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The Football Gods Re-Issue the "Brett Favre Decree"

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The Football Gods Re-Issue the

Watching the NFC Championship Game as a Packer fan sent so many different emotions through me at so many different points in the game.

I turned the game on hoping for the Vikings to crumble under the pressure. I didn't even want Brett Favre to do well because if he does, the Vikings likely win. And I can't stand the Vikings winning.

As the pounding of a thousand Saints helmets began to batter the Minnesota quarterback, I winced watching my boyhood idol crawl and limp across the Superdome turf. I wanted Favre to struggle, but I didn't want him to get hurt in the process.

And then the reasons for my initial idolatry of Favre resurfaced. The toughness he showed in those first plays after the ankle injury was admirable as he turned to hand off to Percy Harvin. He even jumped into the fray to try to recover one of many Minnesota fumbles.

And with the game tied with two minutes to go, I knew the Vikings would march down and take the lead and the George Halas Trophy out of New Orleans.

It almost came to pass. Once the Vikings got inside the 35-yard line, there was no doubt in my mind that Ryan Longwell, another former Packer I grew up depending on, would bang a 50-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired.

But the football gods intervened.

They declared that some anonymous Viking reserve will linger in the offensive huddle too long, costing the Vikings five yards and forcing a pass play instead of a run on third down.

On that pass play, the inevitable caught up to Brett Favre, just as the inevitable had caught up to Oedipus Rex: his pass, his last pass (of the season, at least), went across his body as he scrambled to his right and into the arms of Saints cornerback Tracy Porter.

I sat astonished. In disbelief, not because Favre threw the interception, but because I almost believed that Favre had finally overcome the overconfidence that had plagued him for almost 20 years. He was 20 seconds away from shedding the "choker" label. But the football gods had another idea.

When you've compiled the most interceptions in regular season and postseason history, the only way you can end your career is with an interception. This is the Brett Favre Decree, and it's passed on three separate occasions.

Here's to hoping Brett Favre doesn't have the Oedipal hubris to make it pass a fourth time.

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