- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The NFL circus is moving to Eden Prairie, Minn., to chronicle the latest comeback of Brett Favre, the good, old vacillator with a whole lot of drama in him.

No one is happier about that than Michael Vick, who was up against being emotionally fatigued from having to tell everyone in the circus not to be like Mike.

Favre and Vick. Vick and Favre. The Bomber and the Beast.

As it turns out, they are the two dominant storylines of the preseason. They are an unlikely pair to carry the NFL into September.

The Bomber is the serial gunslinger who never has looked off a wide receiver dealing with two defenders. The Beast is the ugly face of dogfighting, the object of universal scorn, the beaten and bowed looking to forge a second act.

Who would have thought these two would be joined in media matrimony three weeks ago? One was retired yet again, and the other was thought to be radioactive, unfit to be unveiled in a public forum.

All this must be killing Terrell Owens, the self-loving wide receiver who ought to have a mirror mounted in his helmet.

They are wasting no memorabilia time in Minnesota. An assortment of Favre’s Vikings jerseys went on sale soon after his plane landed.

Favre was shuttled to the Vikings’ practice facility in an SUV driven by coach Brad Childress. Fans mobbed the vehicle, taking shots of the quarterback with their camera phones, which was fitting in a way.

Favre has become something of a rock star these past few seasons, and he is almost as demanding as one. He undoubtedly will be equipped with a private locker in Minnesota, which had been his standard dressing procedure last season.

He is one of the guys in appearances only, usually after completing a touchdown pass when the celebratory little boy in him, contrived or not, comes out.

Lots of NFL fans are worn out from Favre. But that is not all Favre’s fault. That, too, is the fault of the 24/7 media marketplace with an insatiable appetite to find news or anything that passes as news and then talk it into submission.

That has been Vick’s lot since coming in from the dogfighting cold.

Vick’s dip into self-introspection before James Brown on “60 Minutes” possibly moved even the most jaded.

Brown: “Do you understand why people are outraged?”

Vick: “I understand why. And I’m going to say it again. Sickens me to my stomach. And it was, you know, the same thing that I’m feeling right now.”

Brown: “And the feeling you’re feeling right now is?”

Vick. “Disgust. Pure disgust.”

That was Vick baring his soul, making no excuses, taking the blame, all the blame.

He cried in his prison bunk at night. He thought about the actions that led him there. He thought about everything that he threw away. And it made him sick. And it made him cry. And it made him reassess who he was.

Brown: “Losing a $135 million contract - doesn’t matter?”

Vick: “It don’t matter. It don’t matter. I deserve to lose that because of what I was doing.”

Vick and Favre are embarking on a compelling journey. A quarterback controversy is in the offing in Philadelphia and nothing against Donovan McNabb. And the two Vikings-Packers meetings qualify as must-see events.

“We always look forward to playing the Vikings,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said after learning that Favre was in a position to torment his old team. “If he’s going to play, that obviously is his choice.”

Well, yeah. It is his choice. And it is nice to know that you always look forward to playing the Vikings.

His is so much coach-speak. What he meant to say is: “I knew that darn guy would be back because he wants to stick it to us.”

It promises to be good stuff.

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