(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
It was music to my ears. From a very unexpected source. And it made complete sense.
Fran Tarkenton is potentially the greatest Minnesota Viking of all time. He led the Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances. Though he didn't win any, he retired one of the NFL's best QBs of all time. He is in both the college & professional Hall of Fames.
During his playing days, he was known for his scrambling skills and his improvisational skills. Some could have labeled him a "gunslinger."
So you would think he would welcome Brett Favre to the Vikings with open arms to finish what he wasn't able to do in his tenure: Win a championship.
Au contraire, mon frère!
Mr. Tarkenton is not on board. He is not driving the "Welcome Wagon". If anything, he just backed it over Brett Favre. Why, you say? Let's try to figure it out.
He doesn't want Favre breaking his records? That's not it. Favre has broken every NFL record Tarkenton held and won't be in Minnesota long enough to touch any Vikings records.
He doesn't want Favre stealing his thunder? Nope. Tarkenton has been a Viking supporter all through his retired life. He still attends games and speaks at many Vikings-related events. Why wouldn't he want Minnesota to win a Super Bowl, regardless who is behind the center?
The reason Fran has come out and blasted Favre is for all the right reasons (and not just because it supports a few things I spoke of in my previous article on Favre).
No, it's because he is a TRUE Minnesota Viking and he doesn't want some DAMN Green Bay Packer player coming to his team. Rivalries run deep in the NFC Central. Feuds are not easily forgotten.
Tarkenton thinks not only is it sacrilege to have Favre in the purple uniform but the way he has the franchise waiting on his every daily feelings is making him sick. Unlike many who are afraid of the "Favre mystic", he stated his feelings, LOUDLY, on ESPN Radio...for all to hear. I loved every hate-filled word.
I applaud Mr. Tarkenton. Any really good sports fan understands rivalries. For there to be good, there must be evil. I'm a Georgia Bulldog fan. The fact that Fran graduated from there just makes me prouder.
People ask me who else I pull for in college football and I say NO ONE! It's just the Bulldogs. My aim is true. I love the Dawgs and HATE everyone else.
I never forget either. As an NFL fan, I always hated Tony Dorsett, Robert Smith, Dan Marino, Duce Staley, Todd Blackledge, and any DAMN Florida Gator. It took eight seasons before I grew to accept Fred Taylor on my beloved Jaguars.
It also, in turn, kills me that my favorite Bulldog players tend to get drafted by teams I hate. Herschel Walker to the Cowboys, Hines Ward to the Steelers, and David Pollack to the Bengals have been three of the worse cases.
This is what I mean by respecting Fran...He doesn't want Favre to fail because he's jealous, he wants him to fail because he's a Packer. And that's OK by me!