- Mark Kreidler, Page 2
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Brett Favre hasn't made "Tha Decision" yet, although I'm sure that, at some point, he most likely will begin the process of considering whether to ponder doing so. We'll be the first to know.
Terrell Owens doesn't have a team. According to his trustworthy agent, he has so many, many franchises considering him that it may take a while before T.O. is able to sift through all the opportunities awaiting him.
Two fabulous front-line divas, each searching for a final sendoff, or at least a contract.
One quarterback. One receiver.
Am I the only one who sees the glorious possibilities here?
Sure, it'll take some doing. No award-winning theatrical presentation ever goes off without a hitch. But if the Minnesota Vikings play their hand just right, they could wind up with the greatest stage show of 2010.
They're not making it easy. The word out of Minneapolis this week is that there is limited interest (read: none to speak of) among the Vikes' brass in working on a deal for T.O. But they're clearly overlooking Aristotle's six elements of drama -- plot, theme, character, dialogue, rhythm and spectacle -- inherent in such a cast.
Favre to Owens to curtain call, oh my.
Issues? There are issues. Owens has a little history with Minnesota coach Brad Childress going back to their Philly days, and it isn't good. (Stop me if you've heard this one before.) T.O. is coming off a season in Buffalo that was statistically underwhelming. He is 36 years old. He doesn't always, or ever, play well with others.
Favre, meanwhile, hasn't committed to anything yet. He speaks of his rickety ankle and all that, as if hanging out and throwing to high school receivers in Mississippi is just for show. (In which case, Childress just wasted some great Hattiesburg humidity and frequent-flyer miles.) Favre's show generally plays out in a thick, slow-motion soup of activity, and by nature that will allow all sorts of pointless speculation.
But look: Favre's success as a quarterback, especially now at age 40, depends on having a full corps of willing receivers. Owens is willing -- to say nothing of being established as a person who can catch a pass or two. He brings the requisite wide receiver ego to the mix. And didn't Favre say, once upon a time, that he'd love to throw to either Randy Moss or T.O.?
Better late than never, captain.
The demand for Owens' services is unclear, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. T.O. -- despite agent Drew Rosenhaus' upbeat (absurd?) projections about the teams interested in him -- may well be finding that field is limited -- and why wouldn't it be by this stage of his weird, pockmarked career? The Vikings option would swing into play as a preferred destination almost immediately.
The Vikes? They're not crazy, are they? Well, they don't have to be. Take away the window dressing and Minnesota gets a receiver who managed 829 yards and a 15.1 per-catch average last season despite working in Buffalo's chaotic system and seeing head coach Dick Jauron jettisoned in November. And there's the sneaking suspicion -- OK, it's only my suspicion -- that Owens isn't quite done yet.
Owens might have choices, such as Oakland or Chicago (yawn). A couple of more intriguing destinations, Seattle and San Diego, both have already said no thanks. But Minnesota, in addition to being a title contender, can talk about T.O. without appearing to be drunk, because the Vikings already deal with the Favre saga all the time.
In fact, they've been through this before. When Favre was being forklifted into the Vikings' camp last year, the big talk around the NFL was that he would wreck team chemistry and cause dissension among the ranks. While the situations don't compare (does any situation really compare with T.O.?), it's at least worth noting that Minnesota can say yes to alleged controversy and live to reach the NFC title game, as the Vikes did last season behind Favre.
Add Owens to a corps that already includes Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian -- plus tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, a favored target of Favre -- and you've got multiple weapons, multiple egos and multiple storylines. T.O., at this late stage of his career, becomes a potent second option still capable of a high-yardage, high-impact season.
Favre gets a teammate who can make the quarterback's "distractions" appear positively tame by comparison. Owens gets a chance -- yet another chance, I guess you could say -- to establish himself as a player who helps teams, not wrecks them. Childress gets an offense kicked into a slightly higher gear, which makes Minnesota that much tougher to take down over the course of 17 weeks.
And we all get a full raft of season-long entertainment.
T.O. and Brett Favre? That's a little slice of drama heaven. Time to take the production values up a notch.
Mark Kreidler is a longtime contributor to ESPN.com and the author of "The Voodoo Wave," to be published next year by W.W. Norton. His book "Six Good Innings" was named one of the Top 10 Sports Books of 2009 by Booklist. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
21hBy Jackie MacMullan