Archive for August, 2009


Super Bowl Bandwagon Gains Momentum As Vikings Mess With Texans

This just in: The Minnesota Vikings will be very good this year and are on the short list of teams with a legitimate shot to win the Super Bowl. 

 

While the proposition that the Vikings will be good this year is not a stretch given that their 10-6 record last year, the second statement likely has all but the heartiest of Viking fans laughing out loud.   

 

However, this year no one is laughing at the idea that the Vikings will be playing for the Lombardi trophy. No doubt a few more fans jumped on the bandwagon tonight as the Vikings played well against the Houston Texans. While emotions must be kept in check while watching preseason football, the Vikings did many things right on offense against the Texans, suggesting a long playoff run is in the cards. 

 

First, it starts with the top.

 

No, not Brett Favre.

 

We’re talking about Brad Childress. While there were moments last year that coach Childress showed emotion on the sideline, Coach Chili looked too often like a man who was hoping that the game would end before something bad happened. Tonight, Childress was running up and down as if he were a little kid, or at least Pete Carroll at USC. I guess that is what happens to coaches when you have so many playmakers on your team—it is hard to contain your excitement.

 

Speaking of Favre, the league’s Most Reviled Player looked sharp at the quarterback position. Most analysts and writers suggesting Favre is not the answer noted he couldn’t deliver for a Jets team last season with similiar, if not better personnel than the Vikings. 

 

Favre may fail in Minnesota, but the suggestion that Favre’s situation with the Jets was similar to his present situation with the Vikings is ridiculous. The two-headed running tandem of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor is vastly superior to the Jets’ running “attack,” if you’re generous enough to call it that.

 

While the numbers put up by the Jets’ receivers were better than the Vikings last year, the talent of the Vikings receiving corps is better than the Jets. Now that we’ve added Percy Harvin, the edge clearly lies with the Vikings. Considerring the Vikings play the Lions twice and the Jets have to play the Patriots twice, Favre’s situation is clearly better in Minnesota.

 

Favre demonstrated he is ready to make the best of his situation with the Vikings. After enjoying watching Adrian Peterson scamper 75 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the very first series, Favre went to work slowly picking apart the Texans with screen passes and short passes over the middle. Favre’s passes were coming out early and in front of the receiver, allowing for yards to be made after the catch.

 

During a play in the second series, Favre patiently went through his progression and, after side-stepping a defender attempting to make a sack, passed to Shiancoe over the middle for a first down. Favre later put a nice touch pass on the hands of rookie Percy Harvin in the end zone, which was unfortunately dropped. 

 

No problem.

 

Later in the half, Favre bought time in the pocket and found Harvin over the middle.  Harvin broke two tackles and picked up eight yards after the catch, earning a hearty slap on his backside from the grey-bearded veteran.

 

Favre finished the first half with a screen pass to Chester Taylor. He didn’t panic, just waited until the defense was firmly on the hook before delivering the pass to Taylor in the flat. The play was nothing special, but it is a play that teams who are serious about playing in January execute on a consistent basis. Taylor made a nice move on the sideline and took it to the house. 

 

The play underscores the difficulty of defending against the Vikings. Favre loves the screen pass and is happy to find the receiver in the flat—just ask Ahman Green. Hutchinson, a Pro Bowl lineman, can get out in front and create gaping holes.

 

Pick your poison. Anytime your defensive ends rush up the field, you’d better make sure it is not a screen to Peterson, Taylor, or Harvin or you might be bringing your offense on the field sooner than you would like. 

 

Not everything worked well for the Vikings against the Texans. Bryant McKinnie is still collecting too much laundry with untimely false start and holding penalties. The special teams play on kick-offs still needs work. After Taylor’s touchdown, the Texans were one block away from returning the kickoff for a touchdown. The Texans capitalized on the miscue with a field goal before the end of the half. 

 

Some of the play calling seemed puzzling. In the wildcat formation with Favre alone in the flat, Favre was asked to make a block for Harvin. Favre picked up a penalty for an illegal block leading with his surgically repaired shoulder. I’m not an offensive coordinator, but I don’t think that we will see that play with Favre again this season. If we don’t see that play and Favre stays healthy, the Vikings could well find themselves playing in January. 

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Dear Packer Fans, Are You Done Whining So We Can Play Football Now?

