The only person who will keep Brett Favre from playing for the Vikings this year is Brett Favre himself.
Anybody who believes it is a cinch that Brett Favre will be in training camp when the Vikings start preparing for the 2009 season better not wager too much on that happening.
Yes, a lot of us in the media have written that it's all but a sure thing that the three-time NFL MVP will play quarterback for the Vikings this fall.
Wednesday, Favre told the Associated Press that he won't make up his mind until just before the Vikings open training camp on July 30, with his health the biggest concern.
However, coach Brad Childress is willing to wait for a decision.
"He is pushing to see if he feels like he can make it back. He is not going to play this game unless he can play the way that everybody is used to seeing him play, and it is a work in progress," Childress said earlier this week. "I know everyone gets concerned about, is it the fourth of July, is it the week of the 13th, is it the week of the 20th now, when is it going to be?
"It doesn't have to be a minute before training camp, but I think if he is going to do that, he won't miss a day of training camp."
Childress added, "I think he is a top-five passer in the NFL, and obviously if he has all of his faculties, if he can play the way he wants to, there is no reason he can't be that way."
The big problem is not the Vikings. It's Favre, who can't make up his mind as to what he wants to do, especially to see if he wants to put on an NFL uniform again and take some beatings at age 40.
The Vikings want him badly, both to win games and to sell tickets.
It's no secret that earlier this month, Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman made his second trip to Mississippi to check on Favre, and that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell accompanied Sugarman on the trip. That news was revealed by ESPN and others.
Favre had surgery to repair his biceps tendon May 22, meaning by the time training camp opens 10 weeks will have passed since the operation. The word from those who have watched him work out in Hattiesburg, Miss., is that he has recovered following the surgery and still has the strong arm.
The contract won't be a problem, as it will be heavy on incentives. There will not be a big guarantee.
So stay tuned. Don't believe those stories that Favre has made any definite Twin Cities housing reservations or such. He is telling his best friends that he hasn't made up his mind.Holtz honored
Lou Holtz, one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, is going to be enshrined in to the College Football Hall of Fame this weekend in South Bend, Ind. Holtz coached the Gophers for two years before going on to lead Notre Dame; he was elected to the Hall of Fame last year.
The other day, Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart, who was an assistant under Holtz both with the Gophers and Irish, wrote down the names of nine players who were set to play for Minnesota but instead followed Holtz to Notre Dame, including Tony Rice, the quarterback who helped lead Notre Dame to the 1988 national championship. Gophers football would have been in great shape had Holtz stayed here. Since he left in 1986, the Gophers have had four coaches and at best limited success on the field.Jottings
While the Gophers football team had a lease with the Metrodome, the school baseball team didn't have to pay any rent for practice or playing games there. But now that the football team has moved into TCF Bank Stadium, the baseball team will be charged. The university is negotiating a fee so the team can play its 2010 schedule indoors. ... The group of NFL wide receivers who are working out here with Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald Jr. had their first workout at TCF on Wednesday, and they sang the praises of the great field.
There isn't any doubt that the Gophers lost two of their best football players when safety Tramaine Brock and running back Hasan Lipscomb were ruled ineligible because of academics. Brock, the best defensive back on the team, left school after last season because he was ineligible. And Lipscomb, who couldn't qualify academically and is going to attend a junior college, was recruited by every top Texas school and was known as a scholastic risk.
To my knowledge, the Twins have never signed a player from the St. Paul Saints, as other major league teams have. Maybe the Twins could take a look at former Gophers and major league pitcher Kerry Ligtenberg, who is 0-1 with 12 saves and a 2.96 ERA for the Saints. In 27 1/3 innings, he has given up 18 hits, and opponents are hitting .176 against him.
Former Gophers All-America Victor Almstrom shot a course-record 7-under-par 65 in the final round of the Giant Open to take medalist honors by one stroke in his first tournament as a professional. He finished the 36-hole tournament, an event on the Swedish Mini-Tour, with a 10-under 164. The event was hosted by Swedish pro Robert Karlsson.
Dan Olinger, the Great Falls, Mont., baseball player recruited by the Gophers, is hitting. 393 for his American Legion team. He also has a 7-0 record with a 3.44 ERA on the mound, but he will not pitch for the Gophers. ... Three of the Gophers players selected in last month's baseball draft will not turn pro. Pitchers Scott Matyas, who was drafted in the 29th round by the Yankees, and Cullen Sexton, taken in the 37th round by the Brewers, are set to return for their junior seasons. Outfielder Eric Decker, drafted in the 27th round by the Twins, has not received a contract offer as of yet but will definitely play football for the Gophers this fall regardless of what he does in baseball. ... Tom Buske, a 33rd-round pick by the Marlins, is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA pitching for the Saints, after finishing his Gophers career in June.
Kim Nelson left his post as Edina football coach to take over a similar job at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, S.D. "I wanted to get back to South Dakota, that's where my wife grew up," he said. "And that's where my kids are living. I loved my job at Edina. ... It was just one of those things where my wife wasn't real happy and it was time." Nelson once coached at Sioux Falls Washington. Reed Boltmann, the Edina defensive coordinator, took over as Hornets head coach. "Edina is going to be OK, Reed is going to do a good job," Nelson said.