at best, to the two quarterbacks they had planned to pit in a training camp competition. Simply by virtue of Tuesday's story, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels already know they're on the brink of being pushed aside -- at least for one year."


"If Favre walks away, or if the Vikings move on because he won't accede to their requests, Childress would be left with the unenviable task of rebuilding the trust of his remaining quarterbacks."

Before any Brett Favre story started, both Jackson and Rosenfels each knew he was "on the brink of being pushed aside." Jackson and Rosenfels can't each earn the starting job; they were going to compete for the starting job. Both men likely believe they will have a chance to compete for the starting job (and acquiring Favre would mean they wouldn't), but neither currently holds a secure starting job. Certainly Seifert recognizes as much in his concluding paragraph, but doesn't diverge from his thesis that the Vikings have "boxed themselves into" something. But it's not that either Jackson or Rosenfels was sitting in a position of security, and have had that security taken away. They were each in a position of insecurity that became more insecure (or, if you prefer, they are now secure in their knowledge that they will be backups).

If Favre doesn't become a Viking, then either Jackson or Rosenfels will start week one. And I suspect the flirtations with Favre in May will have absolutely zero impact on either QB's on-the-field performance in September.


  1. Anonymous8:08 AM

    Thank the Lords of Kobal that there's an English teacher keeping tabs on football writing. Seriously, PV, you do a great job. Keep it up.

  2. Anonymous10:46 AM

    I'm not sure I agree. Football players often have very fragile egos, and they can react like children when they feel they've been disrespected. I'm not sure if Jackson and Rosenfels fit that mold, but I believe it's a legitimate issue.

  3. I'm sort of on the middle on this. While I agree with you that football players should be "professional adults," as you put it, NFL quarterbacks seem to have the most fragile egos in all of sports. Remember Donovan McNabb when Kevin Kolb was drafted? Or Favre when Aaron Rodgers was drafted? Or, more recently, Jay Cutler? Or, closer to home, Brad Childress's endless ego-stroking of Tarvaris Jackson?

    Also, consider that every other position -- save kickers and punters, who typically don't have backups -- is subject to replacement at some time during a game, just to give them a rest or to try a different formation or package. Running backs cycle out, wide receivers report in and out, lineman rotate, linebackers and DBs shift around. When's the last time you saw a QB come out "for a series or two" that wasn't related to injury or ineffectiveness?

    Whether any of that affects on-field performance is debatable, granted, but I thin it affects the quarterback position -- rightfully or not -- more than any other position in all of professional sports.

  4. I don't think comparing the McNabb, the Cutler or the Favre situations to what's happening now is valid. I'm sure Jackson and Rosenfels are annoyed and worried over Childress' supposed interest in Favre. But these are two players that haven't proven they are starting quarterbacks.

    Let's say the Vikings don't get Favre and Rosenfels and Jackson have to battle it out for the starting job. Whomever wins the job should not only be motivated to prove Childress was wrong to court Favre, but they also can't afford to view it any other way. If either guy mopes over some hurt feelings and lets it affect their play, the Vikings just replace them with some other retread in 2010 and Rosenfels' or Jackson's poor play in '09 reduces their chances of getting a starting job anywhere else.

    They don't need to trust Childress. They need to play well for him.

  5. Anonymous12:31 PM

    These players have had everyone kiss up to them since they were elementary age kids. They are spoiled babies! Hurting their feelings is very easy. I think they need to grow a set and get over it.

  6. I agree with DC. Neither Jackson nor Rosenfels has proven he deserves to be handed a starting job; if either thinks he has, he's a bit deluded. It's quite reasonable for the team to look for somebody who has proven he can be a starter; if either Jackson or Rosenfels is offended by that, that's OK. If that taking of offense leads Jackson or Rosenfels to struggle on the field, then as Rod Woodson suggested on the NFL Network, he probably doesn't have what it takes to play the position anyway.

  7. Anonymous4:11 PM

    My perspective is that these "men" need to realize that the Vikings orginization absolutely needs to make a lucid and accurate decision regarding a leader at Quarterback this season.

    One of these players has to take the aggressive lead and show the Vikes coaches that they are undeniably the man to lead this team.

    I don't personally care who it is, step up Sage and step up T-Jack and show all of us that you want to QB this team. I am tired of the molly coddling, learn from your many mistakes while I burp you mentality. Someone take charge.

    If that happens to be Favre, so be it. Although, it will be strange to cheer for the son of a bitch after begging the Vikes defense to maim his country ass for his entire career.