Take a look at the key events of the legendary, now slightly damaged, career of Brett Favre.
There was the beloved franchise quarterback in Green Bay, who rewrote the record books and consistently led his team into the playoffs year after year. There was the aging future Hall of Famer nicknamed Brett the Jet, who failed in New York at the end of the 2008 season. Now, after two “retirements,” the Brett Favre saga continues and Favre Fever has spread to a new location: Minnesota.
Come Week 1, the Vikings won’t be snapping the ball to Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, or John David Booty. Instead, their new 39-year-old quarterback, in his new purple jersey with the familiar number 4 planted on his back and chest, will be leading Minnesota into 2009. Once again, Brett Favre is back.
Although Favre was only signed a few days ago, already quite a few questions have been raised and opinions have been formed. The most important question to be answered is this: Is the signing of Brett Favre by the Minnesota Vikings a positive or negative acquisition?
The truth is, nobody will know the exact answer until the season is over. It seems unlikely that Favre will have a great year, but who knows? By the end of the season Favre may have thrown for 6,000 yards, 40 touchdowns, and zero picks! There might even be a Super Bowl ring in his near future! For the Minnesota Vikings and Favre himself, I think the acquisition can be looked at three different ways.
First, there is his performance on the field. The move is decent. Statistically, I think Favre will have a season similar to last year (3,472 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 22 interceptions), if not slightly worse. Although those stats aren’t amazing, if Favre lowers the number of interceptions and stays healthy, he will probably be a sure step up over Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels.
With a Favre (who can be very productive), a good receiver in Bernard Berrian, and the league’s best running back in Adrian Peterson, the Vikings may have created one of the NFL’s best offenses. With their strong D, which is probably one of the five best in the NFL, a serious playoff run seems likely.
Second, there is Favre’s relationship with the players surrounding him. If you value leadership and bonding with teammates, this deal may not be so good. The Vikings will need a locker room leader, like the Jets longed for last year. As we saw in New York last season, Favre is not that guy. That could be a huge letdown for the players and fans in Minnesota.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, there is the issue regarding his reputation and his relationship with the fans. If Favre retired and rode into the sunset following his playoff run with Green Bay in 2007, there would be no negative feelings towards him at all by any football follower in any city. Although he believes he can be a serious asset to some NFL teams, he may just be ruining his reputation by each year “retiring”, then coming out of retirement to play, usually after teams have already played in a few preseason games.
“I know football fans everywhere are done with the drama following Favre and I think playing again this year is a bad decision,” says Matthew Rovner, a 10-year-old football fan. “Brett needs to decide whether or not he wants to play, sooner than half-way through the preseason!”
Everyone can hope for the best as they follow Minnesota’s newest player.