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Favre, Vick: The NFL Will Survive And Thrive With Or Without You

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The "will he or won't he saga" of whether Brett Favre would play football again — and more specifically for the Minnesota Vikings — this season has been one of the biggest stories in sports this year.

NFL 1-20-2008 Giants at Green Bay 23-20And not favre, er, far behind is another quarterback in a quandary story, convicted felon Michael Vick.

The folks in Minnesota had not only opened their arms to Favre the former Vikings killer, but fully expected him to lead them to the Super Bowl Promised Land. "Our kingdom, our kingdom for a quarterback," they cried.

Only Brett does what Brett does best. Take care of Brett. Despite coach Brad Childress' groveling and texts and phone calls from defense end Jared Allen and others on the Vikes, the Wrangler-clad Hamlet of Mississippi decided not "to be" this fall. Probably. Maybe.

After a day or so of gnashing of teeth on sports radio, a funny thing happened. The Vikings are opening training camp and no one now seems to care. Like a Sony Betamax, fans have moved on to something else that's more interesting and more useful in their lives. Like trading in their clunker for a chunk of federal jack.

And not necessarily dog killer Michael Vick.

Carolina Panthers v Atlanta FalconsHe's allegedly on the verge of a deal with some poor sucker of an NFL team that is willing to take a chance on a QB that hasn't played in two years, can't throw from the pocket, is on indefinite suspension, and, oh, by the way, may be the most hated man in American sports for torturing and killing dogs in his care. Not just PETA hates him but just about anyone with a dog. And lots of dog owners — like me — are also big NFL fans.

What Favre and Vick forget is that as much as we NFL fans love our stars, we love the game even more. And plenty of great stars who didn't kill dogs and didn't jerk around teammates, fans, coaches, and the media have left the NFL and its survived. The league survived the retirements of Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Emmitt Smith. It will survive the eventual retirement of Tom Brady.

Number 4 and Number 7, you guys are just so yesterday. The games will continue — with or without you.

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