Tonight, my brother and I are going to see the Vikings play the Chiefs in a pre-season NFL game. These things are normally like watching paint dry, but c’mon — Favre? At QB for the Vikings? Who could pass up such an opportunity?
There’s been a lot of bitching and moaning about what a prima donna Favre is, and how “the face of the enemy” will taint any sort of success the team will have with him playing for us.
This is ridiculous, to say the least.
Perhaps I’m not your average Vikings rube. I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Favre. His game against the Raiders in December of 2003 (my 31st birthday) was one for the ages — playing the day after the death of his father, when he was on the field he was brilliant — passing for 399 yards and four touchdowns. Whatever he threw, his receivers caught. During his time on the sidelines, you could see that he was overcome with emotion. You’re talking about a quarterback who, through sheer force of will, was able to rally his teammates to perform to absolute perfection, and even force a standing ovation from Raider Nation.
I don’t give a damn who he’s played for in the past. I don’t care that he’s thought to be over the hill. I don’t even care that he missed training camp. That’s the kind of player I want on my team.
So the prima donna crap? It’s just that. Crap. If Favre has a hard time with retirement, the man has flat-out earned the right to that mentality. The attention-hungry claims? Again, crap. The media is more obsessed with Favre than Favre is with the attention — when we thought he was done for good, about a month ago, how much did we hear after that? Nada. No press conferences from Brett, no appearances on talk shows or SportsCenter. Nothing. As soon as he was on a plane to Minnesota, though? You’d think the world was ending and they’d be handing out special Emmys in the afterlife for the reporter who made up the most outlandish claim about Brett’s visit.
And so he played for the Packers? So what? Is our team diminished by Ryan Longwell’s presence? Was our team diminished by Darren Sharper’s presence? No. In fact, I seem to recall a large number of people hailing Sharper’s willingness to sign with a team (the Vikings) that was a hated rival. So where’s the difference?
Due to the risk of disappointment, I don’t want to believe that we’ll be very successful this year. But I look at last year, and think that with Gus Frerotte leading the team, we went 8-3. Certainly Favre can do better than that. The only question is, how much better?