Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Favre Arrives in Minnesota Seeking Vengeance on Packers

I knew this was a never-ending story. I knew Brett Favre was coming back. But I didn’t predict his decision would take so long, after making it clear a year ago that the Minnesota Vikings fit with his future plans.


We can now finally sigh and escape from weariness, because Favre made up his mind.

Unsure about playing next season, he almost took us on another crazy saga and almost refreshed one's memory of the everlasting saga last summer.

Favre hijacked football with his constant mind-changing, finding it tough to relinquish the game that has created fame, ego, die-hard fans, and anything else you want to talk about. And because he’s passionate about football, it makes sense to believe he’s doing it because he thinks it will make him happy.

No.

He’s returning for one reason—to seek vengeance against the Green Bay Packers.

So there you have it, a popular quarterback out to prove he’s still legitimate, trying to capture more titles before retiring for good.

If he ever retires and then doesn’t un-retire (an annoying routine that has frustrated and made us fatigued to turn on Sportscenter), Favre’s legacy will symbolize success -- an average player will never accomplish.

But instead, he grabbed attention by playing games with fans.

On most nights, ESPN could’ve gotten away with renaming Sportscenter Favrecenter, because his name was mentioned and seen in most segments at the expense of other sports news. The publicity will tone down now.

There’s no better way than defeating and breaking hearts of former fans and teammates in Green Bay. And signing with the Vikings is one way to shatter hearts while getting revenge.

He’s now a divisional rival, playing on a team that is deeply hated among Wisconsinites. Rooting against Favre will seem strange, upsetting, and might even cripple a much-loved and historic legacy he attained with the Packers.

Being self-centered and willing to play on a team in serious need of consistency at quarterback fueled Favre’s successful comeback for the second straight season.

To preserve an astonishing legacy, a suitable moment to call it quits would’ve come after he led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game before losing to the New York Giants a few seasons ago.

Instead, at an emotional news conference, a teary-eyed Favre misled the Packers by insisting he was retiring. Months later, Favre owned every sports network and sports web site and grabbed our attention, pleading for the Packers to take him back.

For months, he created an annoying saga and was selfish, understanding the Packers had moved in a new direction.

And suddenly, the team Favre led for 16 years and served as a symbol, rebuffed interest and was reluctant retaining the future Hall of Famer. This is why he now holds a grudge on Ted Thompson, who rejected welcoming Favre back and promised the starting position to an up-and-coming Aaron Rodgers.

At a news conference, Favre got his wish and became a Viking. All along, it was where he desired to play, but he had to settle for playing for the New York Jets when the Packers had all the leverage and dealt him to the Big Apple rather than a divisional opponent.

For Favre, traveling to a larger media town, it was a huge adjustment. He didn't seem delighted wearing darker green in the big city. Again, he’s back and will play in a town that once had bitterness against Favre, but now is kind to welcome the three-time MVP.

It seems surreal, but it’s real. And Packers fans will have to become accustomed to seeing Favre at Lambeau Field once a year in a purple jersey, playing for a bitter rival.

We all should have seen this coming when Dr. Andrews performed shoulder surgery on Favre. We all should have seen this coming when he worked out at a high school in Mississippi.

Right then and there, he was telling us he was coming back, and because he never signed official retirement documents, anything was possible. You can never count out Favre.

But a return is perilous coming off a poor season with the Jets, when he threw a league-leading 22 interceptions.

Having an encore season can really hurt his remarkable legacy, especially if he loses to the Packers. Sometimes revenge isn’t worth the risk.

In this case, it isn’t.

Favre was better off staying retired to avoid life-threatening injuries and save an unbreakable legacy. If he continues to play and have awful games, his legacy could be a smeared blemish eternally.

On the flip side, he’s surrounded by a dangerous running game, a dynamic tandem that’s difficult to slow down. With an explosive Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, Favre won’t have to throw nearly as much, which will alleviate overusing a shaky shoulder that limits his ability to hurl the deep ball.

In Green Bay, Favre signing with the Vikings is emotionally a bitter time for many animated Cheeseheads and players. Strangely, he’s their biggest rival, where once they embraced the NFL legend.

And of course, your average Wisconsinites are bothered and disgruntled, while average Minnesotans are exhilarated by Favre’s arrival.

They’re confident his presence will punch their ticket deep into the playoffs and even the Super Bowl. Anyone who’s an honest football fanatic will tell you the Vikings are NFC North contenders or even Super Bowl contenders. But it’s hard to tell if they’re contenders on the largest stage.

Although coach Brad Childress’ long negotiations came to a close, and the Vikings feel they finally have a legitimate quarterback, it’s unknown if Favre can physically and mentally last or remain healthy for an entire season.

At 39, fame gives Favre more privileges. In fairness, it’s overwhelming to see any player refuse to participate in offseason minicamp and training camp, only indicating that he is stubborn and self-centered. Although he’s willing to come back, he wants to manipulate things, arriving to play on Sundays.

Without hesitating, Childress named Favre the starter, forcing an inconsistent Tarvaris Jackson, who failed to win a much-needed playoff game, to the bench along with an uncertain Sage Rosenfels, who could’ve easily earned the starting job.

In other words, these are Favre’s Vikings.

And he already solidifies a powerful rooster, as a consistent quarterback was the only ingredient missing. Simply, No. 4 can get payback when the Packers travel to the noisy Metrodome, where Favre has pulled off some incredible victories.

Perhaps he can get a double dose of retribution when he returns to Lambeau Field and faces the hysteria of unsatisfied fans. Before, he would walk out of the tunnel, waiting for the proud fans to cheer.

Now, he’ll walk out of the visitor's tunnel, receiving mixed reactions from fans and will have tremendous pressure to escape a hostile environment with a win.

But for now, Favre is seeking revenge and couldn’t care less about his legacy.