After seeing the scenario unfold in August of 2008, Brett would head over to training camp and make a public display there. Out of frustration and just being pestered, Green Bay sent Favre to the New York Jets. Green Bay’s fan base was torn by the latest development, but many would find this acceptable as he would only be remembered for what he did for the Packers.

Now we sit in August 2009 and Brett is now a member of the Minnesota Vikings. What changed? He said that nothing could take away his years in Green Bay (much like a first love). Yet, it seems many Green Bay fans are hung up on this and now are trying to justify how Brett is in the wrong.

One thing we can tell after five near-retirement attempts is that Brett loves football. That can’t be refuted in the slightest.

It also helps to point out is that once you retire, you are DONE. You can’t come back when you please, yet Brett hasn’t taken a year off in-between and technically he never filed for retirement after the 2008 season with the NFLPA. With that said, he had every right to return to football where he pleased.

So he chose to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers’ long-time hated rival. Now, it seems ironic that Favre feeling left out when Rodgers was named QB, the Pack’s fan base feels as though Brett has broken a cardinal sin.

To this I have three things to say:

  1. Green Bay fans are showing their true colors. Yes, the guy was a legend to the franchise, but this is FOOTBALL, not a storybook. If you wanted a happy ending, you should’ve stopped watching the Packers after the 1997 season.
  2. Just the same for what the Packers did choosing Rodgers as its quarterback, Brett has become that for the Vikings. He’s a football player, not a messiah. To see him dressed in purple shouldn’t force you to burn all your Packer memorabilia and Favre jerseys. All that’s proving is that you’re whining about what you don’t have anymore. Suck it up.
  3. Okay, assuming Brett isn’t lying (I know, that’s a stretch), but assume he isn’t. What’s wrong with coming back for the love of the game and one last shot at glory? What’s wrong with going out like Elway or Bettis? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Regardless of who he’s with, he’s playing for something big. He wants to be successful. Can anyone blame him for going out on his terms?

Understand that Brett wanted common respect for 16 great years of turning Green Bay into a household name. He wanted to be released a year ago and the Pack felt that he was a threat to them so they shipped him off to New York. After a disastrous end in 2008, what did Brett do that was so wrong? He wants to play football and legitimately, the Vikings are a contender. Favre improves the team, enough said.

This article was written on behalf of many Viking writers of B/R. Please comment below with your take on the situation… unless you’re a Packer fan that has come to whine, then please leave those comments in the trash by the curb, thank you.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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The Sportmeisters NFL Season Preview: NFC North

By Derek and Ryan of The Sportmeisters

With the NFL season fast approaching, Sportmeisters Derek and Ryan break out the crystal ball and forsee the future of all 32 NFL teams. Today, Derek and Ryan look at the NFC North, and discuss how they got to their respective decisions. What follows is a transcript of that discussion.

Ryan:

  • Chicago Bears: 13-3
  • Green Bay Packers: 9-7
  • Minnesota Vikings: 7-9
  • Detroit Lions: 5-11

Derek:

  • Minnesota Vikings: 11-5
  • Green Bay Packers: 10-6
  • Chicago Bears: 10-6
  • Detroit Lions: 2-14

Ryan: Derek, we definitely have some big discrepancies here in the NFC North.

Derek: Ryan, the NFC North will be extra competitive this year, as all four teams have made major upgrades. Even though Detroit is in the league, there is a strong chance for three of the four teams to be over .500.

Ryan: I don’t think its going to shape out that way, and the Brett Favre experiment will backfire, while the Jay Cutler era starts shining in Chicago.

Derek: Chicago went out and traded for their first real ‘Franchise Quarterback’ in over 20 years. Jay Cutler and a revitalized Brian Urlacher will lead the Bears, and Greg Olsen, Matt Forte, and Devin Hester will have MONSTER years.

Ryan: Absolutely, I am completely sold on the Bears in 2009, making strides reminiscent of their 2006 team, with the most complete team since 1985.

Derek: I’m going to disagree. I think they will lose key divisional games to Green Bay and Minnesota, as well as games vs. Pittsburgh, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Arizona that may hold them out of the playoffs for a third straight season.

Ryan: I’ll agree on Pittsburgh taking down Chicago, but I expect victories over the rest except for Atlanta and Minnesota.

