Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Send Your Letters of Sorrow and Woe

If you've read this "iNournal," you know that I'm a heart-broken Packers fan. I thought that I wrote out my sadness of the Favre farce, so I stopped. Plus, school started again and I just didn't have enough time to write about it the way I wanted to and still pay the bills. So, in an attempt to share in the sorrow and woe that is watching Brett Favre -- the NFL's poster-boy for system quarterbacks -- dominate The League at 40 years old, I am asking that you send me letters expressing how you feel about Brett Favre.

If he makes you sad, mad, or if he makes you want to puke, say so. Or if you want to share your greatest Favre memory (Favre, The Packer, that is), then do that. Whatever I get, I'll post on this blog. Write anonymously, or share your name; either way, it's group therapy and all of us heart-broken Packers fans can get through this together.

Send your letters to FavreHeartBreak@gmail.com. Tell your friends, too.

Thanks for reading, and good luck coping with the sorrow and woe that Favre is causing all Packers fans. May I suggest drinking it under the table while listening to some Hank Williams?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Conspiracies and Schisms: It's All Old Hat for Brett Favre

Today's post starts with a correction: Yesterday, I accidentally attributed a story to the Washington Post that was actually on the Wall Street Journal's website; it was an honest, if not obvious mistake. But in my defense, when your vision is as blurred by the saline tears of Brett Favre Heart Break as mine, you too will find it hard to read banner logos and URLs. Be that as it may, this story has been on my mind since I read it.

Generally, I'm not one to believe in conspiracy theories. I believe a man landed on the moon, I don't believe our president is a half-Black Nazi trying to kill old people with health insurance, and I don't believe the NFL conspired with the government in an effort to ensure the Patiots won the 2001 Super Bowl so we'd all feel better after 9-11. Although, I have to admit, that was pretty awesome.

Still, after reading about Brett Favre's five years old-looking Vikings cap, I can't help but wonder if something sinister has been at work here. Could it be possible that his signing with the Vikings was completed on more than just a 25 million dollar whim, as we've been told by the media? Could this awful union of the Packers' most-beloved player and their fans' most hated team have been a conspiracy all along? We all know that Favre wanted to play for the Vikings in the first place, and only settled on the Jets when he couldn't get his way. Then, almost inconceivably, Favre was able to get his full release from the Jets by "retiring" after last season. So what's going on here?

I began to go back and read some of the stories from when this whole charade began last summer, and I was shocked to find photographic evidence in support of a conspiracy:

Look closely at Favre's hat in this picture from his first preseason game with the Jets. Incredibly, he's showing his hand in full view of a national television audience! Could this be the same hat to which the Wall Street Journal was referring? Perhaps, but their article said the hat looked "five years old." Allow me to present exhibit B:

How this vulgar abomination slipped past Packers fans and the media is beyond me. But can there be any doubt now that Brett Favre, the Viking is something Childress and Favre have been planning all along?   If that's not enough to convince you that Favre has been secretly plotting a voyage on the Sex Boat, take a look at this 1992 draft day photo I found:

It's a little blurry, and if you ask me, looks a little Photoshopped but, as sure as the sun rises in the east, that's a Vikings hat. And yes, those are "jorts" he's wearing, too. This is how Oliver Stone must have felt while he was researching JFK.

Surely there is an explanation, right? Maybe growing up, the Vikings were Favre's favorite team and he just told Packers fans he loved the Saints. Perhaps he knew we'd never accept a Vikings fan as a leader. Favre being a Saint's fan is certainly believable since he grew up in Louisiana. Plus, he would have had the pleasure of watching Archie Manning. However, one has to at least question this story because the Saints were awful during the 70s and 80s.

All of that is food for thought, but one man does not a conspiracy make. No, for this to be a conspiracy, we need evidence that another person was involved. Of course the most likely culprit is Vikings Coach, Brad Childress. Could he have gone to Philadelphia at the behest of Brett Favre to learn a Holmgren-esque version of the West Coast Offense? I think what you are about to see leaves no doubt that Favre and Childress have been planning to unite in Minnesota for some time now:

(Look closely, 3 row up, 5th from the left)
In case your vision is blurred by saline tears of Brett Favre Heart Break, let's zoom in on this 2003 photo of the Philadelphia Eagles for a larger, more pixelly look:

Now there can be no doubt that Favre going to the Vikings was much more than Childress calling Favre on a lark at the exact moment Brett happened to changed his mind for the last time. This Vikings novelty hat is the "smoking gun" that places Favre and Childress in cahoots at the helm of a great conspiracy to destroy the hearts and minds of Packers fans while imposing their will upon the NFL. (Not in terms of winning games, of course, but just in terms of not following standard preseason and retirement procedures.) Needless to say, now that they've gotten away with it, the only thing left to do in order to bring the plan to its completion is to win the Super Bowl.

