Every hour and day that passes, it seems more and more likely that Brett Favre will become a Viking. I know Favre plays this retirement game every year, and there's absolutely no guarantee of anything, but all signs and logic point to Favre wearing Purple this season. I can't tell you how excited I am about this.
Yes, I am a lifelong, die-hard Viking fan, so adding a first-ballot Hall of Famer (no matter how washed up) to a QB-needy franchise is exciting enough. But I'll take off my helmet, horns, braids and the Moss jersey I bought the day after the 1999 Falcon debacle to tell you why else I think this is a great move for my hometown team:
- Tickets. If you're just joining us, the NFL is big business. And the Vikings, for the first time in a long time, are in serious danger of not selling out every game in the 2009 campaign. Consider that problem solved - and in no time flat - if Favre is signed. Plus, that nice new stadium Viking ownership wants to build might actually stand a chance of getting done if people were more interested in the franchise.
- Television. The Vikings not only would feature the best storyline in the NFL, with Favre returning to the NFC North, but also would feature a roster including Favre, Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Jared Allen, Antoine Winfield, the Williams Wall, etc. The combination of that much drama and talent adds up to a lot of "featured game" national television time - and more revenue and general interest for the team.
- Talent. Brett Favre, despite his age and all his supposed injury baggage, would go into training camp as the clear starter...he's surely better than Tarvaris and Sage. Favre would no doubt help Tarvaris and Sage develop and learn, no matter what roles they play in the future. And the Vikings would almost assuredly go into the season as the odds-on favorite to win the NFC and play in the Super Bowl.
- Rivalry. The Vikings/Packers is far and away the best rivalry in the Upper Midwest in any sport, and easily one of the best in the NFL. Trash talk flies, practical jokes occur and passions run high all year round. And there are no prouder fans in the NFL than Packer fans. So imagine the best and most revered player in the history of the Packers, a guy who Packer fans absolutely went mental over for so many years, going to their archrival - and then leading them to success. It would be a seminal moment in the long, storied history of this rivalry, and take that passion and excitement to a whole new level. Plus, Packer fans have always seemed to have a good comeback for every brag point or jab that Viking fans throw at them. Favre, to the Vikings? It would be the ultimate all-time zinger to Packer Nation, one for which there can be no comeback. Viking fans are collectively licking their chops right now.
If the Vikings' front office has any sense, they'll sign Favre sooner than later, let their fan base absorb the news and get excited all summer long, let Favre get comfortable on the team and with the offense, and then sit back and watch the wins pile up in the fall. Worst case scenario, the Vikings would be more relevant and fun to watch than ever before. Good times indeed.
I'm out like anyone hitting against Zach Greinke.