Favre's Return Derails Glennon's NFL Dream
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Sean Glennon cannot be angry at Brett Favre. Chances are Favre doesn't know how he crushed the former Virginia Tech quarterback's dream. It wasn't his fault. He wanted to play football again and somebody had to go. This is the way of football: one man's opportunity is another's demise. If Favre was going to be a Minnesota Viking, Glennon would have to go home.
This was June, back when television networks camped on the road outside Favre's Mississippi home waiting for a signal that he had deemed his surgically repaired shoulder healthy enough to play professional football again. Glennon was the fourth quarterback on the Vikings roster, a long shot, yet hopeful he had learned enough and tried enough in the spring minicamps and OTAs that perhaps the team would consider putting him on its practice squad at the end of training camp. It wasn't much as far as dreams go, but Glennon is a realist. He knew as an undrafted quarterback this was probably the best he could expect.
And it seemed as if the Vikings liked him well enough. Though the game was much faster than college and the adjustments were tough, his three months in Minnesota weren't unusual for a player who had never been in the NFL. In fact, he had just finished a meeting with Kevin Rogers, the team's quarterback coach, going over the work he needed to do in preparation for training camp and was about to head to the airport to fly home to Centreville when Rick Spielman, the Vikings vice president of player personnel asked him to come to his office.
"It's never good when that happens," Glennon said this week.
Once in Spielman's office, the executive told Glennon that they liked his work and his attitude but that they expected Brett Favre to be coming and they had to let someone go. Obviously, as the last quarterback on the roster, Glennon was the one who had to leave.
Glennon was stunned. He had heard some of the rumblings in the press and among players that Favre might want to play in Minnesota but he didn't give the rumors much thought. The closer training camp came, the harder it seemed to believe that Favre would return.
Glennon flew home hoping that Favre would change his mind. And when it appeared that Favre did, right before the start of camp, Glennon made some calls to the Vikings, just to see if they were interested. They seemed vague. They didn't need someone right then. Maybe later. They would be in touch. Looking back, Glennon thinks he should have realized the Vikings expected Favre was coming back .
Not that it matters anymore. With camps underway and the other teams set at quarterback there are no opportunities for Glennon. He has little else to do but stay at his parent's home and throw passes to his father. Several times a week he goes over to Westfield High School and throws to the players there. Otherwise, he lifts weights, runs and waits for the phone to ring. Each strange area code that shows up on his phone sends a sudden jolt through his heart. But as of yet no one else has called.
Glennon isn't bitter. He said he wants that to be made clear. He doesn't want to whine. He does not hate Favre. Nor is he mad at the Vikings. One of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of football wants to play for them, of course they were going to say yes. He understands fully why he was the one cut. He was the loser in a numbers game. It's a reality almost every player has to someday face. Glennon simply learned the harsh lesson earlier than most.
"It's a little disheartening," he said. "But I try to stay positive and pray that something else will work out. I pray that Minnesota won't be my only opportunity."
The irony of all of this is that he did have other opportunities. When the draft was over, his agent Lamont Smith, got calls from a few teams including Pittsburgh and Houston. In the flurry of offers that came in the hour after the draft's end, the Vikings seemed like the best opportunity. He grabbed it.
It turned out to be the worst for him. But who knew? This is the way it happens sometimes.
"The hardest part is the uncertainty," he said. "You just never know what's going on behind the scenes anywhere. You don't know if something is out there and they will call or not."
Such is life when Brett Favre comes out of retirement to take your dream.