About 10 minutes into Joe Buck's interview with Brett Favre, the quarterback began to speculate on his prospects with the Minnesota Vikings.
He loves the offense, as it's the same one he ran for 16 seasons in Green Bay.
He'd have a running back, Adrian Peterson, who looks like a future Hall of Famer.
And the defense doesn't suck, either. That went without saying.
"We should be pretty good," he said.
We. Hold up. We? Who's we?
In that moment, Favre gave himself up. For all his down-home, "aw-shucks" charm, the once-beloved quarterback came across as something of a schemer. Now that he's talked, it's even more difficult to believe this arrangement with Minnesota hasn't been in the works for a while. Favre didn't come off as fickle, so much as sneaky. What's more, you can understand why the Packers filed tampering charges against the Vikings almost a year ago.
The theme of HBO's inaugural "Joe Buck Live" was sports and celebrity. It's an interesting topic, though not a new one. And while ballplayers tend to be treated more graciously and adoringly than other American celebs, I'll concede that their lives have been complicated in this intrusive, mean-spirited and occasionally hilarious age of blogging and cell-phone photography.
But I refuse to be offended by the reporter doing his stand-up in front of Favre's house in Mississippi. God bless him. He's earning a semi-honest living. Nor am I concerned that this guy's editors are having him Twitter when Favre gets on the plane. So what?
Brett Favre isn't an innocent bystander. He brought this on himself. As regards his whereabouts and intentions, he's been running one misdirection play after another. With this interview now in evidence, it seems that most of what he's been denying and no-commenting is true.
Yes, he wants to play for the Vikings.
That's why he had arthroscopic shoulder surgery almost three weeks ago. And that's why the Vikings team trainer flew out to meet with him on Sunday.
And yes, head coach Brad Childress wanted him to attend organized team activities last week. "He wanted me to be there to be part of the team," said Favre.
This sound like a guy who hasn't made up his mind?
Bottom line, after a season of scheming, Favre has finally found a way to get to the Vikings — the last place the Packers (who had ample justification) wanted him to be.
Now Favre complains of reporters and talk show hosts who seek to "create controversy."
Nonsense. This controversy is a creature of his own creation. Worse still, for a year and a half now, he's jerked a lot of people around. First, it was the Packers — whose front office bent over backwards for him — and their fans. Then it was the Jets and theirs.
No, my heart doesn't bleed for Woody Johnson and the geniuses who run the Jets' business affairs. Just as Favre used them, they used him — to sell personal seat licenses. But what of those fans who bought those PSLs based on Favre? He quit on them after a season, told them he was retiring when in fact he was not. They have a right to feel betrayed. Now consider the fans in Green Bay. They feel that same betrayal — times 16.
"I wonder if you worry about tarnishing your legacy in the league by coming back, going away, coming back?" asked Buck.
"I think the 16 years I spent in Green Bay speak for themselves," said Favre.
And I think that answer was an unwitting lesson in the real price of celebrity. The man who's been too famous for too long, risks losing touch. He starts believing he can jerk everybody around — then declare himself shocked at the repercussions.
According to Favre, the vast majority of people "don't give a s---" where he goes.
I don't think that's true. People cared about this guy, what he did and what he stood for. That's the real shame here. Brett Favre, the ballsiest of all quarterbacks, has managed to turn himself into just another celebrity
On the Mark: Favre's just another scheming celeb - FOX Sports on MSN