Derek: Speaking of Minnesota, they have now gone out and signed Brett Favre to run the offense and with him at the helm, RB Adrian Peterson may see a few less eight-man fronts, or it could be the other way around and because Peterson is so good, Favre may have his receivers one on one and be able to torch the defense.

Ryan: No way Derek! Favre is going to bust completely for the Vikings. He’s still hurt, he’s missed all of the preseason, he has no respect from his team right now, how can people call this team a Super Bowl contender?

Derek: Even the great Favre won’t be able to win them all, and losses to Pittsburgh, Arizona, Carolina, Green Bay, and Chicago will make this a close race at the end of the year.

Ryan: I feel an under-performing team falls to 7-9, punctuated by losses to Green Bay, Chicago, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and the New York Giants. Then, finally, the Brett Favre era will be over.

Derek: Let’s move on to Brett Favre’s old team, the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay went out and hired a new Defensive Coordinator and will go with the 3-4 this year, moving DE Aaron Kampman to OLB. They have looked sharp so far this preseason, but not as sharp as their offense has looked.

Ryan: I LOVE the 3-4 defense Derek, and Green Bay is adjusting amazingly to it, and I think that will be a huge factor in their 2009 season, helping load some of the work off of the offense.

Derek: Being led by QB Aaron Rodgers should lead them to wins over Chicago, Minnesota, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore.

Ryan: I see one of those games as a loss, but they will still finish second in the division, fighting for the wild card.

Derek: Finally, Detroit will be at the very bottom again, but they won’t repeat their 0-16 season.

Ryan: The Lions have gone to great pains to remove the stench of last year, and behind a new Coach in Jim Schwartz, and a team filled with a lot of new blood, I think five victories is a realistic stretch.

Derek: At best, they get two wins, against St. Louis and San Francisco, as neither team has the secondary to stop Megatron, WR Calvin Johnson, and that’s better than 0-16.

Ryan: I have a little more confidence than you in Detroit, and possibly better success in picking the NFC North.

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Brett Favre’s Strong Character Bodes Well for Vikings

Let’s be clear about this: There is no Brett Favre experiment going on in Minnesota. His positive effect on the team is a lock.

Let’s be clear about this: There is no lingering quarterback uncertainty in Minnesota because Tarvaris Jackson had a perfect passer rating in Week Two of preseason play and Sage Rosenfels has been spotted making some progress learning the Vikings’ offense.

Favre simply exists on a different quarterbacking plane than those already present in Minnesota.

And to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, let’s be clear about this: There is no more dissent in the Minnesota Vikings’ locker room than exists in any other of the 31 NFL locker rooms. Ask Jarred Allen.

Favre immediately makes the Minnesota Vikings’ offense better. And it’s not only because he is the most prolific passer in NFL history. The offensive success will come because Favre will show his new soldiers something they have never seen before—leadership.

Character is leadership, and Favre is as strong as they come.

Over the years, Favre’s iron-man status has risen to mythical proportions. His will to play through physical, emotional, and mental trauma has him currently standing on a 269-game starting streak that might never be broken.

Unfortunately, a good portion of the sports media has taken their former golden child to the sacrificial altar during the past months. An inexplicable rash of fury towards Favre is running through the sports beat because its members weren’t privy to his innermost thoughts in 2009.

Lately, some people find it popular to argue that Brett Favre has shown signs of “character weakness” since his departure from the Green Bay Packers. Ironically, that period of time has only demonstrated Favre’s strength of character—not a defect.

Retirement would have been the easy option for Favre in 2008, but he kept fighting.

The Packers’ brass wanted Favre to be their legend—just not their starting quarterback. Rather than accepting the Packers’ generous attempts to assist in preserving his legacy, Favre forged ahead.

The Packers offered their franchise face $25 million in bribe money to stay retired. However, Favre turned away from the Packers’ tainted reasoning and followed through on a trade that exiled him to the ends of the football earth—the 4-12 New York Jets.

With no prep time, no knowledge of the Jets vertically-oriented offense, and a biceps muscle in his throwing arm that was shredding week after week, Favre led the team to an 8-3 start and a relevant status in the league.

If you were to believe most of what you read nowadays, the final five games for the Jets unearthed a previously hidden Favre.

