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Brett Favre Is A Minnesota Viking

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Brett Favre Is A Minnesota Viking

Ten, even five years ago, those words would have been devastating to me.

Now? They're a punchline.

A few months ago, when we began our live broadcasts during OTAs and Mini-Camps, I was accused of going all 'CSPAN' because I dared to put Favre and his career in the context of the real world. I think I was justified when you look at the fact that there was an uprising in Iran, thousands of brave men and women, some who spend their precious free time reading this blog, were (and still are) stationed in the hell holes of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the country had come to the brink of financial collapse. These facts made me less than hysterical about the possibility of Brett Favre signing a contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

That is not to say I don't understand, or indeed that I myself have not been caught up in, the drama and the angst of it all. Favre has always had that affect on anyone who watches the game of football. And the game, at its best, is the struggle we actually enjoy. We spend all week dealing with everything from the mundane to the profound when it comes to our real world lives - football, the Packers, provide an almost mythic escape, and for a good part of 16 years, Brett Favre was the hero of that story. Indeed, it was as though we witnessed Joseph Campbell's "Hero With A Thousand Faces" distilled and we were watching a perfect representation of The Hero, from the young, naive, arrogant boy, (3rd stringer in Atlanta out getting drunk every night) to the young man who refused the call (butting heads with Holmgren, wanting to do things his own way), to a man harnessing his powers and understanding the work and sacrifice necessary. Only now, that hero has written another, unexpected chapter - the conclusion to this saga is the discovery that our hero is not actually ours, indeed never was. It is only natural that we, as Packers fans, feel personally slighted, feel directly aggrieved, that our hero has turned.

For me, the cracks in the facade began with the failed attempt by Ted Thompson to get Randy Moss, when Favre, in a tantrum that then seemed out of character but now makes a world of sense, demanded to be traded and then turned around and said, no, he never asked to be traded and that he could never envision playing in another uniform. At that point, I was most definitely still on Team Favre, willing to swallow any garbage Favre fed me from the podium. Of course, the drama of last summer, where Favre laid bare his grievances and finally began to shine a light on his true character and intentions, brought me to quite another place.

In the press conference introducing him as a member of the Vikings, Favre mentioned wanting to be a leader and wanting to be a good teammate. I am now convinced Favre doesn't know the meaning of the words. Perhaps he did at some point, long before his ego ascended into the stratosphere, but no longer. How can any member of the Minnesota Vikings look at Favre as a leader? A leader would have been there in March, realizing that those precious hours and days are what lead to the goal of winning the Super Bowl, not paying lip service to the idea. The willingness to WORK for the goal is what makes a leader. The only willingness Favre has shown is a willingness to do some half-assed training throwing to high school kids and then show up for the games. As Bob McGinn so perfectly put it:

He has faded five seasons in a row partly because he doesn’t take the offseason seriously and isn’t fully prepared physically or mentally. Football is a brutal game. There are no shortcuts, especially at 39. Maybe it isn’t fun to leave Hattiesburg in mid-March and live in the Twin Cities for three months. But if Brett were dead serious about going out in a blaze of glory and helping the Vikings, that’s precisely what he would have done

Brett is serious about going out in a blaze of glory, just on his own terms. That, in turn, hurts the Vikings, which of course is fine by me. What is not fine with me is this casual attitude toward the people who made him what he is today - and make no mistake, Green Bay made Brett, not the other way around. (See Andrew In Atlanta's excellent post on this, as well as Donald's Designated Driver's work on Favre for validation of this claim) Favre says "Real Packer fans will understand". You would have thought that during the 45 minutes he made people wait for his press conference, he would have come up with something better than that. No, Brett, REAL Packer fans will hate your guts, and I can't say I blame them.

Brett Favre is a Minnesota Viking. Our hero is now the villian. If nothing else, it is sublime theater.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (35) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Bad Knees's picture

What amazes me is what took you, and most Packers fans, so long to catch on. The man has been a self centered hot dog his whole career. I hope Rogers stays healthy. He is going to be a real treat for all Packers fans...a modern day Bart Starr.

foundinidaho's picture

I prefer to think, as you say, Brett was that person we liked to think he was (not perfect mind you, just grown up a little) but there's no denying that right now, at this place and time, he's being a princess. It's too bad for him, and for us.