The problem with a conspiracy though, is that once someone finds out about it, they sort of have to be in on it, whether or not they want to be. This is the situation in which the Vikings currently find themselves, and apparently, not everyone is aboard the proverbial sex boat to the Super Bowl.

Yesterday, ESPN reported there is a "schism" among teammates in the Vikings locker room. Frankly, they couldn't have chosen a better word to describe the rift among those who are buying into the religion of Brett Favre, and those who would like to follow Tarvaris Jackson based on actually having seen him "out-Favre" Brett Favre on the football field.

What two knowledgeable NFL people described earlier this week as an "issue" in the Minnesota Vikings' locker room was described Wednesday by a third informed person as a "schism."

The issue is quarterback Brett Favre, and the schism is the preference that certain Vikings players have for specific quarterbacks.

Sources with knowledge of the Vikings' locker-room dynamics say some players believe Tarvaris Jackson gives the Vikings the best chance to win... 

As you might expect, when Favre was asked for comment on the supposed "schism" he did what he has done so well the past several weeks: he played dumb, saying, "I don't even know what that means."

Apparently, neither does Jared Allen, whose response when asked about the schism was, "I'm not answering any schism quesitons. It's all [a swear word]"

Obviously Favre and Allen never listened to Anthrax. (Although I find it hard to believe that Allen's mullet doesn't listen to 80's heavy metal.) Back in the 1980s the thrash metal pioneers ended the American Civil War and reunited a schismatic nation by insisting, "a house divided can't stand." If you've never listened to Anthrax and that sounds familiar to you, it's not because Childress has been telling his players something similar in an effort to get them working towards a common goal.

No, there must be some other reason.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Image is Everything: Brett Favre and Old Hats

Brett Favre has an image that throughout his career has portrayed toughness, reliability, resilient-y-ness(?), competitiveness, success. In short, he has been a winner who has excelled against all odds. But over the last year or so, several new adjectives have crept into the description of his Tough Guy facade. Words like, "old," "indecisive," "uncertain," "selfish," "battered," and maybe even, as the Pack Smack "iNournal" points out, "confused" and "forgetful." Of course, even heart-broken Packers fans like me want to believe that Brett Favre is still tough and reliable, but really, there's no telling what the Vikings are going to get this year with Favre under center, and this has some Vikings fans worried.

Take a look at this poll conducted by the Makato Free Press which shows that 16% of Vikings fans believe that Favre will make their team worse, and nearly 20% think he'll make no difference at all:

Add it all up and one-third of Vikings fans just aren't that impressed with what Favre can bring to the table. If public perception of Favre was still what it was two years ago, no doubt 100% of Vikings fans would agree, despite their hatred for the man, that he would make their team better. At the very least, one has to think he wouldn't be driving fans away:

From the article that went with the poll:

A self-professed diehard Vikings fan, [Mary] Bublitz said she’s become turned off by Favre’s prima donna style and by Vikings officials for lying about the supposed end of their mating dance with him.

“He’s an all-me guy. He’s for himself and that’s it. He’s washed up and I can’t see the Vikings going anywhere with him.”

Bublitz said the Vikings have now become an “I” team instead of a “we” team like her new favorite, the New England Patriots.

“I’ll start watching the Patriots and the hell with the Vikings,” she said.

Maybe if at the end of Adrien Peterson's sure-to-be hall-of-fame career; after he spends seven years waffling about retirement, finally retires, comes back with the Jets, retires again and comes back with a desperate Packers team as their supposed "missing piece of the Super Bowl puzzle," I'll become a Patriots fan, too. Incidentally, a Green Bay newspaper recently ran a poll similar to the one by the Mankato Free Press and the results were not surprisingly much different:

But it's not just Packers and Vikings fans who are turning their backs on Favre. No, unbelievably, some in the media are getting sick of him as well. Peter King, who is by all accounts, a good friend of Favre's had this to say last week in his "Monday Morning QB" Column:

You would think I think this Brett Favre-to-Minnesota story is great, but I don't. I think it's wrong. I think it's a circus. And I think Minnesota coach Brad Childress is making a mistake.

On top of that, Peter King's employer, Sports Illustrated issued a press release earlier this week assuring fans who've had enough of Favre that the magazine's next issue will feature, "zero mention of the Hall of Famer." They even went so far as to place a "100% Favre Free Issue" logo on the cover. 

