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MINNEAPOLIS (CAP) - Officials for the National Football League have given the Minnesota Vikings approval to outfit their marquis quarterback with a medical alert system for the upcoming football season. Brett Favre, who got a $3.5 million raise to bring his salary this year to over $16 million, will wear a LifeGuard alert bracelet each time he goes under center.
"I'm glad we were able to come to an agreement on this before the start of the season," said Favre's agent, Bus Cook. "Now if [Vikings General Manager Rick] Spielman and I can agree on Brett's term life insurance plan, we'll have all the bases covered."
Cook said Favre's deal also calls for other nonstandard benefits, including a Lark scooter to get to and from the huddle in between downs, negotiable time off for urinary tract infections, and salary protection from scams that prey on the elderly. Vikings coach Brad Childress said he is all for safeguarding their play caller.
"When you got a guy like Brett in his early 70's or whatever, you can never be too careful," Childress said. "Football rules limit how many timeouts we get during a game, so this way if he falls and he really can't get up, he presses that little button and we'll get a call in the booth.
"Plus it gives us a little extra time to get his adjustable bed ready back in the locker room," added Childress.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who came under fire last year when he refused to let Rush Limbaugh buy an NFL team, said he was hesitant to approve the medical aid because of the potential for misuse during a game. However, he permitted it with the hope that allowing such items will stem the tide of arm replacement surgery that is becoming popular among the league's older quarterbacks.
"The Canadian Football League has been doing it for years, where older guys have their worn-out arms surgically replaced with the arm of a younger cadaver," Goodell told CAP News during a phone interview. "It's not illegal, but it just doesn't make any sense, kind of like saying the ground can't cause a fumble.
"That's a whole other issue right there," Goodwell added. "I mean, either you hold onto the football or you don't. If you're any good, fans should be able to throw crap at you from the stands and you don't drop the football. But I digress."
Other sports are watching football closely to gauge the success of the measure in determining whether to implement something similar in their respective leagues. Football pundits have long blamed the New York Jets' collapse over the final five games of the 2008 NFL season on a lack of play calling into Brett Favre's good ear.
- CAP News Staff
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