Now, let's play some football and kick the Vikings' ass, among others.

ctpack's picture

So what, Brent Favre is a Viking with a tear in his rotador cuff.Aaron Rodgers is 25 year old who threw for over 4,000 yards in his first year of starting.

D.D. Driver's picture

I must say, I am somewhat taken aback by this---the most anticipated post in CHTV history.
I was expecting unfiltered rage, and what I got was thoughtful and well-measured.
What is happening with this world?

CSS's picture

I live in St. Paul, MN. I am a Packer fan. I was surprised by nothing tied to this announcment nor did the timing catch me off gaurd. Emotionally I WAS indifferent, until the press conference....

Envoking his DAUGHTER in an attempt to tug at the media/casual fan heartstings? Really, Brett? That's how you attempt to play the humble good ol' boy these days? Pathetic and sophmoric. Implying you know what a REAL PACKER FAN will know and feel? Really, Brett? You claim to have your finger on the pulse of the Packer fans (excuse me, REAL Packer fans)?

He jumped the shark with both those items and he and Brad "Sac-Less" have no credibility. It's not IF the lockeroom crashes and players leak displeasure but when.

After that disengenuous load of crap for a press conference I lost whatever shred of admiration for Brett Favre I may have burried deep inside some cavity of my body for future reference during some induction ceremony. Never again...

Andrew in Atlanta's picture

DDD - Although I could be wrong, I think Aaron was being gracious enough to let me be the one to spew.
CSS - Pulling the daughter into it was terrible, I agree. Also, the "real Packer fans" quote was pathetic, but how about his sensitivity to what folks might be thinking about all the waffling? When asked what he would say to those folks - "don't watch."
One more thing - No one buys the "awe shucks" hayseed routine anymore Brett so you can loose the dirty, hay bailin' hat prop

Ruppert's picture

I also live in the Twin Cities area. And what I could not believe was the reaction yesterday by fans and the local media. Somebody paid a lot of cash to fuel up a helicopter to fly around and take pictures of Favre and Childress driving around in an SUV. Local TV had camera crews at the St. Paul airport, shooting video through cyclone fence. A small crowd of fans was there, and one gentleman was so giddy in his interview that he couldn't even form a sentence. Crews were dispatched to the practice facility as well, where fans were interviewed while peeking through small holes in black plastic meant to obscure the view of practice. A crowd of people were literally running across the block for the chance to run alongside that SUV carrying Childress and Favre. All 4 local news channels abandoned programming to carry not only the Favre presser, but the full 45 minutes that we had to wait. And the final station sent a reporter and camera crew to border-town bars to interview Packers fans just to see how pissed off they were. THAT is how strange it is here...covering fan reaction from a rival team, in the neighboring state, is news. Lotsa luck, suckers.

Pete's picture

One thing I haven't seen brought up is that they signed him to a 2-year deal. They are just inviting this circus to happen next summer as well. Unbelievable.

packeraaron's picture

DDD - trust me, there were many versions over the course of the last 6 months. This is just where I'm at right now. You of all people should know that I am much more measured when given a chance to reflect. To see the bile, you have to go to my Twitter page and see what I was posting in real time... ;)

Ryeguy812's picture

A post that was well worth the wait Aaron. Mortenson (or maybe it was Wojic) had a decent article liking Favre to Fredo from The Godfather, seems you feel the same way.

Holly's picture

Ryeguy - yeah, Wojciechowski's piece was good, as was Michael Hunt's piece on JSOnline this morning. Aaron, I admit that I was waiting for some epic rage, but I like this -- it captures the disillusionment that has grown on so many fans over the last few years, culminating in borderline disgust at Brett's narcissism. Real Packer fans don't see football as a business. We see the Packers as family, and, Fredo, we're so disappointed.

Andrew's picture

I have tried to ignore Brett for the past year - thinking these conversations only divide and distract Packer fans. But this is it.

F*ck him, F*uck them, go pack go.

retiredgrampa's picture

Another pathetic picture....Childress' apparent attempts to go to any lengths to save his job. He would destroy the lockerroom, alienate two other QBs to whom he had promised fair treatment, forever lose credibility with his team and fans....just to short-cut his way to an extra win or two. A real coach would develope the talented players he had on his team. Or, at least, try to.

