Minnesota @ New Orleans (-2½)
Are you ready for some football? It's a question asked all over the country, and sure to get a quick answer, unless you happened to ask Brett Favre. After weeks of waffling, limping, shucking, and jiving, Favre was convinced to return when teammates Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, Ryan Longwell, and head coach Brad Childress flew to Mississippi to beg for Favre-giveness.
"By golly," Childress said. "I heard it was a heck of a lot easier to get Daunte Culpepper on a boat than it was to get Favre on a plane. And easier to get off, as well."
"Thank heavens it was Favre's ankle on which his return hinged. Can you imagine the confusion and turmoil had it been 'Brett Favre's back?'"
I'm not sure what you did to hasten Favre's return, but you said a mouthful, Chilly.
Las Vegas odds makers established the Saints at 8-1 to win Super Bowl XLV, just behind the 13-2 number given the Colts, who the Saints beat in Super Bowl XLIV. Sure, eight-to-one sounds pretty good, if you're the Lions, Rams, or Chiefs, or if you're estimating the female-to-male ratio at a Tiger Woods orgy, but for the Saints, defending Super Bowl champions, it's much too high.
"Those odds are high," Sean Payton, "but nowhere near as high as the odds of Brett Favre and Peyton Manning throwing game-winning, at least for the Saints, passes last year. That had to be 1,000-1. Last year, everything fell into place for us. Or, more specifically, you could say everything fell into Tracy Porter's hands."
Things are no different this year. Favre's first pass is intercepted by Porter, and the Saints cash in immediately with a Pierre Thomas score. Faced with a 14-0 deficit, and without Sidney Rice, Favre again threatens retirement, unless the Vikes broker a deal for Vincent Jackson.
New Orleans wins, 27-21.
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