Savior: The Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre Saga's Happy Ending

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Savior: The Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre Saga's Happy Ending
(Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

 

sav⋅ior (n.)—1. A person who saves, rescues or delivers.

The word savior has become common hyperbole in sports circles, right up there with war metaphors and pop culture references.

Anytime one man improves a team, we grant him the title of a savior and heap praise upon him like a Meryl Streep movie at the Academy Awards.

Matt Ryan was not a savior.  The Atlanta Falcons reconstructed the entire coaching staff and management, signed a great running back, upgraded the offensive line, and Matt Ryan being a great quarterback became icing on the red and black cake.

Ghandi was a savior.

Heracles was a savior.

The guy who simultaneously convinces Al Davis and David Sterling to retire is a savior.

Brett Favre is not a savior, and that is why Vikings fans should be thankful we have him on our roster.

If your team requires a savior, then you are most likely not ready for the Super Bowl.  This is not the case for the Vikings.

Being an idealist is not favorable for Vikings fans in 2009-2010.  This isn't the Brett Favre of lore.  This isn't the old gunslinger whose great plays made up for his bonehead mistakes.

What Favre is is a quarterback who knows how to win games and can do something  Vikings quarterbacks post-Culpepper couldn't do: throw the ball 15 yards down the field accurately.

When you look at the building blocks for a great team you will continuously come across the same three key factors:

1. Can they run the ball?  Check.  Adrian Peterson is arguably the league's best running back and the Vikings proudly march out one of the league's top offensive lines.

2. Can they stop the run?  The best run defense five years running says yes.

3. Can they convert third downs into first downs?  Only when Purple Jesus feels like breaking four tackles and juking another 11.

What the Vikings have been missing since the emergence of Adrian Peterson is a quarterback who can convert first downs when the opposing team stacks the line on 3rd down.

Brett Favre is not a savior, but if we look at the definition of a savior—to save, to deliver, to rescue—Brett Favre certainly has the qualities.

The Vikings' two biggest weaknesses last year were put on full display in a playoff game against the Eagles: slow linebackers and a zone blitz.  The Vikings' QBs just couldn't beat a zone blitz and the Eagles used it like they patented it.

While Brett Favre can't bring down speedy running backs, he can beat a zone blitz with relative ease.

He can rescue the purple and gold "damsel in distress" from her tragic flaw.

The Vikings have the team capable of making it deep into the playoffs.  They want a championship game of some sort and everyone knows it.  They have the team to make the pizza, but haven't had the man to deliver it.

Until now.

The final quality of a savior is found in its name, to save something.  As stated earlier, the Vikings don't need saving.  Throughout this entire saga, only one fatal truth held true.  Only one facet seemed so sweet that it slowly became saccharine.  The Vikings are not a franchise known for Super Bowls and so you slowly realize that winning it all would only save one thing...

and that's Brett Favre.

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