Let’s assume for the purposes of writing yet another a piece about the embarrassingly neglected Mr. Brett Favre becoming a Minnesota Viking (since there is nothing else worth writing about this year, such as Keneche Udeze recovering from leukemia or the idea that Percy Harvin didn’t miss any OTA yet because he was too stoned to tie his shoes (as many had hoped)) that Brett tears his damaged biceps tendon loose from the bone with his bare teeth and then signs the necessary paperwork entitling him to wear a complementary Vikings jersey to work every week.
What number jersey will beloved Brett get? By NFL regulation, in place since 1973, quarterbacks must wear numbers in the range from one to nineteen. Otherwise, they have to make a verbal report to the officials every time they come into the game to play quarterback, which could be really nasty during the final seconds of a key game with the clock ticking down when the Vikings trail by six, especially during the ensuing press conference, in which hundreds of local reporters will demand to know in extensive and inimate detail why it was that Brett wore number 66 last Sunday and will insist with their ever loving football minds that his jersey was the only factor which determined the outcome of the game. Was that short for some sort of Satanic designation, coach?
In the same manner by which Sidney Rice has forced Sage Rosenfels to accept that he was no longer 18 but really number 2, John David Booty has the current possession of number 4, and because (at least until he is cut) he may demand Favre’s house and his wife and his lawn tractor in exchange for it, Favre may be forced to go for his second choice in the way of numeric designations. (Besides, some other ancient Mississippian (a guy who was named Archie) once wore that purple four jersey at the end of his career. Hey, Brett, where’s your originality?)
Favre once wore number 10; however, all good Viking fans know that the sacred purple number 10 is officially retired and is the sole entitlement of a certain native Georgian, one Francis Asbury Tarkenton. (Sure, Favre doesn’t believe in the idea that retirement is ever any permanent sort of thing, but Fran certainly knows better, and we know that possession is nine tenths of the law.)
That being the case, Favre must face the fact that the only numbers from which he may select are one, nine, thirteen, and seventeen.
If Favre picks number one, everyone will presume he’s going to buy a home in Edina, is mocking Warren Moon, or both (if not worse).
If he picks number thirteen, people will say he’s cruelly pointing out the one jewelry piece that Dan Marino doesn’t have, and should the Vikings lose the Super Bowl this season, the triskaidekaphobic among us will never let it die that that was how the team lost number five, and they will start chanting “none for the thumb” at Brad Childress until the man leaves the state, or they run out of breath, which ever occurs first.
If Brett chooses number nine, people will say Favre is trying to steal the spotlight from this year’s first NFL draft pick Matthew Stafford (or from Tommy Kramer, or Jim McMahon, or Ted Williams, or Mia Hamm, or whoever their personal favorite nine happens to be.) You cannot please everyone, but I digress.
This leaves us with the number seventeen. The visually stimulated can see this purple jersey in the May 6th Bleacher Report article at http://bleacherreport.com/articles/169172-old-number-17-a-numbers-controversy-in-minnesota .
Sure, old Mitch Berger fans will storm the Metrodome and tear the thing down, but that is perhaps the only way that Zygi Wilf can get a new stadium in Minnesota. Let’s count our blessings.
Hail Favre. Well he was just seventeen, you know what I mean?