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Everyone On Board With Favre Now

Well…Brett Favre did it. It only took 3 games, a few decent throws against Cleveland and Detroit, a pump fake here, an end zone tackle of his own receiver there and one Hail Mary-ish miracle to an unknown receiver in the closing seconds against the 49ers and Brett Favre has everyone on the board for this experiment.

Everyone sees how he “loves playing the game” and is “having fun out there” as Every. Announcer. Ever. has always told us. It’s plain as day. Everyone gets it.

The Vikings followers were divided into 3 camps when Brett Favre ended his 2nd summer long retirement. In Camp One, Die Hards who wanted Favre here since last summer, figuring he was the last piece of a puzzle that had elite players scattered throughout the field but was missing a good player at the most important position. These were the types that had authentic Favre jerseys even before he signed. They were on board from day one, and really, would have been on board regardless of who was at the helm of the offense. Favre just turned it up a notch. As Nigel Tufnel said in Spinal Tap, “These go to 11.”

Camp Two featured fans that could never root for Favre. He was the mortal enemy of the Vikings for most of their lives. People who were sick of the John Madden/Joe Theisman/Rest of the Media love affair with Favre. People who were glad he left the Packers for the Jets, prayed he never came to Minnesota and just wanted him to retire to Mississippi and never be heard from again. These people saw Favre as a mercenary, looking for one last shot at a Super Bowl ring, wanting to use the Vikings to add to his legacy. You can’t trust a mercenary. These people could never be swayed.

Neither of these two camps represented the majority.

The majority found themselves in Camp Three: The People Who Weren’t Sure. TPWWS were skeptical, dubious, apprehensive, and a whole bunch of other adjectives that all mean the same thing. I was firmly planted in this camp. It’s not that we didn’t want Favre here. We knew TJack wasn’t the answer and the Sage Rosenfels trade left us wanting more. We knew Favre was a better option but…well…uh…can we root for him? Really? Was his arm ok? Was he 100% committed? Would the other guys in the locker room accept him? What happens in games 11, 12, 13, etc. when he’s banged up and tired?

My only thought when Favre was flying to Minnesota and I watched people gather at Winter Park as a helicopter followed him from the airport? This will end badly.

Well, everyone’s on board now. I just bought a Favre jersey. I got text messages from my Camp Two friends after the game Sunday saying some things that can’t be repeated here. Trust me, they are in. The bar was set pretty high going into the season. The pandemonium at Metrodome Sunday after Greg Lewis came down in bounds sent the bar through the roof. It’s Super Bowl or bust for Vikings fans.

Listening to Favre talk to the Wisconsin media yesterday, with their aggressive questioning that had nothing to do with the game Monday (really? You want to know why Favre hasn’t called Aaron Rodgers? That really matters?), I felt like coming to Favre’s defense. Hey, you didn’t want him and now he’s one of us. That helps his case here in Minnesota. If a Packer fan doesn’t like something, chances are a Vikings fan loves it. And he’s winning. That makes it better/worse, depending on which side of the border you are on.

If Favre can pull off the same kind of win vs. the Packers on Monday night that he did against the 49ers, he’ll have another fan base willing to walk on coals for him. There hasn’t been this kind of excitement for the Vikings in the Twin Cities since the 1998 team shattered our hopes and dreams in the NFC Championship. Denny Green and his clock killing tactics are long gone. Randy Moss is catching touchdowns from another league MVP in Boston. Minnesota fans are left hoping the dreams of ’98 can be fulfilled 11 years later.

The thing about Favre coming here is this; Superstars leave Minnesota. They don’t leap through hoops to get here. The list of stars that have left town is well known. Santana, Garnett, Hunter, Gaborik. All of them were elite players who got their start in Minnesota only to leave for greener pastures. The biggest free agent signings the Vikings have made in recent years were Antoine Winfield and Steve Hutchinson. Both are by all measures great players but they weren’t splashy/sexy signings. No helicopters were following them from the airport. No crowd greeted them at Winter Park. Brett Favre is a full-blown NFL legend and he worked the system to land in downtown Minneapolis. Granted he’s not in his prime anymore but Sunday’s win proved he still has what it takes to cause a stir in the Metrodome.

I just hope he has a few more miracles in that tattered right arm of his. That bandwagon he is carrying just got a lot heavier.

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