He is suddenly a health liability, a giant of locker room division, and just plain unreliable.

The reality is that Favre has never met an injury he couldn’t play through, he brings enthusiasm to every locker room he quarterbacks, and he will be the play-calling cornerstone the otherwise talented Vikings have not enjoyed in a long time.

Just like 2008, retirement would have been the easy option for Favre this year. 

If Favre had decided not to play in 2009, that would have been a true sign his character has weakened.

If Favre did not come to Minnesota this year, that would have been an absolute verdict of weakness—a signal he was out of date, washed up, and scared to take on a challenge.

That would have been a clear piece of evidence that Favre craved popularity more than playing football.

That would have been a signal that the toughest quarterback to play the game decided he was going to go soft.

And that would have been a shame.

Instead, the 39-year-old Favre keeps fighting in 2009. This will be his 19th season in the NFL.

Vikings teammates and fans alike can take inspiration from that show of character.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Why Favre Will Fail in Minnesota

“Brett Favre signs with the Minnesota Vikings.” Once I heard this I smiled and got ready to hear the predictions and the new expectations made for the Vikings. Many fans have immediately jumped onto the Vikings bandwagon, claiming they will win the NFC North. Some even said they will win the Super Bowl this year.

Now truth is they do have a solid chance at making it to the playoffs. All Favre is really going to have to do is hand it off to Adrian Peterson, right? Yes, everyone knows Favre is an upgrade over Tavaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte, the two quarterbacks that the Vikings managed to win 10 games with in 2008.

Minnesota Viking Fans, I have a question. Do you truthfully feel Favre is a liability at quarterback? Can anyone honestly believe that Brett Favre is the answer to the Vikings Super Bowl run this year? This is the man who couldn’t manage to take the New York Jets to the Super Bowl or even the playoffs and he has every single thing in Minnesota that he had in New York.

“Oh, but he has Adrian Peterson and a great offensive line in front of him this year.” He had the same exact thing with him in New York. Let’s not forget that Thomas Jones led the AFC in rushing yards with 1,312 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns, out scoring Adrian Peterson in less touches. Thomas Jones has also proven to be a better receiving back with 36 receptions and a pair of receiving touchdowns. Thomas Jones only fumbled the ball twice versus Adrian Peterson’s nine fumbles in 2008.

Favre also had better receivers in New York than he has in Minnesota with Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery, who by themselves managed to out score Minnesota’s top three receivers in Bernard Berrian, Bobby Wade, and Sidney Rice 12-11. 

Now here comes the funny part. Even with all this in 2008, Favre managed to lead the league in interceptions and only managed an 81.0 quarterback rating. Although Favre started the season out flaming hot, he started to decline late in the season. If Favre throws as many interceptions as he did in 2008 in 2009 and Adrian Peterson fumbles nine or more times, that is a lot of turnovers. If these turnovers seem to happen in the first four games of the season the Vikings could be in some trouble. Without Kevin Williams and Pat Williams you might just see teams run it down Minnesota’s throats.

Now this is my first “Favre to Vikings” article and I know I’m going to get some comments and get “bashed” for saying that Minnesota won’t be as amazing as everyone makes them seem, but I really don’t care. If Adrian Peterson fumbles as much as he did in 2008 and Favre leads the league in interceptions, that means a lot of drives ending and a whole lot more chances for an opposing offense to score.

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Just Sayin’ — Favre Finger Discount

Why So Serious, Brett?

Favre plays The Joker.

Let me start this week’s column by saying, my views do not necessarily reflect the views of  Top Fantasy Football.

There are three things I’m sick of hearing, seeing, and reading about lately; President Obama’s healthcare scare, Michael Vick’s redemption, and Brett Favre’s un-retirement.

One is too inexperienced to do the job, the other is too unrepentant to deserve the job, and the other is a cheesehead in Barney’s clothing who shouldn’t have been looking for a job to begin with. Before this season is all over I suspect Favre will beat the purple machine black and blue.

Don’t misunderstand me. I have no quarrel with Favre’s retirement dance.

If he wants to tarnish his career and go out with a thud and whimper rather than the grace, poise and bang he could have, well, he’s earned that right.

