Aug 20, 2009
Brett Favre is a Minnesota Viking. Raise your hand if, 10 years ago, you ever thought there was even a remote possibility of that happening. As you can probably imagine, Favre joining the Vikes was huge news here in Green Bay. It is still the talk of the town and passionate Packers fans are still trying to find ways to voice their anger, outrage, and disbelief. Its not that we didn’t see it coming. We knew once Brad Childress started courting Favre that if #4 could physically play, he most certainly would. That being said, the image of Brett Favre holding up a Minnesota Vikings jersey (A VIKINGS JERSEY!) with a smirk on his face caught us off guard and hit home more than most of us expected. The ensuing train wreck of a press conference simply made matters worse. When alluding to his return, Favre actually had the hubris to state, “I think it’s great for football. I can’t see how you wouldn’t think it would be.” A comment like that makes Bill Belichick look humble. Little did we know that Brett was just warming up. In a moment Packers fan will never forget, Brett actually had the gall to say, “If you’re true Packer fans, you’d understand.” That one statement almost made me put my fist through my widescreen. For Brett to lecture Packer Nation and have the audacity to think he can determine or knows who is a true Packers fan and who is not is preposterous and the absolute height of idiocy.
Brett hasn’t been in Green Bay in quite a while so he doesn’t understand that this whole incident is, indeed, showing us who the true Packers fans are. But certainly not in the way he wanted and tried to spin at Tuesday’s press conference. Cheesehead Country has united and has cast away the imposters who were simply Brett Favre fans and not real Packers fans. These are the same morons who put all of the blame on Ted Thompson for Favre leaving and conveniently seem to disregard that Brett was the one who tearfully retired (that first time, remember?). People often forget the Favre/Thompson feud started in Thompson’s first year as General Manager when, with his very draft first pick as Packers GM, he selected a QB from California who plummeted on Draft Day from a top five pick to #24 overall. Personally, I give Thompson a ton of credit for having the courage to draft a QB in the first round knowing full well it would irritate Favre. Thanks to Thompson’s bravery and foresight, Green Bay has an elite, top five QB signed through the 2014 season. And while we’re on the subject, you can quote the Packers and Jets records from 2008 all you want; Aaron Rodgers was the better QB last season, blowing Favre out of the water in pretty much every statistical category except INTs thrown. Anyway, the Favre/Thompson feud worsened when Thompson did not sign Randy Moss like Favre had wanted and publicly pushed hard for. Then, the Packers organization made a quick and well planned transition following Favre’s emotional “retirement” and subsequent un-retirement leading to Coach Mike McCarthy’s now famous line, “The football team has moved forward, the train has left the station.” Translation: Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and the Green Bay Packers were no longer going to be held hostage by Brett Favre like they had been in the previous five seasons. They no longer wanted an aging QB who put himself above the team and expected special treatment. Favre’s revulsion of Thompson may actually come from the fact that the Packers GM was the first person to hold Brett accountable for his words, actions, and decisions. Definitely something Brett was not used to and probably something he won’t have to worry about again.
So why is Brett back? Money? 25 million dollars is a lot of money, but his endorsement deals with Wrangler and Sears have him covered financially. If Tuesday’s press conference was any indication, Just For Men may soon be jumping into that mix as well. Is he back to win a Super Bowl like he stressed at the press conference? Yeah, because that’s always a guarantee in Minnesota! I’m sure when Brett arrived at their facilities and took one look at their trophy-less case, he was besieged with excitement over the winning tradition they have in the Twin Cities. Do the Vikings have a good team this season? Yes. Are they headed for the Super Bowl? Highly unlikely. They don’t have much depth, Favre is only a minor upgrade at QB at this stage of his career, and the Chicago Bears and Packers have better squads than people are giving them credit for. Is Brett back for the all time consecutive games played record? This is actually quite likely. Favre is one of the most ego-maniacal players of recent memory and he’d love to add this record to his resume. Is he back to try and stick it to Ted Thompson and the Packers? Regardless of what Brett says, this was a major consideration for him. Brett loathes Ted Thompson. It seems he still can’t believe the Packers GM declined to worship the Church of Favre. The chance to be probably the only QB in history to defeat all 32 NFL teams is a big deal for his ego and he now has two shots to beat the Packers by playing in Minnesota. I think it was probably a combination of factors that led to Favre’s return. He wants the Ironman record, he’s pompous enough to believe he’s the missing piece for a Vikings Super Bowl run, and he gets the opportunity to try and beat Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers.
I actually waited 24 hours to write this so I could give myself a chance to settle down. The press conference, in particular, really annoyed most of Packer Nation. I have tried to be as objective as possible, but I have to admit, it’s quite difficult to do so on this topic. We stuck up for Brett when he admitted his addiction to painkillers. When fans from rival teams were mocking us and saying that MVP stood for More Vicodin Please, we were right there vehemently defending Brett. When Irv Favre passed away in 2003, the outpouring of support for Brett and his family from Packers fans was unbelievable. The very next year, when Deanna Favre’s cousin died in an ATV accident on Favre’s property, Green Bay fans were once again there for Favre and his family. Eight days later, Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer. When this happened, the spate of compassion and caring bestowed upon the Favre Family was inspirational and may never be equaled. Deanna Favre was able to raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research thanks to the help of Packer Nation. To say we were emotionally invested in Brett Favre is the understatement of the year. Watching that press conference, seeing him with a Vikings jersey, was a backhand across the face. As one New York radio personality put it, “It’s like seeing Derek Jeter in a Red Sox jersey.” That’s the best analogy I’ve heard and, thankfully for professional sports, Jeter doesn’t have the ego, lack of class, or arrogance to do such a thing. Favre used to be the face of the NFL and now he’s the laughingstock of it. In the unlikely event that the Vikings do go all the way, a Super Bowl trophy will not and cannot restore honor, integrity, and class. Right now, those are the things Favre needs more than money, another record, or another Super Bowl ring. Cheesehead Country will no longer reminisce over the Days of Favre. The memories of completing his first pass to himself, the TD plunge against Atlanta, playing through major pain, and knowing where you were when the records were broken are now relegated to the trash bin of history. His transgressions now exceed his triumphs. History will say that Brett Favre came back to play for the Minnesota Vikings for $25 million dollars and to be the missing link to a hopeful Vikings’ Super Bowl run. For Packers fans, Minnesota’s Super Bowl aspirations are at best delusional and the money was essentially 30 pieces of silver.
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