Perhaps nobody hates Brett Favre more than Sage Rosenfels does right now. I am a close second.
I’ll admit it. I tell everyone. I tell the readers of this site. I tell my co-workers. I tell my wife. I tell my friends. I tell the guy at the urinal next to me. And you can bet your ass I’d tell Brett Favre if I had the chance.
The guy has ruined Vikings football year in and year out. He is the definition of the word nemesis. He’s a wishy-washy, over-hyped, media milking, interception chucking, tear duct using, microphone sucking, money grubbing, tractor riding, and wrangler wearing PACKER!
The last word of that run-on sentence is meant to be the most insulting.
He will always be a Packer, regardless of what color he wears this year. Not only is he A Packer, he’s THE Packer. It would be the equivalent of Adrian Peterson becoming a Packer. This whole thing is pissing on the very traditions that make Vikings football as great as we all like to think it is.
None-the-less, it is a fact: Brett Favre is posing as a Minnesota Viking for the 2009 season.
So if you are like me (and we’re not in the majority right now), and you love your Vikings and hate Brett Favre, then you may need some help coping. Well, Vikings Gab is proud to present the 1st edition of Handbook: For Those Who Love The Vikings But Hate Brett Favre.
Step One: Get Your Priorities Straight
The first step is crucial. You have a very important decision to make. Which is greater: your hatred for Brett Favre or your love for the Minnesota Vikings? To me the answer is obvious as I will always be a Vikings fan. It’s kind of like if a president gets elected that I despise… I’m still an American and nothing can change that. I am perfectly within my rights to criticize that president, I can speak out against that president’s actions, but I will refuse to hope that America fails and I refuse to let that hatred stand in the way of my wanting to see America do well.
Not sure how to answer that? Well, try answering this question: Would you be ecstatic if the Vikings won the Super Bowl or would you be ticked that it took bringing in a Packer to get it done? That should help clarify your answer to the first question.
If you answered “your hatred of Brett Favre,” then trust me, I understand. That hatred is completely justified, no matter how irrational. If this is your answer then you mustn’t read any further. Simply pick an AFC to be your team of choice for the 2009 season. Maybe you’d like to see the Dolphins do well, or perhaps the Jets. Fine, whoever you pick, just do it and we’ll welcome you back with open arms next season.
However, if your love for the Vikings outweighs your hatred for Brett Favre, then you are in for an emotional roller coaster of a season. You will feel conflicted at many points during the season, and will experience feelings that you just don’t know what to do with. It almost feels like taking Judas’s side while reading the Bible. It just doesn’t feel right.
You are going to need all the help you can get for dealing with those feelings and staying sane at the same time. That is why you need to keep reading Handbook. Please move on to step two.
Step Two: Realizing It Could Be Worse
You think it is disgusting to watch Brett Favre place that Vikings helmet on his old, crusty skull? Well, imagine how Packer fans feel. Brad Childress may not succeed often, but this time he got his man and drove a stake straight through the heart of the enemy in the process.
Childress has taken the Packer’s golden boy, flaunted him in front of the media for a few months, then finally pulled the trigger. In the midst of an O.J.-like frenzy, Childress picked Judas up at the airport and then drove him to Winter Park in his escalade. Then finally Brett Favre threw his first pass wearing the number four as a Minnesota Viking. A plan that was two years in the making has taken all the air out of the Brett Favre legacy. Brad Childress has master-minded (maybe, mastermind seems too complimentary) this coup for almost two years now.
On November 1st, Childress plans on taking a giant, smelly, legacy-sized dump on the 50-yard line of Lambeau Field. In the process, he plans on stomping on every single Packer-fan heart until they stop pumping and just become a bloody pulp useless and abandoned.
There is where things could be worse. Childress has offered us an opportunity to not only rekindle one of the NFL’s most vicious rivalry, but this makes it as personal as it’s ever been.