My issue is with how Favre has deserted his faithful Packer fans. I don’t think any true fan begrudges his desire to play on. But consorting with the enemy? Taking up arms with the Vikings? This is the ultimate insult to Green Bay and their misplaced loyalty in Brett.

He’s given them the Favre finger discount. He’s discounted their support, he’s discounted his allegiance to the green and cheddar, and ultimately, he’s discounted his legend and all he stood for in Wisconsin and to the NFL.

Playing for the Jets was one thing, but there is no worse team Favre could have suited up for that could have hurt Packers fans more. And that’s just not the Favre America has admired all these years.

Brett you wept openly at your retirement from your beloved Packers, were those merely crocodile tears? You’re nearly 40, you have a torn rotator cuff, just what are you trying to prove? Is the call of the spotlight that compelling?

You have the heart of a giant, but nowhere is it present in this recent un-retirement folly. And Packers fans are not alone in this feeling that you do not belong in Viking purple.

Now the Favre story has taken on a new twist.

Apparently not all of the Vikings want the Packers’ Judas in their clubhouse, leading their team. This is exactly the kind of distraction, as if the Favre circus wasn’t already a monumental drain on the team’s focus, the team doesn’t need.

Who knows how much validity these rumors have, and I’m not here to fan those flames. In my opinion Favre doesn’t belong  in Minnesota regardless.

He’s not the same talent he was even three years ago, and the Vikings should be focusing on the future, not a one season dog and pony show. If Favre doesn’t take the Vikes to the promised land this season, Brad Childress may join the ranks of the unemployed.

Favre is turning his Hall of Fame career into a shameful shadow of his once great image and body of work.

Favre will take the field this coming Monday for a full two quarters (according to the team) in the Vikings third preseason game at Houston, and it will be a hard sight for me and many other football fans around the nation. Favre is a Packer.

We can forgive his Jets dalliance as a mid-life crisis. He clearly did not play in New York with a full heart.

But if he takes the field in the regular season as a Viking, I for one cannot forgive such betrayal.

Stop this silliness now Brett, for the sake of your fans, if not your legacy. Your faithful supporters deserve better. Green Bay deserves better. Hell, even Tarvaris Jackson deserves better. Just sayin’.

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Minnesota Vikings: No Rift Between Players on Quarterback Job

The has been multiple national reports stating that the Minnesota Viking’s locker room is divided over who they think is best equipped at the quarterback position for them to win.

Some players are said to be backing Tarvaris Jackson and others are behind veteran Brett Favre.  But the reality seems to be far different, based on conversations with Viking’s players and coaching staff.

There’s nothing to suggest there’s any sort of split, rift, or divide in the Minnesota locker room.

Head Coach Brad Childress and all-pro running back Adrian Peterson said they didn’t sense any widespread split emotions in favor of Jackson or Favre.

Tarvaris Jackson has friends on the team that want to see him succeed and have a productive career with the Vikings, and that is surely to be expected as he enters his fourth year with the franchise.

After Jackson’s performance in the Vikings last game at home against the Kansas City Chiefs, you knew there may be some grumblings of the Favre signing.  Jackson went 12 of 15 for 202 yards and two touchdowns. 

This while the newest Minnesota quarterback (Favre) went 1 of 4 for four yards.

But as always, there is a difference between friends and business.

The players, as of now, seem to be on board with Brett Favre being the starting quarterback.  His leadership and knowledge of this West Coast offense team give them the best shot at victory. 

Only time will tell if there is a mutiny against him.

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National Media, Not Brett Favre Creates “Circus” for Minnesota Vikings

Throughout the last seven cruel months, we’ve all been beleaguered with “Favre Watch,” “Favre-apalooza,” Favre at night, Favre in the morning, and Favre in the afternoon.

Since Favre declared his retirement from football and the Jets on Feb. 11, he’s responded with a two-letter text, held an interview with Joe Buck, claimed his arm wasn’t ready before training camp, and then reversed course and signed with the Vikings.

That’s it.

Including the response to Trent Dilfer in a text message that said “NO,” that’s four times Favre has spoken to the media or publicly addressed his career decisions between Feb. 11 and Aug. 18.

No one could possibly count how many times he’s been in the news since the conclusion of the 2008 season. Any watcher of the NFL Network would hear five to 30 mentions of him a day this last offseason. 