(Don't think of Brett Favre!)
Here's a closer, more pixelly look at the logo:

I suppose placing a "100% Favre Free Issue" logo on the cover of the magazine is exactly how you'd go about getting people to not think about Brett Favre. Or is this some kind of slick and timely marketing scheme to get more people to buy Sports Illustrated? In any case, I heard George Lakoff, the famed cognitive linguistics professor from UC Berkely is writing a new book called "Don't Think of Brett Favre!"in which he tries to get people to stop thinking about Brett Favre by saying, "Don't think of Brett Favre!" It's sure to be a great read that will turn your mind into a "100% Favre Free Issue." 

I can imagine Sports Illustrated is as sick as us Packers fans of hearing about Brett Favre's retirements, his unretirements, his torn biceps, his torn rotator cuff, his inability to control his bladder due to advanced age. But some other media outlets, like the Washington Post for instance, are just sick of looking at him and his grubby hats:

[D]oes Mr. Favre have an unlimited supply of disgustingly worn out baseball caps? Despite a reported two-year, $25-million contract, he showed up to Vikings camp wearing a crusty orange lid and looking like he'd just replaced a worn carburetor. Then, after Friday night's game, he appeared in a ragged-looking white Vikings cap that appeared to have spent the last five years at the bottom of a locker-room hamper...

Where would Favre get a worn out Vikings cap? Do you think he borrowed it from Jared Allen? Allen is probably the only member of the Vikings who has a head as big as Favre's, so that's one possibility. But the Washington Post article continues, offering up a theory:

A Vikings intern was dispatched to tie it to the front grille of a 1959 Chrysler Imperial, then drive it the length of Route 66 and allow men at rest stops to spit tobacco juice on it along the way.

While there is no doubt in my mind that a Vikings intern would have no trouble finding people along Route 66 who'd want to spit on a Vikings cap, this theory doesn't seem plausible. For on thing, the Vikings would never be so clever to choose a car called "The Imperial." That word is too closely associated with the word "dynasty," which in football terms, is something the Vikings know nothing about. No, for this theory to be plausible, the Vikings would have had to go with a vehicle that was  expensive and hugely impractical that would be likely to break down along the way, and that carried a name that was more evocative of their tendency to suck when playing football:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Brett Favre: Energizer Bunny or Duracell Goat?

As the reader of this internet journal -- or "iNournal," for short -- is aware, I am not a fan of Brett Favre the Viking. I just can't be. But  perhaps I have not made it clear enough that I love Brett Favre the Packer, the man, and yes, even Brett Favre the Jet. I am a huge fan of those Brett Favres because I grew up watching them lead the Packers to many exciting victories, and overcome many personal hardships with dignity and grace. (Recent decision-making hardships excluded.) In fact, until Aaron Rodgers did so last year I had never seen another quarterback knuckle up to the grundle of a Packers center. So when Favre circumvented or, if you will, "gave the old reach around" to the Jets in order to become a Viking, I was devastated.

Certainly there is no way I can cheer for the Vikings and neither, I suspect, can any self-respecting Packers fan. So I felt the need to give voice to my angst over this situation and I created this "iNournal." But had I lacked the time to do so, I might have been drawn to expressing my dissatisfaction by buying clever T-shirts such as this one:

(It's funny because we've forgotten his real name is "Brett")

Obviously this T-shirt needs no explanation and is pretty funny. But if you're the type of person who magnifies to biblical proportions events that are, in the grand scheme of things, not really that important, you could do one of two things:
  1. You could start an "iNournal" about Brett Favre becoming a Viking.
  2. You could buy this T-shirt: 

Of course this shirt implies that Favre is a modern-day Judas Iscariot, the guy who was paid 30 pieces of silver over two years to make Jesus look gay in public. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) The first question that comes to mind is how much is 30 pieces of silver in today's money? (The answer, according to my calculations, is $25 million.) The answer to the second question that comes to mind is, "yes, Favre makes the Vikings look gay in public."

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

(Judas trying to make Jesus look gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Beyond that, this 100% cotton metephor becomes confusing: Obviously the Vikings are the heavily-monied, closeted homosexual priests of Jerusalem. But are the Packers Jesus? Or is Jesus us, the Packers' fans? Jesus stood for some pretty awesome stuff -- love, peace, forgiveness -- and while I think that many Packers fans dig him, very few of us compare the Packers, or ourselves to him. And obviously, even if Favre beats the Packers three times and wins the Super Bowl this year, none of us are going to die because of it. (I think...) At any rate, I wonder what end to this nightmare situation would satisfy this T-shirt's makers? Judas, after all, felt so bad for what he did he committed suicide. Maybe they believe that's the only way to stop the Energizer Bunny that is Brett Favre from making the Packers look gay.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. (Being gay, I mean. Not committing suicide.)

