Even in Purple, Brett Favre Still Top Gun in Green Bay

Peter BukowskiSenior Analyst INovember 3, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 01: Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a touchdown by teammate Percy Harvin #12 after a 51 yard touchdown pass during the third quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 1, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Let’s be very clear about this: The Minnesota Vikings are a better football team than the Green Bay Packers.  And yes Packers fans, the difference is Brett Favre.

There’s no way the Vikings sweep the Packers if Sage Rosenfels is the quarterback, particularly when you consider how successful Green Bay was corralling Adrian Peterson. But with Brett Favre playing energized and focused, this Vikings team could be scary good.

Michael Strahan mentioned at halftime the Packers looked like an immature team. Nothing seems more relevant as to why the Packers lost on Sunday afternoon than that.

Penalties gave life to Vikings drives. Missed assignment lead to sacks or blown coverages. Once again, the Packers were not ready to play this game and their opponent was. Somehow, Mike McCarthy was outcoached by Brad Childress.  The Vikings were prepared, the Packers weren’t.

But the biggest difference was Brett.

It was painful for Packer fans to watch. I’ve never heard Lambeau field so loud in my life. For what seemed like the whole first quarter, fans booed before every offensive snap. And I couldn’t help but think that was not smart. If there’s one thing Packer fans should know, the harder you hit Favre, the more he’s going to come back and try to beat you.

When it was all over and the Packers had given away any chance to win the game, there was a moment where I actually smiled. Favre has thrown his fourth touchdown pass, completing the kind of tour de force performance that was every Cheesehead’s worst nightmare.

I have taken management’s side this whole way since Favre forced his way back into the league (I still contend he never had any intention of playing with Green Bay). But Brett Favre had done what he set out to do, what so many hoped he couldn’t: Beat the Packers.

It was that moment of triumph for Favre, that I felt connected with him for the first time since he retired.

I got a text message from my sister saying watching the game was like seeing an ex-boyfriend have a dirty, tacky affair with some cheap call girl right in front of you. It was gut-wrenching and horrible. Aaron Rodgers played just well enough down the stretch to make things close (Can you believe he’s the highest rated passer in the NFL and has been sacked 31 times? Peyton Manning is second, he’s been sacked five times).

There will be plenty more chances for Aaron Rodgers to win big football games. He’ll have another shot in a couple weeks when Dallas rolls into town.

But this is Favre’s swan song.

In the moments following the game, as dejected and disappointed as I was in my team, I watched Favre. He was triumphant, a conqueror. And for a few fleeting moments I remembered what it was like to love watching him play.

To be a Favre fan once again.

I will never ever cheer for Minnesota. If Favre can break the Viking’s curse and win a Super Bowl it will be one of the darkest hours in Packers history (not to mention the lives of so many Packer fans).  But it is remarkable to think about what good ole’ number 4 is doing for Minnesota.

I insisted you boo Favre when he came out onto the field. I even booed from my apartment. But when Favre finally hangs up his cleats, I will cheer my guts out for him.

The Green Bay season, in some ways, can start again. Favre hype is gone, and now they can focus on making the playoffs. With the division all but out of reach, the Pack simply has to focus on winning every week in order to stay alive.

Barring some minor miracle, the Packers are not the Super Bowl team many predicted they would be. We should have recognized that all along. They could have been the feel good story of the year. Instead, they continue to make stupid mistakes and underachieve.

Unfortunately for Cheeseheads, the man once viewed as the second coming is instead the lead story. Ironically, Super Bowl ring or not, this is the season people will remember as the second coming of Brett Favre.