Certainly, this has sent most fans not from Minnesota running the other way in a Favre-a-Revulsion.

But how much of this is the fault of the target of all this media frenzy?

Is it because he had been so secluded these last months that we’ve been bombarded with Favre?

Maybe he should have been more accessible to shoot down rumors and respond to the most guessed-upon daily reports. Obviously, AT&T needs to go to Hattiesburg and install a red “Brett phone” in his office.

Adam Schefter might want to employ a “Brett-Man search light,” with a big No. 4 in the middle the next time he needs a hot Favre scoop to satisfy his new employers at ESPN.

While it’s true that Favre is at fault for his waffling between being retired and not retired, the media is writing and reporting. And conversely, the readers have eaten up everything written, spoken, and thought about Favre.  

Writers and reporters such as Ed Werder, Jay Glazer, Joe Buck, Peter King, and Pat Kirwin, just to name a few, have seen the popularity of their work skyrocket just by employing the tag “Favre” in the headlines.

They write it, we hurriedly read it, and it all adds up to a fanbase crying Brett-nausea.

Now, with the long, cruel offseason behind us and Favre finally making his decision, he’s behind closed doors practicing with his new team. With the drama of his waffling now over, the only thing to report on is football.

However, the preseason has its hidden cruelties as well. The games are over after Monday night, and that makes for long weeks of sleepless writers tossing and turning, counting purple goats with No. 4 shaved on to them jumping over fences.

With every game already picked apart and analyzed down to the third-string punt teams, the analysts can’t stop thinking about Favre’s shoulder, what he’s had for dinner, and if his Deep South country farts are wet or dry.

And, of course, we read it.

Most notably, Schefter is back at it, trying to add to the Circus. Obviously employing the confidence of two or three fourth-string special teamers, Schefter is talking about “schisms” in the locker room. 

Supposedly, there’s a great divide in the opinions of who in fact should quarterback the Vikings in 2009. Perhaps it’s the great insight of Jake Nordin, the fifth-string tight end that’s got Schefter’s ear.

Maybe Nick Moore, the sixth player behind Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Vinny Peralta, and Bobby Wade is chirping like a bird about the divide that adds to the Ringling Bros. and Brett and Bailey “sucker born a minute” drama.

Clearly, it’s not any of the Vikings “ones.” Pat Williams addressed this when he said that “the young players get caught up, and some of the young guys don’t know [expletive].

“You have a role, and you have to accept it. But if someone did say something, it don’t matter, because he isn’t one of the leaders on this team,” said Williams, one of those said leaders. “The leaders are all together.”

Schefter and any reporter out there tagging Favre in their headlines would be wise to employ Vikings teammates who will be on the roster come opening kickoff, or to simply let the Circus fade into the season.

But of course, that would mean leaving the biggest story of the last seven cruel months fade away. And in turn, the readership of their articles would drop.

But it also means they’d have to start talking about what really matters: What happens on the field.

That just doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Favrakingaloosa Watch,” now does it?

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Brett Favre: Looked Better in Green

I still can’t get over seeing Brett Favre in purple.  It’s almost surreal.  The very sight of Favre in purple brings a whole array of feelings that my body can’t quite process at the same time. 

I grew up a Vikings fan living in the St. Louis area.  I didn’t have a team when I was young; too young to for the St. Louis (football) Cardinals and already too into the Vikings to jump ship when the Rams came to town.

Growing up a Vikings fan instills a certain feeling towards all things Green Bay.  Including their ex-quarterback.  I grew up despising Brett Favre.  The kind of disdain you reserve for only a select few in all of sports.  Now he’s on the Vikings…and I’m not sure what to think.

My initial reaction, especially after seeing the numbers he put up for the Jets in 2008 was, “there goes the season.”  He’s a short step away from 40, he just came off surgery on his throwing arm, he still has a torn rotator cuff, and I’m not sure I mentioned this, but he’s almost 40! 

Favre is now a Viking, and like it or not, I’ll have to accept that.  I’ve been trying to see what the positives could be; I mean, I may not like the guy, but there’s a reason he’s on top of all the record books.  He’s experienced, he’s creative, and most importantly, defenses may have to respect him. 

