There is only one thing worse than the Tampa Bay Bucs actually pursuing Brett Favre. And that's the Tampa Bay Bucs actually pursuing Brett Favre and then not getting him.
In the wake of Favre stiffing the Bucs and signing with the New York Jets late Wednesday night, Tampa Bay is left with a coach (Jon Gruden) and a general manager (Bruce Allen) who have lost all credibility with their betrayed quarterback Jeff Garcia and probably every player in their locker room.
How appropriate that the Bucs are holding their training camp at Disney's Wide World of Sports. What better place for Gruden to don his Goofy costume and Allen to play his traditional role of Pinocchio?
Allen's performance Friday in front of an overflow media horde at training camp was laughable. Here's the Cliffs Notes version of what he said: The Bucs weren't really even interested in Favre and knew they couldn't get him anyway.
"It was clear they didn't want to send him - from the beginning - to any team in the NFC," Allen said. ". . . We never believed they were going to trade him to the Buccaneers."
At that point, a thousand woodpeckers flew in and lit on Allen's nose.
Seriously, how gullible does Allen think we are? If we are to believe the previous quote, it makes the Bucs look even dumber. Think about it: What Allen is essentially saying is the Bucs knew they couldn't get Favre, but decided it would be a good idea to pursue him anyway, wreck team chemistry, diss Garcia and turn their entire training camp into a circus.
"I can't control the speculation," Allen said, his nose seemingly growing a centimeter per sentence.
First of all, it's not exactly speculation when Favre and his agent both said they were talking to the Bucs. And, secondly, Allen and Gruden could have easily ended the "speculation." All they had to do was say, "We're not interested in Brett Favre. We have a Pro Bowl quarterback who led us to the playoffs last year and his name is Jeff Garcia."
End of speculation.
See how easy that was?
Instead, Gruden is now in the position where he must mend what is certain to be a fractured relationship with Garcia - a quarterback Gruden claimed to "love" so much last year when he signed with the Bucs and led them from 4-12 the previous season to a division title and the playoffs.
It seems Gruden "loves" Garcia so much, he was ready to dump him just so he could play quarterback footsy with Favre.
Gruden is now like the husband who got caught with another woman, gets dumped by the other woman and now has to come crawling home to face the wife and kids. All Gruden can say to Garcia now is: "Forgive me, honey. Brett Favre never really meant anything to me. You're the only quarterback I ever loved."
Now, for entertainment purposes only, we transport you back to Allen's news conference, where a reporter is once again baffled about why the Bucs didn't just end this madness weeks ago by simply saying, "Jeff Garcia is our quarterback."
Allen blathers on for a few seconds and finally ends his answer with, "The American way is competition."
Please, don't associate America with this mess. The only thing American about this debacle is the way the Tampa Bay Bucs red, white and blew it.