Sunday, January 24, 2010

Favre's Final Toss

Brett Favre has been quite the noise-maker this season. Packer fans call him a traitor, while some say not to blame Brett- point the finger at Ted.

In hindsight, we can. We can say "Oh, we should have rolled out the red carpet when Brett initially retired and wanted to come back." But we moved forward and he went off to the Jets.

Hey, that's a decision we could live with and respect. He had a gut check and wasn't ready to walk away (despite the heart-wrenching sob story that he had "nothing left to give", cough, cough)...but he went to a team in the AFC that would show him some love and respect...and never play the Packers for as long as he would be playing. So Packer Fans were cool with that.

Now 20/20 says maybe Ted Thompson will get cut some slack... fans will agree Brett Favre was really NOT the future of the franchise. If you think about it, we could have lost Aaron Rodgers, Favre *could have quit mid-season, even been hurt. And then where would we be?

I wear glasses so I'm not sure I can say I see either argument that clearly or feel comfortable settling on one. But here's the kicker about tonight:

The Vikings put all their chips on Brett Favre. They lay their eggs in his basket, rest their laurels on his shoulders, rolled out the fat lady and gave her sheet music... need I continue?

When they asked Brett Favre into their dome, not only did they tell Jackson exactly what they thought of him (and I'm pretty sure free agency will treat Tarvaris well), they made Brett their future - even if it just lasted one season.

And they got a game-ending, season-ending interception. But that's what you get with Brett Favre! Packer fans have known this feeling for 16 years! Welcome to the club, Vikings fans.

There is something about the man. Call it emotion, nerves - there is something that causes Brett Favre an inner panic and forces him into the red phone booth. He dons the Superman "4" cape and throws it into double coverage, across his body, across the field - and BOOM! The GREATEST feeling ever when it's complete. The worst let down when it's tonight's result.

I am not angry at Brett Favre. I've put on the face that he's a traitor and I never wanted him to win a single game as a Viking! (But really, it was about the Vikings. I was RAISED to loathe them, come on!) But I've truly only been disappointed. In a man I greatly respect. And truly fell in love with - the man he decided to be to Deanna and his girls after addiction and trials, the role model for guys everywhere that he became, and the quarterback who played inspired football for all who love the game.

Forget numbers. Forget the banner year he had in the awful Metrodome with that shady Childress and thugs on steroids (maybe that was a low blow, but you read the news!). Forget he can still throw it like he could in '92.

I simply feel that he made a statement going to the Vikings- traipsing across the Mississippi to give the finger to Ted Thompson. He flipped off Packer Nation- and for what? Because we knew his pattern and we needed to look out for the future of our franchise? The Truth: Brett Favre was BELOVED. EVEN after coming back to the Jets. And now, in purple and gold (the PANSIEST of all team colors), it doesn't matter how many TDs, yards, wins or consecutive starts he has. We'll retire his number and welcome into the Hall of Fame, but I believe his legacy is tarnished.

To prove I'm not completely insensitive, it stung a little to see Brett laying on the ground, clutching his knee. When I saw him hobble a few times, or the tears come down his cheek after the game, I knew how much it hurt. This is a man who invests 150% of his soul into the game of football. I know the pain when you love something so much and make one move to screw it up. But Favre throws with abandon, and often into the opponents' hands.

So Vikings fans, welcome to Brett Favre Fan-dom. It's full of last-second hail mary's to win a game, and 4th quarter interceptions when the game is in his hands. That's what you get.

So I shrug my shoulders and hope, for the greater good, that Brett Favre hangs it up. I think his decision was made before this game. And hopefully the final play won't haunt him.

And to the Vikings: What have you got now? Where will you go? He didn't give you a Superbowl. And, I don't trust Vikings fans as far as I can throw 'em, so for all you fair-weather Favre fans, it won't surprise me when you start to bash him in a week or so.

I'll always love you, Brett Favre. The little girl who grew up pretending to call you at half-time with a pep talk and cherished you for 17 years will always cheer for you, pray for you, wear your jersey, and cry alongside you.

But tonight, I will feel sheer joy for America's 2009 Team, the New Orleans Saints. They may not have played better than the Vikings, but the final score gave them a W.
What a gift they have been to the city of New Orleans!

There is really only one thing left to say.


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