LazySportsFan's picture

I agree "real Packer fans will hate your guts" the hardcore fans will

If anything I think the reason that there hasn't been even more overt outrage over this move is the fact that most Packer fans are more than happy with Rodgers, so some take the "who cares what Favre does attitude"

PackerBelle's picture

I live in the Twin Cities and it is amazing how fans that basically though Favre was an overrated hack when he was in his prime are now convinced he's the best thing since sliced bread.

I do agree the vast majority of Packer fans are happy with Rodgers. I was always pretty happy we had him behind Favre because he seemed like someone who wanted to work hard and excel and didn't take himself too seriously. Plus, after the Dallas game in 2007 it was obvious he had a lot of talent. I think we have the best QB in the division and potentially one of the best in the league. I'm proud to have a #12 jersey.

And I might just have to wear it around the 50th and France area in Edina where the Favres apparently bought their condo.

Aaron Rogders's picture

Has anyone seriously looked at the Vikings website? I haven't looked at every single NFL team's website, but this one has to be one of the worst. I think Aaron Nagler would be happy to see some more "IT Guys" hired for the Vikings because the site needs some serious work. Maybe its that horrible color but it hurts my eyes looking at it...

Packsmack's picture

I agree with Favre: 'Real Packer fans will understand.' I understand. Though I hope the Vikings don't win a game, I understand that a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. I also think the mis-characterization of Brett Favre as represented in so much of the media, that he is a whiner, a baby, an ego-maniac is dead wrong. I understand that he wants to play football. And he still can. Stop hating the man and taking it all so personal - none of this is about you (a generality, not aimed at any one individual). Football is also a business. And on the other hand, Favre's playing with the hated Minnesota Vikings, who still suck too, certainly will bring some added excitement to the Packer-Viking games with some new incentives to win. Admit it, we all will relish the wins over the Vikes even more than usual this year. But cut Brett Favre some slack; he's earned it.

CSS's picture

Anybody, in any location, that utters the word 'haters' or 'hating' on a team or player are complete homers that come to the conversation with an ax to grind. They always start by building a complete strawman arguement with the underlaying premise (often unstated) that the subject of criticism is somehow 'infallable'.

Oh, and thank you for pulling out the 'no true scotsman' fallacy. The dissenter gets to define what a 'TRUE' (fan in this case) term means and it becomes the crux of their arguement.


packeraaron's picture

"I understand that a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do" - which is exactly what Thompson did when he told Favre the Packers had decided to move on. Someone finally had the balls to call Favre on his bullshit and it blew Favre's mind. I for one am nothing but thankful Ted Thompson is in charge of the team I love.

Rainman's picture

Packsmack, I must admit I like having another reason to hate the vikings.
LazySportsFan, I agree I would look at if differently if The Packers wanted him and he turned down their offer to jump ship to a different team he thought might have a better chance at winning the Superbowl. That just isn't the case. Having Rodgers under center is much better for us.
Favre isn't betraying the Packers any more than the Packers are betraying him by not giving him the QB spot when he wanted it. NOONE HAS BEEN BETRAYED!
Favre thinks he can still play and 2 years ago the Pack must have thought that too or they would have just released after they were done with him(like Sharper, also not betrayed). The Pack did what was best for us, Favre is doing what's best(in his mind) for him.

IronMan's picture

All I have to say is I don't care. Its just like getting pissed off about your ex girlfriend. Not worth it. She can date whoever the hell she wants; and Favre can play for whoever he wants. End of story.

VApackerfan's picture

Rainman you say "Favre isn’t betraying the Packers any more than the Packers are betraying him by not giving him the QB spot when he wanted it. NOONE HAS BEEN BETRAYED!" The key words are "when he wanted it". That was exactly the problem. It was always on Brett's watch. Furthermore you are not closely looking at the timeline of events that have taken place the last 8 years with BF and the Packers. The Packers gave him every chance to come back and start and he took his usual self centered way about it. Rodgers was ready and TT jumped on it, and it has paid off. As a franchise, the Packers are in a great spot. However, the underlying point is that Brett is an unusual player that doesn't come around too often and GB fans fell in love with him. The move to the Vikings is a slap in the face move, especially when he was given his fair chance.

bucky's picture

You know, one thing that's been overlooked in all this is the Jets. They simply let Favre go after last season, didn't see any reason to try to keep him, even though it looks likely that they're gonna go into this season with a rookie QB. Why do you suppose that is?

n's picture

Great article, Aaron. I actually date Favre's psychological meltdown to the firing of Sherman. Sherman let Favre run the team. Then Favre wanted Marriucci, but he got MM instead. Then, when TT had the audacity to draft Aaron Rodgers, I think that's when Favre really lost it. But yeah, the Randy Moss thing is a lot clearer now.
I also think TT got rid of a lot of veterans on the team, because they were more loyal to Favre than the team itself. That's why we saw the "youth movement." Especially getting rid of Henderson and some of those other guys. Tauscher might even fit into that category.

jerseypackfan's picture

All this talk of burning jerseys is insane! I would never burn my teams colors.
I instead ripped the name plate off all my #4 jerseys.

