Apparently, the Vikings fans who are in the grips of Favre Mania have his daughter to thank. Yes, Brett Favre’s 10-year-old daughter, Breleigh, cried when she found out her dad had said no to signing with the Vikings. She wanted to see her daddy win one more Super Bowl. What little girl wouldn’t want her father to win another Super Bowl? I guess in some places that wish outranks ponies.
So, when Coach Brad Childress called Favre once more to see if there was anything on God’s green earth that could persuade Favre to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, Favre jumped at the second chance. And the $25 million that his two-year contract is worth. Isn’t it nice when you can make your children’s dreams come true and get millions of dollars?
Yesterday Brett Favre flew into Minnesota on a sleek private jet and was chauffered to Winter Park by the head coach himself*. The sun was shining and fans lined the way cheering and waving at the future hall of famer. Ticket sales beat all previous records and orders for jerseys sporting Favre’s name and iconic number 4 on purple have exceeded expectations.
Clearly, I’m a bit twitchy about Mr. Favre. Not only am I now going to cheer for the guy who was once the bain of the NFC North, the guy also has a deep affection for drama and a tendency to be a diva. He has a rotator cuff injury in his throwing shoulder that was discovered after the surgery to repair his torn biceps tendon in the same arm. He’s turing 40 in October and in a violent sport like football, that is more like 60. And, small but pivotal point, he bases his decisions on whether or not he should play on the whims of a 10-year-old girl. Gee, what is there to be nervous about.
However, I hope we can bank on that famed ego of his to get the Vikings deep into play-off territory. You can’t see it, but I’m trying to cross my fingers. Not easy to type that way, but I’m trying to show solidarity.
So that is the bad to iffy side of Favre being a Viking. Clearly, there are lots of good things about the former Packer donning purple. As the sports writers have been harping since last summer, Minnesota is a good fit for Favre. Here’s why:
- First, the Vikings play a west coast style offense similar to what Favre played when he was with the Green Bay Packers, so unlike his experience with the New York Jets, he won’t have to learn a whole different style of play. I’m not saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but being the same type of offense Favre is used to enables him to go straight to learning the Vikings playbook and developing a rhythm with the rest of the offense.
- Second, with Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor to hand the ball to, Favre won’t have to strain his 40-year-old arm constantly passing because he has no running backs to hand it to. Despite the potential of Percy Harvin, the coaching staff isn’t going to ignore the running game that has been their game winner for the last two years, not when they have an athletic new center (John Sullivan) and a huge upgrade on lineman (Phil Loadholt) to block for their star running backs.
- Third, when Favre does throw the ball he has a nice variety of recievers to catch it. Visanthe Shianco really started coming into his own last season as a receiving tightend. The Vikings believe that Percy Harvin, when he isn’t lighting up his bong, will prove an explosive receiver for short to mid-range and long passes, his ability to run after the catch being particularly prized. Sidney Rice’s height makes him a threat to defenders, so long as he can keep his feet in bounds and hang onto the ball. Add in Bernard “Gazelle” Berrien and Bobby Wade, and the opposing defenses will have a hard time knowing who to cover.
- Fourth, the Minnesota Vikings defense is a thing of beauty. Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Tyrell Johnson… Sigh… This last Pro Bowl, half the defensive players on the field for the NFC were Vikings. They know how to create turn overs, how to wreak havoc on an offensive line and get to the quarterback, and how to stall opposing offenses. The biggest problem they had last season was fatigue because the Vikings offense didn’t spend enough time on the field to give the defense a breather.
So today, as the rain falls and the tornado sirens wail, let us all hope that Favre Mania doesn’t end the same way the hype about Star Wars Episode 1 did, with all of us wishing George Lucas had left well-enough alone. For the sake of my team, I’m hoping that Favre’s daughter is right and that her daddy has one more Super Bowl win in him.
*Incidentally, when Jared Allen signed with the Minnesota Vikings Pat and Kevin Williams picked him up at the airport. I don’t recall any reports that Allen flew in on a private jet, and Childress certainly wasn’t there giving him his obesience when he arrived. And, Allen signed a contract for several years and attended training camp.