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Continued: Favre a Viking? Vikings don't sound interested

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: February 12, 2009 - 11:07 AM

Even before Brett Favre announced his retirement Wednesday, there seemed to be little interest in the Vikings trying to make a deal with the Jets for the services of the veteran quarterback.

As one person close to the Vikings said the other day, "If you acquired him, you wouldn't know if he would help you or hurt you."

Yes, the fact he retired once and came back doesn't mean he won't do it again.

Other questions: If Favre should change his mind, what team would be on the hook for his $13 million salary for the 2009 and 2010 seasons? And what are the chances of signing him and how well could he play?

Since the Jets would have to give at least one draft choice to the Packers if they traded him to the Vikings, that would be another negative. That draft choice would have to come from the Vikings.

Favre did start out well with the Jets, throwing six touchdown passes to tie a Joe Namath record in a 56-35 victory over NFC champion Arizona and he had some other good games. However, after the season-ending loss against Miami, discomfort in his arm turned out to be a torn biceps tendon that would heal without surgery.

On the positive side, there isn't any doubt that the Vikings wanted to acquire Favre last season. They are still looking for a quarterback, and good quarterbacks appear to be lacking both in the draft and through free agency.

There remains the question of selling tickets next year after the Vikings had a difficult time selling out the playoff game against Philadelphia.

No doubt a healthy Favre would create a new market for season tickets.

But from the sound of Favre's announcement, he sounded a lot more serious about retirement than before.

Stay tuned. There is no doubt the Vikings would have interest in a healthy Favre given the right conditions, including a reasonable contract and not having to give up any draft picks.

Tucker honored

When Trent Tucker's jersey was retired at the Gophers-Indiana men's basketball game Tuesday, the star of the 1982 Big Ten champions recalled how well the team had to play at the end to win the title.

"There were four games left in the Big Ten season, and we were two games out of first place," Tucker said. "We had to go on the road and play at Michigan and Iowa, we beat Michigan on a Thursday-type deal, and then Illinois did us a great favor by knocking off Iowa on that Thursday night. And then that setup the showdown in Iowa City for a one-game situation between the Gophers and the Hawkeyes. And we were able to win that game in triple overtime and that put us in a position to win the Big Ten championship."

Tucker had a lot of good words to say about former coach Jim Dutcher, who took part in the halftime ceremony Tuesday.

"Jim Dutcher is a great man," he said. "I had a pleasure playing for him as a basketball player -- he instilled so much in us in terms of how to get better not only as players, but as men. So, I was very, very lucky to have Jim Dutcher as my head coach."

How did a resident of Flint, Mich., who is a good basketball player wind up playing for the Gophers?

"They always say if you're good enough to play basketball, they can find you, but the real key reason was Jessie Evans, the assistant coach at that time under Jim Dutcher," Tucker said. "I had known him for a very long time growing up in Flint, and when he came to join Jim Dutcher's staff, he was one of the main reasons why I chose Minnesota.

"Yeah, he recruited me very, very heavily. He told me, 'Trent, if you don't come to Minnesota, it may cost me my job.' "

Tucker, who got his degree from Minnesota in 2006, is vice president of community outreach and youth development at the U. He is impressed with this year's team.

"They are a very good team when they get out and trap and press and force turnovers and get into transition where they can get some easy baskets," he said. "I like what [coach] Tubby Smith has been able to do with this team. You know, when you have a head coach like that on the sidelines, the future for your program can only get bigger."

Jottings

Because of the good performance of several minor sports, the Gophers rank 13th in the final fall standings of the Learfield Sports Directors Cup, which recognizes overall achievement in collegiate athletics. They rank third in the Big Ten.

Gophers football coach Tim Brewster believes the addition of junior college receiver Hayo Carpenter from College of the Canyons in California will make Eric Decker even more effective than he has been the past two years, when Decker has been ranked among the top receivers in the nation. Carpenter has track speed and finished last year with 94 receptions.

The Target Plaza, which was unveiled Wednesday and will serve as the front door to the new ballpark, cost the Twins and Target $8 million. The enhancements will allow the Minnesota Baseball Authority to extend the pedestrian bridge to First Avenue. ... The Twins have already sold 100,000 tickets for spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., and are ahead of their record-setting pace in 2008. The Twins open the 2009 Grapefruit League season at Hammond Stadium on Feb. 25 against the Red Sox. ... The Twins have sold 1,500 new season tickets for 2009 at the Metrodome and expect to renew 90 percent of the 2008 season ticketholders. ... The new Target Field pressbox will be named in honor of the late broadcaster Herb Carneal. ... Former star Twins pitcher Jack Morris will remain with the team as a broadcaster and work in public relations.

Trey Davis, the former Farmington all-state offensive lineman and state shot put champion who ended the season as the Gophers' starting center, is on the school's indoor track and field team in the shot put and weight throw. In a meet in Nebraska, he broke the freshmen weight throw record at 60 feet, 1¼ inches. Former Gophers All-America and Big Ten weight throw champion Chad Goldstein has been working with Davis and predicts he will become a conference champion.

The University of Tennessee football staff has Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator, his son Lane Kiffin as head coach and Lane Kiffin's brother-in-law, former Florida quarterback David Reaves, as quarterbacks coach.

Gophers baseball recruit T.J. Oakes, son of Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes, became Jordan High School's career leading scorer in basketball on Monday in the Hubmen's 64-63 victory over Montgomery-Lonsdale. Oakes is averaging 24 points per game. ... Two other sons of coaches are doing well: Jordan Wohler, son of Orono coach Barry Wohler, the former all-around Gophers athlete, is a 6-2 sophomore guard playing for his dad and averaging 21.8 points per game. And Lynx coach Don Zierden's son, Isaiah Zierden, is a freshman guard at Benilde-St. Margaret's with a lot of potential, scoring 12 points Tuesday in a 71-52 victory at St. Francis.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on his Podcast once a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast. shartman@startribune.com

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