October 4, 2009
Who wouldn't remember, or have at least heard about, the scrambling 1970's quarterback, Fran Tarkenton? He did well to advance the mobility of the quarterback position in the league and set records that stand today. While Frantic Fran led the franchise to “the show” 3 times, Sir Francis fell short of winning the all-coveted Super Bowl ring.
Who wouldn't remember “2 minute” Tommy Kramer? Kramer, the Viking quarterback during the mid-80's whose career-ending concussion left him having convulsions (on National television) while laying on the field after he was sacked. Kramer did play after healing from the concussion, but was never the same quarterback as he was before the injury.
Who doesn't remember the revolving door of Viking quarterbacks in the 90's including: Rich Gannon (1990–1992), Jim McMahon (1993 - yes, from the Chicago Bears), Warren Moon (1994–1996), Brad Johnson (1997), Randall Cunningham (1998), and Jeff George (1999)?
And, then there was the infamous quarterback of this decade, Daunte Cullpepper (who is most noted for the "love boat" scandal). The Vikings had return season(s) from Brad Johnson in 2005 and 2006 during which Johnson struggled to maintain a groove as the team's quarterback. Rookie Tevaris Jackson took over in 2006 and has had glimpes of greatness, but never more than a glimpse. Brooks Bollinger finished the 2007 season after Jackson broke his finger in the second half of the season. In 2008, the Team tried Gus Frerotte in a "why not" attempt to cure their streak of quarterback debacles. Gus ended up being injured late in the season and was replaced by TJ who finished the season winning the NFC division championship. (The 08' season marked the NFC North as a Favre free division for the 1st time in 16 seasons. The Packers were not contenders for the division championship in 2008.)
As for current quarterback, future Hall of Famer Brett Favre and former Green Bay Packer, he has much in common with many of the Viking alumni quarterbacks formerly mentioned. He’s had it all. He's won a Super Bowl and has the ring. He has had many Pro Bowl appearances and has many league awards and records attributed to him. It’s only a matter of time until he will find his place in the Hall of Fame. The only thing Brett Favre doesn't have is the personal satisfaction he could gain when playing and beating his former team, the Green Bay Packers Octber 5th on Monday Night Football.
Many of the media outlets, including Bleacher Report, are writing about Favre wanting to have revenge on the team that virtually let him go. Though the revenge theory may be true, most players can and will psych themselves up for a game with many types of motivational thoughts. If Favre were to say, "I don't care if we beat the Packers", it would be far from the truth.
Monday night is about beating the Packers for Favre. If Favre leads the Vikings to beat the Packers, here's a few of the things that will happen: Favre becomes the 1st NFL quarterback or player in history to beat every NFL team, Favre will have the opportunity to have revenge on his former team while playing for their border-state rival, and Favre will lead the Vikings to a record of 4-0 which, the Vikings have not had since the 2004 season. (The 2004 season was also when Randy Moss mooned the Packer fans at Lambeau field after a touchdown which edged the Vikings over the Packers and led them to victory.)
The past 48 years of folly, fiasco and failure of the Minnesota Vikings franchise could possibly end this Monday night. It could end with a quarterback who wants to play for the love of the game, not the boat, not the Packers, but maybe the record and definitely to settle a score.
That night may also be a defining moment for the Vikings franchise and a new era for future Vikings quarterbacks and players. October 5th could be a turning point for a team of athletes who, up until August 19, 2009, had the folly, fiasco and failure monkey haunting and taunting the psychology of their team. As for Favre on Monday night against the Packers, it's not about the Packers, but it is.
Dan Basil / Writer
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