I very seriously doubt that to be the case, as the obvious and most satisfying conclusion to this metaphor is Favre's shameful retirement after an embarrassing 2009 season. I'm sure the people behind the Judas Favre T-shirt are just like me: heart-broken Brett Favre fans. No one, not Packers fans, and not the makers of the "Brent" or "Judas" Favre T-shirts wish Brett Favre, or any other Viking for that matter, any physical harm. The only wishes of ill will Packers fans have for Brett can be granted in the forms of interceptions, sacks and fumbles. But there are some crazies out there, who seem to be wearing their Bad Idea Jeans when it comes to dealing with Favre, the Viking.

Take for instance this video of ESPN's Jemele Hill suggesting Packers fans give Brett Favre the "Duracell Treatment" when he returns to Lambeau on November 1st:

Sort of shocking, isn't it? I feel now like I must go on the record and say in no uncertain terms that I do not condone throwing batteries, or anything, at Brett Favre or any other NFL player, at any time, for any reason. The only concession I will make in this context is that it's ok to throw a football or baseball at Favre, but only if you two are having a catch. I also feel like this might be a good time for me to go on the record as saying that it's not ok to paint, shave, taunt, or otherwise torture, maim or kill any living thing in the name of Brett Favre. Not even a cat.

An auto mechanic in Winona, Minn. found out just how crazy things can be now that Brett Favre is a Viking.

That's what happens when you find a live, purple-and-gold painted goat with a "4" shaved into its side in the trunk of the car you are working on.

James Prusci told the Winona Daily News a woman brought her car in to have a belt replaced on Friday and warned him the goat was in there, saying she planned to butcher the animal later...

Perhaps this woman was only joking when she said she planned to butcher the animal. Maybe she really just planned to show her support for the Vikings by painting a goat like their new QB and letting it tend to her front lawn. Maybe it all went south when she realized she had no way to transport the goat and, being from Minnesota, the best solution she could come up with was to stick it the trunk and not go straight home. But no matter how you slice it, news like this makes the Vikings, the Packers and Favre look bad. And since the Vikings incited this riot, their PR people should be the ones who spin these worrisome stories into something nicer. Really, for the creative minds that are asking Vikings fans if they're "ready '4' some football," it shouldn't be that hard. But just incase they're suffering a creative block after coming up with that ingenious slogan, I'm willing to help them out.

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that to some, Brett Favre is like the Energizer Bunny, which seems like a no-brainer for cross-promotion. The problem is, the ugly stories in question involve a goat and a different brand of batteries. Plus, the pink bunny isn't tough-looking enough to represent Favre, and not Viking-y enough to be one of his team's mascot. Yes, a goat is a better fit for the Vikings if for no other reason than it has horns, so let's stick with that idea. But instead of painting a real one purple and butchering it, let's paint a stuffed toy goat, and not butcher it. Then, to get the same implication of longevity that comes with the Energizer Bunny, let's give it a Duracell battery pack.

(The Brett Favre Dura-Goat)

Of course, everyone knows that Duracell Batteries don't last as long as Energizers, and certainly the former won't last a whole sixteen-game season. But at the very least, this is another Vikings Turd polished. (You're welcome, Vikings.) I am afraid though, that even with this gift horse looking them in the mouth, the Vikings marketing and PR staff won't be able to do half this well. Just take a look at their latest, and perhaps saddest, effort to use Favre in marketing their team:

Pointing out the fact that at Favre's advanced age, he can no longer control his bladder for the duration of an NFL game is no way to promote your team. Though it does make me wonder if the Vikings' doctors  tested Favre's ability to control his bladder when they gave him a physical last Tuesday. I mean, his latest product endorsement deal should have been a big red flag:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Moment of Respite: Packers Beat Upon the Williams of Buffalo

Living in Not Green Bay, Not WI it's sometimes difficult to follow my favorite team and, unless I want to go to a bar at 10:00 AM (Of course, being from Wisconsin, I often do), I don't get to watch many Packers games. This disconnect from Packerland (not to mention family and friends) is a bad thing and I often - mostly on Sunday mornings between August and January - pine for days past when I lived within the confines of the Packers' unusually large television market

Of course, last night was not a Sunday morning, but I still found myself in a bad mood because I couldn't watch the Packers beat up on the Buffalo Williams. So I did what I normally do: I waited until the game was over for highlights and recaps to be posted around the interwebs, and I awoke this morning to some great headlines. 
Reading these stories I became excited about a Packers defense that, if it plays even half as well during the regular season as it has these first two preseason games, will be twice as good as the one they fielded in 2008. And you know what that would mean for the Packers? That's right; it would mean at the very least they won't be any worse than 6-10 this year. And that's something Packers fans can get behind. Though it's too early to get very excited, it was nice to read some good Packers news and get my mind off Brett Favre being a Viking. Satisfied, I left the computer desk and headed to the couch to read the Sports section of what I consider to be my local paper. 

