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Now we're ready for some football

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Now we're ready for some football
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Now that the 2010 Minnesota Vikings are finally in the same state perhaps we can look forward to some football.

Two big pieces tumbled into Minnesota recently as Brett Favre and Percy Harvin arrived in camp.

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Favre has earned the ire of a lot of Minnesota fans -- and even more fair weather fans -- with his months of procrastination. Mississippi must be a beautiful place because it took three Minnesota players -- Ryan Longwell, Jared Allen and Steve Hutchinson -- to bring Favre back to the land of purple-faced, helmet-wearing, pot-bellied football fanatics.

At a time when the U.S. economy is reeling because big ticket goodies like half-million dollar homes and over-priced SUVs are not hot items, Vikings coach Brad Childress sent two bruisers and a kicker down to bring the elusive Favre back alive. Frank Buck could not have done it better. It might turn out to be the best move Chilly makes all season.

Now that No. 4 is back, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels can look forward to another thrilling season on the sidelines and Joe Webb might have to play receiver after all. It will be interesting to see what Childress has in mind now that Favre is in camp. He has to start preparing a top-flight quarterback for 2011 because old Brett is probably going to make 20 years stick. Having Favre around could help Webb develop into the future starting QB. Webb is the most interesting draft pick in camp. Not only does he have 4.4 speed but he throws the ball very well. You can already see him pulling up on an end-around play and going deep to Harvin, Sidney Rice or Bernard Berrian for six.

Having Harvin in camp is no guarantee that he will be able to play like he did last year when he was the NFL's Rookie of the Year, but it had to boost morale when he showed up. Morale is a factor that is much too overlooked these days.

Football is ultimately a team sport and a team has to spend time together. They have to share the ups and downs and think and act like a team. Favre might not have anything left to prove but he was hurting the team by not making up his mind. Look at all the Viking stars that dodged the season opener with St. Louis last Saturday in addition to Favre -- Rice, Peterson, Shiancoe and Harvin -- these guys were essential to the team's success last year. Some of these guys were banged up so resting them was a prudent move, but there are others who just did not want to risk getting hurt in a meaningless exhibition game.

If there was not so much money to be made by the owners, the NFL exhibition season would have been dropped long ago. Coaches get chance to look at their players in a game situation and test their rookies while ownership is raking in the dough, but the veterans come out of it with nothing but bruises. Some of them come out of it with a career-ending or season-ending injury because some 350-pound lineman fell on them after the whistle. Do you really think a guy like Peterson is not going to make the team?

You could cut the NFL exhibition season to two games and probably do all right for yourself.

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Brian Hansel
(218) 631-2561
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