Rainman's picture

VApackerfan, I agree that TT did the right thing by making the move to Rodgers, and I have been behind this move from day 1(That's not always the case with TT). But I fail to understand what the last 8 years has to do with his signing with the vikings. I can see that it may have been a reason behind them deciding to make the move, Although it was more likely The up side of rodgers vs diminishing returns from Favre.
And as for the arguement that he was given a fair chance in GB and so he can't go to the vikings, it sounds like our suggesting that if a player plays for GB and we are done with him he must retire or he's betraying us.

franksez's picture

Sums it up about as good as I could have..

VApackerfan's picture

Rainman, it's not that he must retire...he did retire. That was all his doing. The Pack had to move on and now he wants to stick it to the Packers because we moved on. As Aaron pointed out, this team built him up, and took him in. I understand the bitter feelings around Packer world. Sure let him play for the Vikings...but there are consequences to every action.

FITZCORE1252's picture

@ year deal huh? Just sets that franchise back all the more! This in the long run will benefit the Green Bay Packers in many ways, IMO.


Rainman's picture

VApackers, He did retire then he unretired and so on. Other then making him look goofy, it has no bearing on the situation. I agree that the packers made him the QB he was and is, but that's what they are supposed to do, develop players. They developed him then used his ability till TT decided the Pack was better off with out him. I realize that it came after he said he was retied, but once he came back and they felt he was not an asset they wanted then he has to go somewhere else to play.
He can't force the Pack to keep him as a player and they can't make him retire.
Once he decided to come back the vikings made the logical choice in his mind. I would have perfered it if he stayed retired, but he didn't.

PackerBelle's picture

A lot of people justify Favre playing for the Vikings by saying that the Packers didn't want him. Except that they did want him - until it got to a point where he was more of a distraction than anything else. He retired and then refused to accept the consequences of his actions, like that the team would adjust to fit Aaron Rodgers' style rather than his own.

I will agree that Favre can play for any team that will have him. But that doesn't mean he should. I can get trashed every night but that doesn't mean I should do it. Basically Favre could have played for any team but MN and Chicago and Packer fans may not have been happy but we wouldn't be as pissed. Instead he picked on of the biggest rivals knowing that he gets to play the Pack twice a season. He can do that but he then doesn't get to complain when Packer fans get upset.

WoodyG's picture

"What amazes me is what took you, and most Packers fans, so long to catch on. The man has been a self centered hot dog his whole career."
Bad Knees brings up a valid & honest point. .... The possibility that BF would flame-out as a Packer has always existed. ... Yet many PackFans express indignation & surprise at BF's bad behavior the last year or so. .... I would contend BF's ego-centric behavior started in the '90s after securing a few MVP awards. .... I'm afraid many PackFans were blinded by the BF PR machine. .... Some of us were not.

IronMan's picture

I don't understand why Packer fans are so pissed. Do you guys get pissed at your ex gf based on who she dates?

How in the hell is he "betraying" anyone? Thats ridiculous.

PackerBelle's picture

If your ex sleeps with your worst enemy to get back at you and badmouths you to everyone she meets then I would think that most people would be pissed.

This isn't Reggie White going to the Panthers because he still wanted to play. This is Brett Favre thowing a temper tantrum because the Packers told him 'no' when he wanted to come back last July and trying to do his best to 'stick it to Ted [Thompson]'.

LazySportsFan's picture

"I don’t understand why Packer fans are so pissed. Do you guys get pissed at your ex gf based on who she dates?

How in the hell is he “betraying” anyone? Thats ridiculous."

emmm whaat?

We don't need to go outside sports for an analogy, its like a player leaving RedSox for Yankees, Barcelona for Real Madrid, Army for Navy etc.

You just don't do it!

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