Generally, when I open the LA Times I don't expect to see stories from Packerland unless someone there has done something either so incredibly awesome, or so incredibly stupid it becomes national news. So I was surprised when I pulled out this particular edition of the Sports section and was assaulted by this front-page story:

Reporting from Hudson, Wis. - For thousands of Green Bay Packers fans in this waterfront town, Brett Favre has never been closer to their homes. Or further from their hearts.

Just across the St. Croix River, half an hour by car, is downtown Minneapolis and the Metrodome, Favre's new home stadium.

And I thought I had it bad. At least I can't smell the Metrodumb from where I live. Even if I had grown up close enough to the Big Marshmallow to smell it, like most Minnesotans, I wouldn't have had much interest in going to a game. However, if I did want to see the Vikings lose in person I don't think I would have had a problem getting a ticket. At least not until Brett Favre became a Viking:

Already, Favre has had a major effect at the box office. In the 72 hours after he signed, the Vikings sold seats at a record pace -- 4,000 season tickets and 14,000 to individual games.

Read that again, Packers fans: the Vikings sold seats at a record pace -- 4,000 season tickets...

Surely many of those tickets went to Packers fans who still believe in Brett and who just want to see him play again because if nothing else, he's so much fun to watch. This article makes it clear however, that just as Vikings fans may find themselves inadvertently punching out fellow Vikings fans if a TV announcer refers to Favre as a "gunslinger," so too are Packers fans struggling with the cognitive dissonance caused by seeing Number Four dressed in the NFL's most hideous uniform. So what better way to resolve this dissonance than by going to the Metrodumb to cheer against the Vikings?

Agave Kitchen owner Paul Rode is a Packers season-ticket holder who used to routinely make the five-hour drive to Lambeau Field to see his favorite team play. More than that, though, he's a Favre fan.

So on the day No. 4 signed with Minnesota, Rode took a deep breath, drove across the border and bought six season tickets to the Vikings.

Like many of us heart-broken Packers fans this Rode fellow knows he loves to watch Brett Favre play football, and if it means buying Vikings season tickets, so be it. So you might be thinking that he took a deep breath because he was unsure of himself; because he couldn't believe what he was about to do. No, Rode took a deep breath and held it, because you can't get close to the Metrodumb without being bombarded by "something stinky and noxious." After all, nothing stinks worse than the Vikings when they're playing football, and the Metrodumb has been bursting at the seems with their distinctly repulsive blend of Eau du Crapper since 1982. But Favre's appeal to Packers fans is as broad and deep as the Mississippi River, so it's to be expected that some of us may be lured to the Dark Side to do the unthinkable: cheer for half of the Vikings:

"This guy gave everything he had for us -- blood, sweat, tears, time with his family," Rode said. "For us to not respect him, shame on us in Packers Nation."

Try to make sense of this: Rode plans to stand and cheer for Favre when the Vikings are on offense, yet cheer against their defense.

As you know, I can't condone cheering for any fraction of the Vikings team, no matter how small. So what is this guy going to do when the Vikings play the Packers? Funny we should ask:

And when the Vikings and Packers meet Oct. 5 in Minnesota and Nov. 1 in Green Bay?

"I want Favre to throw six touchdowns," he said. "And lose."

How is that going to work? Will he cheer for Brett Favre if and only if he throws a touch down? Or will he actually cheer against the Packers' defense when the Vikings have the ball? Whatever the case may be, the Vikings will lose. But six touchdowns? Has this guy seen the way the Packers defense has been playing?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Walking the Walk: 1 of 4 for 4 Yards and No Fumbles

Ever since talk of his 12th unretirement began several months ago, NFL fans have been told how Minnesota was a perfect fit for Favre because he knows the offense; he "knows the verbiage." Favre can talk that West Coast Offense talk. Well, what about "walking the walk?" Apparently this isn't important to Vikings fans who've been told by the Vikings' marketing heads that they are ready "4" some football, even though their team's QB clearly isn't. That much was made clear by the bar Favre placed conveniently at ground level before the game:
"I just didn't want to fumble the snap," Favre said. "Wanted to make sure I got the handoffs. If you complete passes, great. But I was nervous about that."

Ten million dollars seems like a lot to pay for a quarterback who worries about whether he can successfully take a snap. I wonder if Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and J.D. Booty were as impressed as Vikings fans with Favre's ability to take a snap and hand off the football without fumbling. Surely that was the inspiration behind Tavaris Jackson's more-Favrey-than-Favre performance.

