By all accounts, the Vikings should be on their way to the Super Bowl, not the Saints. The Vikings had five turnovers and still found themselves in position to win the game with a field goal with under twenty seconds left. Brett Favre, the gunslinger, was having a great game despite being absolutely crushed on every drop-back by the Saints’ D line. Watching the fourth quarter, you just knew that the Vikings were going to win despite being down. They were moving the ball at will and the Saints’ high-powered offense was stalled. But then the clock struck midnight and Brett turned into his pumpkin-ass old self.
Tied and driving, the Vikings were in Saints territory with plenty of timeouts and time on the clock. The crucial twelve men in the huddle play forced a third and fifteen and the Saints dared, nay, begged Favre to try and throw a pass to get their kicker just a little closer for the win. They were already in field goal range. Right before the play I said that Favre was going to try and be the hero and force a throw. The Saints knew this too. So naturally, the Vikings elect to throw instead of take a few easy yards on a conservative run or screen pass. Favre drops back, scrambles, but has time, then throws across his body to Sydney Rice but, no! Tracy Porter jumps in front and picks off the pass. I thought Porter should have returned it for a touchdown, but alas, Saints win the OT coin toss and what seemed like a hour later, Hartley shows some onions and kicks a 40-yard winner.
I loved every minute of Favre’s physical, and more importantly mental pain last night. (Someone please post a ‘Hits on Favre’ montage from the Saints game on YouTube). His facial reactions were classic every time he lay on the turf or tried to get up after a huge hit. To his credit, and detriment, he got up every time and kept playing. It wasn’t his arm that failed him last night. But where do we draw the line between toughness, stubbornness and hubris?
There’s no questioning Favre’s talent on the field and his consecutive games played streak is something to be proud of. But if you believe for one second that Brett Favre cares about anyone else besides number four Brett Favre, you’re delusional. Rather than take the incompletion or short gain on the Vikings’ last play, Brett had to be the hero. He had to make one more pass so that everyone (the media) could talk about how the ol’ country boy was just having fun out there playing catch and willing his team to victory. As Troy Aikman said right after the play, the cardinal rule for quarterbacks is never throw across your body into the middle of the field. Favre’s just a gunslinger who doesn’t need to live by the NFL’s silly rules. Favre may be a “warrior,” but he’s also a pedestrian playoff quarterback that won the Super Bowl fourteen (14!) years ago. It’s time to get over it.
Quick tangent: Did you see the pre-game interview he did with Pam Oliver on Fox? A) His comments about being older and wiser and not making bad plays are awesome considering how he ended the game [:17 of video below]. B) The ass-slapping question/montage/answer from Favre was creepy and/or hilarious. A very weird moment. [1:37 of video below]. C) Obviously, the topic of him coming back next year came up and his answer was complete self-serving bullshit [2:10, 2:23 of video below]. Of course he’s coming back, especially the way the Saint’s game ended, and there’s no doubt that he’s going to string along the media again for another summer with his pathetic, attention-whore waffling.
The point is this: all season long Favre was able to control himself and be content with winning and managing the game. But as soon as the spotlight became the brightest, he quickly snapped back into Old Favre mode. Brett Favre certainly wasn’t the only reason the Vikings lost yesterday. Favre was actually the reason why they were in a position to win. But, on that final play, the worst thing than can happen is either a sack or a turnover. The Vikings at least needed a shot at the field goal, especially with an solid and experienced kicker in a dome environment. To not even give Longwell a chance to make the kick is unforgivable. So yes, Favre played great, but all the blame is solely on him for the loss.
If you feel sorry for him or admire his effort or love his ‘awe shucks’ country boy act or felate him like all members of the media, then your playing right into his trap and feeding his unquenchable ego. Did the Favre gamble pay off for the Vikings? Maybe. Next year we’ll know for sure.