Hey ESPN, we know how you love all things Brett Favre. We know how you couldn't get enough of his on-again-off-again "retirement" talk. Its good for ratings and fodder, so who could blame you. You're only doing your jobs as the national sports hype machine.
And Brett Favre, we know how you crave the spotlight. We know how you can't shake the itch to play, rather to just walk away when critics from all over the nation want to prove you wrong.
We assume there must not be a whole lot waiting for you in Kiln, Mississippi, after all, there is only so much land that can be plowed each year.
This, along with your fiercely competitive nature, one to which I cannot compare in recent memory concluded with the not-so-obvious confederation of you offering your services to your once No. 1 rival, the Minnesota Vikings who clearly wanted you when the Green Bay Packers did not.
Thank you for not only coming to the team, but also for giving it a shot no matter what the outcome. I know you'd have never forgave yourself if you didn't try knowing you were that close to a deal only to back out on July 30 because you just couldn't commit to the full season.
The Vikings, and even the most inept fans, knew they were but one manage-the-game Quarterback away from truly taking them to the next level and you obliged. The rest is history but one that can be special as I've outlined here.
But if you truly want to make your mark in Minnesota, as well as continue to soothe your ego that the media shamefully loves to exploit, have you considered being the face of an entire stadium drive?
Imagine this scenario: February 7, 2010 Minnesota just defeats ______ for their first NFL Championship in State history.
You will have done what sixteen men: Fran Tarkenton, Joe Knapp, Gary Cuozzo, Tommy Kramer, Wade Wison, Rich Gannon, Jim McMahon, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George, Daunte Culpepper, Tarvaris Jackson, and Gus Freotte have all failed to do in the Vikings 48 years in Minnesota.
Take a long look at that list. How many of them are Hall of Famers, like yourself? How many of them made Pro Bowls, like yourself. You want to know why year-in-and year-out the Vikings are always a sleeper pick to go far in the playoffs, it starts with their incredible consistency and opportunity provided at quarterback.
The list reads like a Who's Who. By comparison, the Chicago Bears, have had Chicago bears starting QBs">thirty-five men line up under center, and even this less-than-impressive bunch was able to muster 1 NFL Championship (1963) and Super Bowl (1986) in the years since the Vikings joined the league in 1961.
You will be treated a like a Rock Star. You will be treated like a God (relatively speaking of course). But most of all, you will get the attention you crave ten-fold once again on sports biggest stage as the leader of one of the league's most revered and consistent teams.
Your legacy once thought tampered, will be restored as you prove the naysayers wrong and add to your lone trophy case. The only question will be whether the Vikings would dare put you in their Ring of Honor in the Vikings Hall of Fame or whether you'd dare were purple in your induction ceremony in Canton whenever that comes.
But most of all, you'd have the unique opportunity to be the face of an entire stadium campign that has been in neutral since 1997 after years of failed legislative attempts and proposals. Talk about exposure. Talk about media attention!
Imagine going up the steps of the State Capitol in St. Paul and lobbying alongside owner Zygi Wilf, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Stadium Development Lester Bagley, Rob Brzezinski VP of Football Operations, or Steve LaCroix VP of Sales and Marketing among other officials, decked in purple, serving as lead cheerleader in the newest wave of stadium proposals in the aftermath of the media hype off the Super Bowl Win!
How long do you think it would take the legislators to react favorably knowing the passion the team brings to the state, not to mention national swagger with their history of less than colorful characters not seen on other Minnesota sports teams?
How long do you think it would take for even the most pessimistic legislator to give approval knowing you just delivered on a lifelong goal that had been eluding an entire four state fan base all of their legislative lives and careers?
How long do you think it would take for those legislators, beaming with state pride, many of whom are likely Vikings season ticket holders and fans themselves to get caught up in the moment and agree to the funding that had been so evasive in the past?
I'd say about a week or so. If given the opportunity, the Vikings better strike while the iron is hot and use Brett Favre to his full contractual advantage while they got him and while he still is a media darling.
The House that Brett Favre Built
That's the power only you and your mega celebrity status could bring to a region that was forced to "hate" you for sixteen years while you were in America's Dairyland. How ironic and fairytalk fitting would it be if you helped your once arch rival achive the goals that have eluded them the most?
Before the made-for-TV soap opera ends, you could be a new state icon, forever enshrined as one of their own. More ME-dia attention! More self-satisfying legacy! You can't put a price on that and you can't make this stuff up.
Regardless of how the Brett Favre fairy tale ends, I remain confident all along that worst case scenario, at the eleventh hour, the state legislature will get something done before the 2011 Metrodome Lease expires.
You see, people like the Twins. After the threat of contraction in 2001, many people got back on that bandwagon (winning helped too). Having a bad team was certainly better than having no team. People like the Wild.
In a state that pride's itself as the "State of Hockey" despite having never won and titles at its highest level of competition offered (NHL) its high schools and colleges are loaded each year with the nation's top prospects and athletes vying for the draft.
But people absolutely love the Vikings.
Like I stated, they give the team the most national exposure in the nation's most popular sport.
They give them team the most press and swagger with their longest slate of success (36/48 seasons of .500 or better ball), and they give the state the most varying storylines from Ontario Smith's embarrassing Whizzanator incident, to the Randy Moss years which, like former Governor Jesse Ventura, exposed Minnesotans to the more Rock Star atmosphere more suited for big city New York or bustling L.A. than the passive, laid back Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Finally the 2005 "Sex Boat" controversy brought maybe the most banter from jocks all over.
Jaguars to Los Angeles">Losing the Vikings to a market like L.A. for example, would all but seal the fate of any legislator who happened to vote against what would ultimately be deemed-a-last resort, all-or-nothing,moving-vans-are-a-coming bill. They have to know this, and this is why I doubt we'll ever see that day.
In an evolving state that somehow got a new stadium for the backpage boys, the Minnesota Twins, one that I never thought I'd live to see having grown up a fan of the team and their small market epitome if their ever was one, to the brand new, about-damn-time TCF Bank Stadium for the perennial bottom feeding Golden Gophers, the truly ironic fact remains that the state's most popular and successful team is going to be the last one to receive its stadium they covet.
At an average of 8-6 each season based on their 385 wins and 316 regular season loses, there is perhaps no more consistent team never to win the sport's ultimate prize than the Men of Norway, the Minnesota Vikings.
Perhaps the fact that at likely $1 billion or more for all the bells and whistles rumored, to the probable development of land at its final location, the final stadium in the trio will also be the most expensive and thus, the delay. But for now at least we have a two or three year stop gap in TCF Bank stadium.
After legislation is passed in spring of 2011 and by the time they break ground that fall, to when the first game is played sometime around September of 2015, Brett Favre and the Vikings should just be entering their seventh year of marriage together with him being the 45 year old guy lined up under center, since we all know he's never really going to retire.....
Can you see any other logical ending?