On the radar: Semantics of Favre's return

A player, coach or issue that should be on your radar as training camp approaches.

It has always seemed likely that quarterback Brett Favre would return to the Minnesota Vikings for the 2010 season. His May 21 ankle surgery solidified that belief, as did coach Brad Childress' implication that Favre would be welcomed whenever he is ready to return.

The last remaining question will be answered in the coming weeks: How will the Vikings characterize Favre's near-certain absence from camp? Remember, Favre is technically a member of the Vikings' 80-man roster. Will they claim he needs more time to determine his future? Will they announce he has been excused? Or will they provide no explanation at all?

This issue might not matter to you as long as Favre is on the field Sept. 9 at New Orleans. Every indication suggests he will be. But as someone who's always on the lookout for disingenuous activity, I'm curious how this game will play out.

In explaining why Favre missed last weekend's mandatory veteran minicamp, coach Brad Childress suggested Favre is still "batting around retirement in his mind." To put it nicely, I would classify that explanation as less than the full story.

Look, we in the media -- and, in turn, fans at large -- get lied to all the time while covering the NFL. Teams have morphed into propaganda machines that play cat-and-mouse with the simplest points of information. (I find that approach particularly amusing when teams seeking public funding for new stadiums refer to themselves as civic institutions, but I digress.)

I get it. That's the way this league works. Many of us media types would be out of a job if no reporting, translation or interpretation was needed. In this instance, however, I'm hoping the right people will step up and tell us the truth when Favre misses training camp -- rather than play us for the history-challenged fools they probably think we are.