(The Passing section of Friday's Vikings/Chiefs box score)

But hey, no one went to the Metrodumb last night to watch Favre hand off the ball. No, people went there to see Favre toss stumbling, no-look shovel passes and heave 50-yard bombs from his back foot. (Vikings fans are the only people who are still impressed by that sort of thing.) And Favre didn't disappoint.

(Brett Favre heaves a pass from his back foot while being tackled.)

Unless of course Vikings fans were actually expecting him to complete those passes. Or more than one of them, anyway.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Brett Favre's Legacy: Tight Ropes and Toxic Assets

As one might have expected, the media have been busy the last couple days speculating what, if anything, Brett Favre brings to the Vikings' proverbial sex boat. Growing up a Packers fan, I've seen Brett Favre do some absolutely spectacular things on the football field, and I've seen him do some unbelievably stupid things, too. But that's Brett Favre defined, isn't it? He walks that tight rope between the Twin Towers of Brilliance and Brainlessness, and he's never been afraid to fall. That's why we love him. That's what makes him Brett Favre, and that's why the Vikings are taking a chance on him.

But at 40, can Favre load the Vikings on his back and walk the line from the Tower of Brainlessness that is his second NFL comeback, to the Tower of Brilliance that would be his second Super Bowl title? We'll have to wait and see, but one thing is for sure: 2009 became a "Super Bowl or Bust" season for the Vikings, and especially for Brad Childress, when Favre stepped onto the practice field Tuesday. So what happens if, at the midpoint of the season, Favre, and the Vikings find themselves stuck way up on that wire in a foul, swirling wind of mediocrity?
(Foul, swirling winds of mediocrity are the only kind that blow in Minnesota.)

Unfortunately, from that perch, there is obviously no turning back. You could try, but clearly it would be no easier than just pushing forward. The Vikings, however, have never been the type of team to bear down and forge ahead when the going gets tough. In fact, the last time the stakes were this high for them was in 1998 when they played defibrillator to another aged quarterback's dying career. And we all know how that ended.

(This is surely in the Top Five of every Packers fans' favorite Vikings memories.)

But the silver lining for Vikings fans is that they can still revel in the fact that for 18 games, their team was one of the best ever; they can spin that story. But they'll be lucky if Favre can give them half as much to work with. The turd that Vikings fans will have to polish this season is this little nugget: for 17 years their quarterback was one of the best who ever played for... Not the Vikings. So what will Vikings fans be able to do, or say, about Brett Favre and something as ugly as a 65.7 QB rating for the month of October?
(Favre's monthly QB rating splits for 2008)

What Vikings fans need is a refresher course in PR. Let's take a look at this artcile from NPR.org to see how the pros of politics and finance make their shit seem as though it doesn't smell like poop:

The article continues:
MARA LIASSON: Legacy securities is a new Washington buzz word. When the country first found itself in a financial meltdown, people used a different description for all those bad loans poisoning the banks' balance sheets ... Toxic assets sounded clear enough. Maybe too clear for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who offered this revision.

"We've put in place funds and facilities to help provide a market for those legacy assets."

LIASSON: Legacy assets. That sounds so much nicer than toxic assets. It's the difference between dark polished wood and something stinky and noxious. And that's the point...

Come on, Mara. Let's call a spade a spade here: "something stinky and noxious" is a euphemism for "shit", isn't it? But I guess you probably can't say that on the radio.
She's right though: "Legacy assets" does sound much nicer than "toxic assets." All it took was changing one word and suddenly toxic assets seem like something that could get you into a fraternity without being paddled by sadomasochistic closet homosexuals. Of course, the "asset" to Brett Favre's career that became "toxic" as time passed is his "gunslinger" mentality.

As a younger man, he threw many "stinky and noxious" passes, but he threw them either so hard or from such an awkward position that he left defenders slack-jawed and unable to intercept them. More often than not, the ball would whiz through defenders' hands, spiraling at 45 miles per hour into the waiting hands of a Packers receiver who knew it was coming because he'd seen Favre throw even goofier passes in practice. But having played in the NFL longer than most of his teammates and opponents have been alive, Brett Favre can no longer shock and awe opponents with stumbling, no-look shovel passes, or 50-yard bombs from his back foot. Those feats are no longer impressive. At least not when they're done by Brett Favre.

The other problem is that after having been on the wrong side of the duel for 17 years, hearing the word "gunslinger" may evoke confusion and anger among Vikings fans. They're liable to punch the Favre fan sitting next to them at the sports bar but, unlike from 1992 to 2007, that Favre fan will also be a Vikings fan. What will they do in the throws of such psychological dissonance?

