A friend posed this question about Brett Favre: Was he worth it?

Was he worth the money? The headaches? Was it the right decision to bring him in for two years, one of which was brilliant but ended in frustration, and the other which never veered from frustration?

Because he just finished the most pathetic season of his career and brought the Vikings crashing to earth, and because he did so while endlessly praising himself and focusing on his career achievements _ because he might be the most self-centered human in an industry filled with self-centered humans _ it’s easy to say that the Vikings should have passed on him before the 2009 season and saved themselves a lot of trouble.

Even though Favre drove me nuts, I have to say that it was worth it, that the Vikings were absolutely right to give this a shot.

Favre almost reached a Super Bowl the Vikings well could have won. He gave us one of the most dramatic and compelling seasons in franchise history. He gave us lots to talk about. And he became a fascinating psychological study, in good times and bad.

I’d do it all again. Sport is entertainment, and the guy frequently entertained.

He's fascinating. Just not always in a good way.



One of the problems with interviewing athletes is that sometimes they answer. And often, when they speak, they make little sense.

I’m in favor of the Vikings hiring Leslie Frazier, but not for the reason most Viking players give for hiring him: That he played in the NFL.

What a stupid concept. I’d say 98 percent of the players who make it to the NFL should never be considered as NFL head coaches.

The best coach in the NFL, Bill Belichick, didn’t play in the NFL. He was a college lacrosse player. A college lacrosse player! (He played football, too, at Wesleyan, but he was better at lacrosse.)

The second-best coach in the NFL, Andy Reid, didn’t play in the NFL.

Let’s see, Mike Tomlin, who is extremely popular with players, didn’t play in the NFL. He became the youngest head coach ever to win a Super Bowl.

I could go on, but you get the point.

So stop saying you like Frazier because he played in the league. It’s like saying J.R. Rider is qualified to be an NBA coach because he played in the league.



Glad to see the Wild win a few games recently, because if they hadn’t, Todd Richards might be gone by now, and that would be ridiculous.

If you’re going to hire an inexperienced coach to take over what is essentially a rebuilding team, you’d better show a little patience.


Remember when Gophers women’s basketball mattered? I do. Lindsay Whalen made it a must-watch program.

There may be help on the way. I’ve been watching Rachel Banham play basketball since she was a little girl in Lakeville, and next year she’ll be a freshman at the U.

She played point guard for the Lakeville North team that won the state title last year. She is remarkably skilled and poised, and she plays with great flair. It’s hard to imagine another Whalen resurrecting the program, but Banham at least will be highly entertaining.

(By the way, Banham’s father, Don, works security for Vikings games.)


A billboard in Detroit on Monday morning displayed this score:

Michigan State 34, Wisconsin 24.

Not that Sparty lives in the past.

Wonder when they’ll put the Alabama score up there?


My print and radio colleague Patrick Reusse has been making the point that we haven’t shown a great deal of ambition when it comes to finding football coaches around here, that we seem to have standards low enough that we’re willing to accept Jerry Kill and Leslie Frazier - a MAC coach and an interim coach who went 3-3.

Maybe I’m a sucker for a good story, but I like both hires.

Now, Joel Maturi hired Kill because he had no chance at luring a big-name coach to the U, but he may have lucked out with Kill, a real coach who should at least return the Gophers to relevance.

And I don’t hold it against Frazier that he went 3-3 under these circumstances. His quarterbacks were a battered, weary Brett Favre, a perpetually discombobulated Tarvaris Jackson and a rookie out of UAB.

I like both of their back stories. They both grew up poor and worked diligently to climb through the coaching ranks. I’d rather give a chance to someone with that profile than a ``star’’ coach who may have nothing more going for him than name recognition, and who may be looking for nothing more than a bridge to a luxurious retirement.


One of my favorite bands, the Twin-Cities based Jayhawks, are getting back together, and will play on Jan. 29 at First Avenue.


Going through security in Detroit today, I saw a nice-looking middle-aged woman patted down - well, actually, it was more of a full-body rub-down - by a TSA agent.

Someday, I want to live in America again.


Am I the only person in town who thinks that the Wolves are suddenly the most intriguing team in town?


Upcoming: I’ll be on 1500espn at 2:40 p.m. today through Friday, and I'll be watching the Gophers trying to win their first Big Ten game on Tuesday.


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