If Favre doesn’t pan out, then it’s nothing more than another lost season where the Vikings overspent on a hail mary quarterback. However, if Favre does pan out, then Packers across the United States (in Wisconsin, too) will experience the worst possible feelings of dread and hopelessness. This is the type of thing that could send the Packer organization into another 30 year drought where they can’t win a football game to save their lives.
So, as you struggle with your feelings about half-heartedly rooting for Brett Favre, take comfort in knowing it could be worse… and it is for Packer fans.
Step Three: Understanding That Announcers Have To Talk, But You Don’t Have To Listen
Jon Gruden will be the worst. Ron Jaworski will be second worst. And a whole crew of quarterback loving, Favre gushing, and fast talking broadcasters will be assigned to Vikings games with probably even special guest appearances by John Madden himself.
They’re going to treat Brett Favre like he’s the only guy on the field. They’re going to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk about Favre. More Favre. Even more Favre. And, quite possibly, only Favre. They will treat him like he IS the Minnesota Vikings.
But that doesn’t mean they’re right and that doesn’t mean you have to listen. They’re just doing their jobs to boost the ratings.
It is important that while you cope with having Favre suit up in purple you treat him as exactly what he is, a fraction of the team you love. One Fifty-third, to be exact. He is one guy on a team of 52 others, most of which you probably have no issues with. He is one of three (maybe four, we’ll see) quarterbacks on a very solid football team that probably would’ve been just as good with him than without.
The media will hype this up as Favre’s team. They’ll say he will make or break the team. Again… they’ll focus on him enough where EVEN Adrian Peterson will become a side topic. It’s sad, but true.
Just remember the facts, however. While these guys babble on in a way that’ll make you wonder if any of them might possibly Like-like Brett Favre, it is important that you remember to notice the rest of the game that is going on around him.
Step Four: Leave The “Casual Fan” Alone
The casual fan is going to try and talk to you at the water cooler (do those even exist anymore?) about how great it is that Favre signed with the Vikings. You will want to club them over the head, throw them out of a third story window, and then raid their cubicle for free office supplies and granola bars.
Don’t do it.
Their ignorance to how the game of football is actually played is exactly why the Vikings made this move. They don’t know much about rotator cuffs, yards per reception stats, interception to touchdown ratios, NFL salary caps, locker room chemistry, or post routes. In fact, the Vikings are counting on it.
They are hoping that the “casual fan” gets more involved. By that I mean that the Vikings are hoping the casual fan buys some tickets to see the Vikings host the Lions. They hope that the casual fan will load up on Favre jerseys as a good Christmas present for everyone in their family. They hope the casual fan will hold the fun-loving, gun slinging hillbilly in such high regard that they may be more prone to ask their politicians to build the Vikings a new stadium.
Don’t stop them.
If the Vikings can use the ignorance of the casual fan to ensure that YOUR favorite football team sees increased revenue and a lower probability of moving to Industry, California then don’t stand in their way. Let the casual fan have their day in the sun and then just kick back and hope for the best.
So the next time you hear one of these ignorant twits tell you that the Vikings are NOW built to go to the Super Bowl then refrain from correcting them. Don’t tell them that the team was good before. Don’t tell them that Favre will throw an interception at just the right time to end the Vikings season. Don’t tell them that for the price they got Favre they probably could’ve gotten Housh, Jason Brown, and a number of talented free agents instead of sitting on their hands during free agency. And most importantly, don’t club them over the head and eat their granola bars.
Just let them be.
Step Five: Come Back For More
This is just the 1st installment of Handbook: For Those Who Love The Vikings But Hate Brett Favre. As I go through these highly confusing times, I will make sure to keep adding to the Handbook. So in a time of need… in a time where you just don’t know how to cope with this nonsense, come back to Vikings Gab and we can support each other. I’ll share my advice and stories with you, and I hope you do likewise.
Now, more than ever, we need each other.
Now, queue all the Favre-lovers who will leave comments ripping into me for this post. For those of you who plan on doing so, understand one thing, this post was not meant for you.