Yes, "gunslinger" needs to be replaced by something new. By something that implies it's not only ok to walk the tight rope between the towers of Brainlessness and Brilliance, but also to be old and to fall; that you meant to fall, and that you love the sensation of falling.

That's a mouthful. Vikings fans may need a whole phrase. "Crazy like a fox" seems almost perfect, as many people feel Brett Favre is crazy for unretiring again. But it implies that Favre is more cunning than he is fallible. It implies he has something other than a torn rotator cuff up his sleeve. Let's try a variation of that:
Homer: That tree's been in Springfield since the time of our forefathers. Give it back or we'll bust in there and take it!

Homer2: Bust in here and take it? You must be stupider than you look.

[tries to climb the fence; fails]
[panting] I'm OK.
[tries again; fails again]

Homer2: [chuckles] Don't you get it, Springfield? It's over. You lose!

There we go: Brett Favre is no longer a "gunslinger"; he is "Stupider like a fox." This is perfect. Vikings fans are going to be hearing how stupid Brett Favre is quite a bit this year and, "Stupider like a fox!" will be the perfect response to such criticisms. In fact, this phrase will even help them deal with all of the interceptions Brett will be throwing as a Viking:

Vikings Fan 1: Man, that interception was worse than the last two he threw this quarter! Favre is stupider than I thought!

Vikings Fan 2: Stupider like a fox!

You see? In an instant, Favre is made a hero again. Can you imagine chants of "Stupider like a Fox! Stupider like a fox!" rumbling through the Metrodumb whenever Favre does, well, anything? This phrase meets all of our requirements and invokes both cunning and failure. And that is Brett Favre defined, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Official: Brett Favre is a Dick

Brett Favre has only been a Viking for two days, but already, he's a dick. Truth be told, Favre may have been born a dick, or he may have become one the day he signed with the Jets, but I've only considered him a dick for about 24 hours now. It seems harsh, but if you think about it, it's fitting. I mean, he will be putting on a purple helmet every day. But it's not just me, a broken-hearted Packers fan, saying that Favre is a dick. No, as I said, it's official:

Brett Lorenzo Favre (born on October 10, 1969, in Gulfport, Mississippi, US) is an American football player who was the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) from 1992 to 2007. He is also a crying 15-year-old girl, drug user, and a dick.

Since Johnny Unitas, he is the only NFL player to have won the league MVP 3 times. He is also the only player to have pretend-retired from professional sports 37 times.

While many people believe that crying does not belong in sports, Favre does not belong to this camp. He will readily cry at the end of every game. In this respect, Favre is like a 15-year-old girl who just got her braces off and ends every night sobbing over jewelry.

Favre is also the only remaining NFL player who was also very good in Tecmo Super Bowl II.

None of this is news to Packers fans, except maybe the bit about him being the only player left in the NFL who was good on Tecmo Super Bowl II. And really, that's only news to those fans who aren't old enough to know what Tecmo Super Bowl II is. Of course, those who are old enough to remember know that Favre was only good on that game because he was throwing the ball to Sterling Sharpe.

But what does Favre's being a dick mean for his new team? Is there room for one more dick on the Vikings' roster? Coach Brad Childress must be confident there is, or he would have cut Jared Allen. But he'd better be sure that he can handle so many dicks, because this is the Vikings and we all know what can happen when there are too many dicks on the Vikings roster. Just ask Daunte "Dick with two A's" Culpepper:

This complaint was sent to then Vikings' head coach Mike Tice in January of 2006 and it spells out exactly what can happen if too many dicks engorge the Viking's roster:

It reads, in part: On October 6, 2005, two charter boats were chatered from Al and Alma's Charter Service ... The Parties arranging for the charter boats were Fred Smoot and Lance Johnstone ... After the boats left the dock, the crew started to notice that many of the female passengers were going down into the lower restroom area and changing out of the clothes that they had been wearing when they got on the boat and were emerging either scantly clad or nearly naked. The crew members ... reported that while they were cruising Lake Minnetonka, they observed a great deal of what they considered to be inappropriate sexual behavior.

... An employee of Al and Alma's Charter Boats, observed Dante Rachard Culpepper ... getting a "lap dance" from an unidentified, naked female.

Charge : Indecent Conduct - Open or Gross Lewdness

Charge : Disorderly Conduct

Charge : Lewd or Lascivious Conduct

Despite his team's lewd or lascivious past, Brad Childress should be able to keep his dicks in the Vikings organization's proverbial varyags. After all, the 2009 Vikings only have Favre and Jared Allen, but the 2005 Vikings employed Daunte Rachard Culpepper, Fred Smoot, Lance Johnstone and Darren Sharper. Just imagine what would have happened if Randy Moss hadn't been shipped off to the Raiders that year. Nonetheless, Childress is going out of his way to avoid the mistakes Mike Tice made.

