Say What You Want, But the Vikings Are Just More Fun with Favre
Vikings fans are cheering. Packers faithful are jeering. Pundits are bouncing between, "Say it ain't so," and, "I told you so."
And Sage Rosenfels probably feels a lot like Ben Stiller in There's Something About Mary, standing in front of Cameron Diaz and wondering, "What the hell is Brett Favre doing here?"
There's a red No. 4 on the practice field at Winter Park today, and it's not John David Booty.
Surprised? Don't be. The only real shocker here is that Favre pulled such a clumsy "no means yes" routine to avoid training camp, when it would have been just as easy to dodge the Mankato State dormitories by postponing his decision until the team was back in the Twin Cities.
Beyond the time lost in camp, however, signing Favre makes as much sense today as it did three weeks ago. Brad Childress hit the nail on the head: "The same variables that made this a unique and positive situation previously, still exist."
In other words, Favre was the Vikings' best option at quarterback on July 28, and he still is. He was better than Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson then, and he's better now, too.
You can rip Favre for giving the team the run-around. You can rip Childress for going from "there's not a chance" to picking up Favre at the airport, leaving the quarterbacks with whom he vowed he was "going forward" in the dust.
But it's hard to rip the decision from a football perspective. As we examined last week, strong quarterback play is a key indicator of a Super Bowl contender.
There aren't 32 quality quarterbacks in the league right now. There may not be 16. If Favre is effective, he's one of them. If he isn't, Rosenfels will still be there, and the team will be no worse off than it is right now.
Some media outlets are just happy they got it right. The headline at FOXsports.com, where Jay Glazer predicted a Favre comeback yesterday: "Told ya so."
Some are convinced the team got it all wrong. SI.com's Peter King called the Vikings Favre's "enablers", and said both the player and the club are "making a mistake."
If they are, it may be the most profitable misstep in franchise history.
The front page of the Vikings' official Web site has been replaced by a banner bearing Favre's face that reads "Are you ready 4 some football?"—complete with links to purchase Favre jerseys and season tickets, of course.
The team's Ticketmaster site reportedly crashed under the sudden influx of traffic this morning.
The Metrodome's cheapest nosebleed seats for the Packers-Vikings game on Oct. 5 (face value: $30) are going for $200 each on Stubhub.com.
For the rematch at Lambeau on Nov. 1, the cheapest tickets will set you back $349 (or a cool $1,750 for six). Now that's a stimulus package.
Oh, and those Minneapolis stadium talks that have been frustrating the team for more than a year just might get a shot in the arm.
Think fans are getting jazzed up about the situation? Go check out the commentators Star Tribune's story, telling us that we'll see "Favre hoisting the Lombardi trophy (to the envy of all cheeseheads) in five months."
Then pop on over to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and listen to the faithful explain, "If you found out your wife was cheating on you, your kid was doing drugs, or your best friend was only using you for your money, you'd be feeling the same thing...that many people feel about Favre going to the Vikings."
Twin Cities sports radio host Dan Barreiro even tracked down Packers fanatic Carl Gerbschmidt, who may or may not exist. Gerbschmidt reported that he was drowning his sorrows at a bar in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., after setting the Favre-owned truck he won at an auction on fire.
This ought to be fun.
Everyone in Minnesota who took their shots at Favre for his love of attention might want to take a minute to bask in the glow of the cameras currently pointed at our state.
Doesn't that feel good? You start to understand why he enjoys the sensation. And nothing could have delivered that kind of spotlight like Favre.
So what the hell is Brett Favre doing here, anyway?
Is he trying to win another Super Bowl for his daughter, as he said in tonight's press conference? Is he trying to go out on his own terms? Is he just trying to play some football and put $12 million in the bank?
We don't know yet. But it's going to be a hell of a ride.
For more on the Vikings, follow Marino on Twitter @MarinoEccher.
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