I’m still on the anti-Favre faction of Vikings fans.  I’ve gotten over all those years that he was wearing Packer green and yellow.  I’ve gotten over all of the heartbreaks he caused for the Vikings and its fans, too.  I’m still against this move. 

I’m also against Tarvaris Jackson. 

Earlier in the offseason the Vikings signed a 30-something career backup in Sage Rosenfels.  Look, I don’t think he’s going to be the next Kurt Warner who gets pulled from the depths of football irrelevance to become a Hall of Fame quarterback, but looking back at some of his games, especially from last year, I can’t help but think that there’s something there.

If you look back at Rosenfels’ 2008 season, undoubtedly there’s one moment that jumps out.  The week four Indianapolis Colts game.  The Texans blow a 17 point fourth quarter lead partially to Rosenfels running the ball and getting spun into a helicopter spin by Raheem Brock.  Rosenfels fumbled and the ball gets returned 60-plus yards for a defensive touchdown. 

That’s a moment that sticks in my head, like most people who watched the game.  This is also the moment that make me think Rosenfels is the Vikings best choice to take the helm on offense. 

The difference between Favre from 2008 and Rosenfels from 2008 is that with the week four play from Sage Rosenfels, I can see what he was doing.  He put his body on the line to get a first down to ice the game.  I had an idea of what he was trying to do, however poorly it was executed.  The 2008 Brett Favre was making decisions that to this day, I’m unable to figure out.  His last five games in 2008, he threw nine interceptions.

To me, that’s not having a plan, even if you have to put your body on the line, it’s being careless with the ball.  It’s running out of gas with roughly one-third of the season left. 

Rosenfels theatrics in week four may not be what you want on your highlight real, but it does look like the actions of a guy who will put his body on the line if it means it’ll get the win.  It reminds me of this one quarterback that wore the number four in Green Bay. 

He used to deviate from the play and put his heart into getting that next first down.  Unfortunately the No. 4 the Vikings have is just the shell of that player.  I’m not sure where the heart went, but it’s not there anymore.

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Vikings’ Favre Will Divide, Packers Will Conquer

It has started already.

The rumblings out of Minnesota. A team divided. A “schism” it’s being called.

In the words of one NFL source, Favre has “little support” in the locker room.

Ah, it’s music to my ears.

Like Napoleon Bonaparte, the self-proclaimed emperor of France that didn’t know when to stop, has Brett Favre gone too far and agitated his own Minnesota minions?

There are many players in the Viking locker room that don’t want Favre there. Some resent his riding in on his white horse to seemingly “rescue” the Vikings. “We didn’t need rescuing” is the sentiment.

Some resent the special treatment he has received from the Vikings organization and Brad Childress.

What self-respecting NFL coach drives to the airport to pick up a player? None. Except for Brad Childress.

Some are just buddies of Tarvaris Jackson and are incensed at the raw deal he has received. All T-Jack wanted was a fair fight between him and Sage Rosenfels. That scenario is officially dead.

And some are in Rosenfels’ corner. They felt he could bring the consistency that T-Jack lacks.

After all, the Vikings did pretty well when unspectacular, but steady Gus Frerotte was at the helm last year. Why not give Sage a chance? That possibility is also dead.

As Abe Lincoln said (borrowed from the new testament, I believe), “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Will Favre turn the Minnesota Vikings into “Team Turmoil?” It really only depends on one thing—how well he plays. If he is able to play at a high level and lead the Vikings to some wins, most likely all will be forgotten.

I happen to be one Packer fan that still believes he can play and if healthy, he will help the Vikings. But I  don’t regret the Packers’ decision to go with Aaron Rodgers. That decision is looking better every day.

But if Favre playing well doesn’t come to pass, resentment will linger, the “schism” will get larger, and the Vikings divided “house” and season will come tumbling down.

Like the egomaniacal emperor Napoleon, Brett Favre has recorded many victories and conquered many hardships. But will going to Minnesota be his Waterloo and mark the end of his reign as emperor of the NFL?

If so, then perhaps the Packers will conquer the NFC North. As a Packer fan, it’s what I have to hope for.

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You can find more of Jersey Al Bracco’s articles on several sports websites: Jersey Al’s Blog, Packer Chatters , Packers Lounge, NFL Touchdown and of course,  Bleacher Report.

You can also follow Jersey Al on twitter.

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