He's already gotten rid of Darren Sharper but, not wanting to leave anything to chance on or off the field, Childress has instructed the Vikings' equipment staff to prepare more protective sideline jackets for away games. The Vikings face not only NFC North foes Green Bay and Chicago on the road, but they also have outdoor games against Seattle and Pittsburgh as well. Knowing his team will be up against elements that are sometimes kept out of the Metrodumb, such as rain, wind, and cold, Childress wants his players protected from head to toe. In fact, just today, wanting Favre's input, Chilly had him try on one of the new latex-based "Sideline Slickers".

(The Vikings chose Trojan instead of Reebok this year to produce their official sideline jackets)

It looks to me like a pretty good way to protect a dick from the weather, not to mention anything one might encounter on a sex boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka. Now, of course, Chilly's challenge is to get the Vikings to stop playing football like a bunch of pussies.

Today is the Day Packers Fans' Hearts Get Crushed and Their Souls Die

The NFL is Brett Favre's lap dog. He doesn't need practice. He doesn't need a "playbook". He doesn't need "reps". He will show up in a pick-up truck at the camp of whichever team he wants dressed in Wranglers, and he'll do so when he's good and goddamn ready. He'll take a shotgun snap and drill a 20-yard "In" route from the tail gate into the chest of a receiver who was three years old when Favre first pressed his right hand against the taint of an NFL center.

No "two-a-days", no meetings, no film sessions necessary.

He is Brett Favre.

He has the power to defy physics by stretching parabolas into straight lines with 30 yard bullet-passes. He can break receivers' fingers from 40 yards away and 20 years their senior. He is Brett Favre, and he has the power to crush your heart.

And today, he's going to do just that.

(Favre takes a snap at Vikings practice)

He's going to reach into your chest from the seat of his John Deere - the one with the bucket up front - and he's going to rip your heart out. He's going to crush it in his giant right hand, squeeze out the green blood and watch it turn gold as it mixes with the oxygen. You'll suck in your last breath and exhale as he tosses your heart into the bucket and drives it out to the compost pile.

(His John Deere - the one with the bucket up front)

And then he's going to take a shotgun snap, fake a handoff, look off the safety and arch a spiral 60 yards into the outstretched hands of someone dressed in a purple uniform. Purple, for Lombardi's sake! Your football soul is dead.

(These are the hands that will crush your heart)

This is what Favre is doing today to the hearts and souls of every Packers fan that ever lived. Today, he becomes a Viking. Today he makes our worst fears come true. Not because we're afraid he'll beat the Packers single-handedly. Not because he could be the missing link in the Vikings Super Bowl chain. And not because we're afraid he'll embarrass himself, or worse, get hurt. It's because Brett Favre is ours. Brett Favre belongs to Green Bay, WI and Packers fans around the world.

We may be selfish, be we've earned that right.

We've seen him through the toughest times and he's given us some of the best times of our lives. We've laughed with him and at him, and we've cried for him. We've cursed him and prayed for him. We hiked our hearts between our legs to him and said, "hit whoever it is that's playing receiver this year whenever they're open."

And most of the time, whether he was healthy or coughing up blood; with sprained ankles and broken thumbs; and even the day after his dad died, he did so in a way that made him more exciting to watch than any other football player. So when he missed, or when he threw our hearts to the opposing team, we let it slide because he was still a Packer; he was still our hero. We just patted him on the ass, looked him in the facemask and said, "no more rocket balls, please."

("No more rocket balls, please.")

Then after an eternity in football years, when he felt he couldn't do it anymore, he gave his heart to us Packers fans as he sat crying at a table deep inside Lambeau Field.

"I just can't do it anymore," he said, and we believed him. He had given it his all and no one could begrudge him calling it a day. As Annette Summersett said, "it was the day football died." Or so we thought.

But as we all know too well, by the next fall, football had been revived, and Brett was a Jet. As painful as it was to watch him make that journey we got through it because for 11 games, Favre played lights out football. He proved to everyone that he still had it, and Packers fans could cheer for him and say with pride that nobody could do it like Brett Favre.

But this? This is different. This is too much. This is unthinkable. This is a farce so unreasonable we might die laughing if it weren't true: this is Brett Favre, the Viking. Now all bets are off. Supporting Favre now means supporting the team we hate most in the world. It means going to the Dark Side. It simply can't be done.

All these years we thought we were raising Brett Favre and it turns out that he was our father. The only support we can offer him now is this: May the farce be with you.