I Never Drank The Kool-Aid

As the Brett Favre saga continues to drag into the final days of July it’s time for real Minnesota Vikings fans to shake off their embarrassment of pouring so much love on the formerly hated Packer and realize that Favre didn’t take the Vikings any further than they had been before.

I’m a lifelong Vikings fans. I will probably be a Vikings fan until the day I die. I never drank the Brett Favre Kool-Aid.

I was embarrassed to see Brad Childress pick Favre up at the airport for training camp last year. Can you imagine Tom Landry or John Madden doing that?

I was more embarrassed by the legion of Vikings fans cheering Favre’s arrival, buying purple no. 4 jerseys and cheering his every throw. Have you no shame?

I understand how desperate Vikings fans are to win a Super Bowl? The Vikings were born just eight years before I was. I have been alive for virtually every agonizing moment in Vikings history. The losses to the Raiders, the Dolphins, the Steelers and the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Fran Tarkenton and Alan Page being traded, the Steve Young TD, the Michael Vick TD, the McMahon game, the freakin’ fourth and forever TD against Arizona, Wrong Way Marshall’s TD, the Whizzinator, the Herschel trade, the Les Steckel era, the Mike Tice era, the 2001 NFL Title Game, Korey Stringer’s death, Robert Smith’s retirement, Drew Pearson pushing off, et al.

After all those years of suffering with the Vikings together, I still can’t believe that a legion of Purple Pride faithful would so quickly sell their collective souls to the ultimate Benedict Arnold to try to win a Super Bowl.

I spent the entire 2009 season cheering for the Vikings will quietly continuing to loathe Brett Favre.

In the end, Favre added nothing to the Vikings. Absolutely NOTHING!

Brett Favre in 2009: 13-5 overall, 363 of 531 passing for 4,202 yards. He passed for 33 TDs against seven interceptions. Two of those interceptions came in the NFC Championship game, including the critical one on the Vikings game-winning drive attempt in the fourth quarter.

Favre was 28 of 46 in the NFC Championship game for 301 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

The Vikings lost the title game in overtime in New Orleans, and the Saints went on to win the Super Bowl.

Wait, I’ve seen this before. It was 1998. Vikings’ starter Brad Johnson is injured and Randall Cunningham takes over.

Cunningham, like Favre, had his best years somewhere else. In this case it was the Philadelphia Eagles, not a Vikings’ rival like Green Bay.

With weapons Cris Carter and Randy Moss, Cunningham had a career year. He led the Vikings to a 13-1 regular season record.

He would finish the season 259 of 425 for 3,704 yards. He tossed 34 TDs with just 10 interceptions.

The Vikings lost in the NFC Championship game that year, too. Inexplicably, the Vikings played very safe in the fourth quarter against Atlanta. Gary Anderson missed his first field goal of the year, and the Vikings lost in overtime. Atlanta went on to lose to Denver in the Super Bowl.

The NFC Title game was hardly Cunningham’s fault. He was 29 of 48 for 266 yards in the final game, with two touchdowns and throwing zero interceptions.

Cunningham was already a much more likable guy when he QB’ed the Vikings. He didn’t have the prescription drug problem, the messy divorce from his first team, the awful season playing for someone else and a history of killing the Vikings.

Favre was a rent-a-QB in the worst way. The Vikings turned their back on everything they hold sacred — tradition, loyalty, their fans — and turned the reins of the team over to a guy who intentionally skipped camp, openly battled his own head coach and eventually cost the team a chance to go the Super Bowl.

A number of years ago I went to a Bears-Vikings game at the Metrodome. It was one of those let’s-just-get-cheap-tickets-and-go games where I ended up with three friends and their wives in the top row of the upper deck. The upper deck was probably 50-50 Vikings and Bears fans, which is what you expect from a great rivalry game.

Before the game a guy and his girlfriend came to the upper deck to find their seats. Because this guy was in his early 20s and didn’t no better or because his girlfriend appeared to be way out of his league, he had allowed her to leave the house and come to the game wearing a green Favre no. 4 Packers jersey. She was wearing a Favre jersey to a Vikings-Bears game at the Metrodome! As you might expect, Bears and Vikings fans agreed on something for the first time in history. Thousands of fans heckled and tossed garbage at the idiot and his girlfriend in a Favre jersey. That’s how much Brett Favre is hated within the division.

Favre’s never going to be remembered as a Vikings great. On the all-time Vikings quarterback ladder, he has to fall below Fran Tarkenton, Tommy Kramer, Joe Kapp, Brad Johnson and Daunte Culpepper. Maybe tied with Cunningham. Probably ahead of Warren Moon. Definitely ahead of Steve Dils, Wade Wilson, Rich Gannon and Sean Salibury.

I hope Brett Favre stays retired. I would rather go 8-8 this season with real Vikings, than back to the playoffs with a Green Bay Packer.

1 Comment:

  1. Players rule in the current era. It’s depressing to see how much power the elite players have now in all major sports. Coaches picking up players at the airport and NBA free agency becoming a circus with the players at the wheel. You wouldn’t see this kind of behavior even 15 years ago. Ask Charles Barkley he’d eventually tell you no amount of money would have taken him to the Bulls to play with Jordan.

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