It's like the Hatfields inviting the head of the McCoy family over for dinner and having him say grace.
It's like the Capulets telling Romeo he should run the family business.
It's like Israel electing a Palestinian President.
It's like Kareem suiting up at center for the '86 Celtics.
It's like George W. Bush taking over the everyday operations at MENSA.
It's like Garfield freely sharing a pan of lasagna with Nermal.
Have I made my point yet? That this whole thing just feels very wrong on every level? OK, good. I've sworn up and down in the comments on this site of all the Favre hearsay stories that I wouldn't write a single article about you-know-who until something actually happened.
I'm 27 years old. I have spent well over half of my entire life hating Brett Favre. Of course I have; I was supposed to! He was the most notable player on my least favorite team for the better part of two decades. It felt really, really good to unleash my passionate disdain for all things Brett Lorenzo Favre.
Back in February, I compared potential Vikings quarterbacks to potential hookups at a bar. Here's what I said about Favre:
Of course there's always the old cougar that would love to go home with you. She probably shouldn't even be at this bar, and she swears she doesn't come here anymore, but lo and behold, here she is. She used to be amazing, and your buddies have plenty of stories about how awesome she was. But you know better. You've seen first-hand that she can sabotage hookups as fast as she initiates them, even when she was in her prime. One minute she's the best looking girl at the bar; the next minute she's an overtanned emotional wreck, sobbing about her biological clock while getting mascara all over your shirt and effectively killing your night.
My opinion hasn't changed in the past three months. Now it seems as though there's a very real possibility that he may play for my favorite team this year. What the hell am I supposed to think?!
Before I even attempt to talk myself into being OK with this, I have some questions to ask.
Is he too old and beat up to be effective?
To paraphrase Happy Gilmore: But he's an old man. I mean, look at him, he's--old! You can't just make him our quarterback, he's--too old!
Favre is going to turn 40 early in the 2009 season. Name me some athletes with a head smaller than a basketball that have had played at a championship level professionally after 40.
And what about those shoulder and bicep injuries? He hasn't had surgery since he faltered down the stretch last season; has rest magically cured his ailments? If so, Wrangler should run advertisements about the miraculous healing power of their denim. I can see it now: "Real. Rejuvenating. Jeans."
How much would it cost?
In 2008, Favre made $12 million with the Jets, making him the 5th highest paid quarterback in the league. I don't think it's much of a stretch for me to say that he's not going to be a top-5 quarterback in 2009. So unless he takes a "screw the money, I just want to stick it to Ted Thompson" discount, why would the Vikings want to overpay Favre when they don't have a ton of cap room to begin with?
What happens to the 3 QBs the Vikings already have on the roster?
Look, I get it--none of the three quarterbacks currently on Minnesota's roster scream out "perennial Pro Bowler." Favre definitely has the track record to out-perform RosenCopter, T-Jax, and Booty Call. Even the most rabid Favre hater will admit that--because I am, and I just did.
But since the Vikings are almost certain to keep less than four QBs on their 2009 roster, do they give up on the Booty Experiment after just one year? Are they OK with giving up a 4th round pick for Sage riding the pine most of the season? Is Childress willing to swallow his pride and admit The Tarvaris Jackson Experiment was for the most part a failure? Even if my nightmare ends and Favre doesn't sign with the Vikes, what damage has already been done to their psyches? I don't have an easy answer for any of those questions.
Are we really OK with every story about the 2009 Vikings revolving around one player?
Because that's exactly how it's going to be in the mainstream media. Sure, Favre will bring the Vikings more press coverage than we've ever dreamed of. But is that necessarily a good thing? Will the best running back in the NFL be OK with the 'round-the-clock Favre Circus overshadowing his awesomeness? How will Jared Allen, Percy Harvin, Antoine Winfield, the Williams Wall & co. deal with the constant distraction? Remember, not everyone on the Jets was thrilled with the team bringing in Favre last year. Would the extra national scrutiny be worth it?
Is it really worth threatening my father's health?
I'm only half-kidding about this one. Do you remember the "I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU!" anti-drug commercial from the late 80's? That's just how I learned to hate the Packers and Brett Favre growing up--by watching my dad.
My old man is a bona fide professional Favre hater. He's amazing; the guy has never wavered once. I almost feel like I should thank Favre, because he's always given my father and I a great conversation topic that we can mutually share our disgust for. But if the Vikings sign Favre, I honestly fear that one of his major organs will explode. No, really.
On top of that, if Favre plays in 2009, he has a chance to break Jim Marshall's all-time consecutive games played streak. Marshall is one of my dad's favorite players ever. Would we as Vikings fans be OK with seeing Favre break that streak while moonlighting for the team that Marshall gave 19 years to?
My dad has endured all four Super Bowl losses, and perhaps more painfully, the infamous Drew Pearson push-off in the 1975 Championship Game. Hasn't he suffered enough?
Don't get me wrong--I realize that Favre to the Vikings has a chance to be something special. If he plays well and the team stays healthy, the Vikings might have a Super Bowl caliber team. It would also be really fun to see Packer fans squirm and try to convince themselves that they're just fine while the mere thought of Favre coming to Lambeau in purple gives them hives.
I also realize that this kind of thing isn't completely unheard of in the sports world: look at Johnny Damon going from the Red Sox to the Yankees. On a personal level, I'm still getting used to cheering for Joe Crede at the Metrodome after spending the previous 8 or 9 seasons loathing him with the White Sox. Heck, even the younger sister in "A League Of Their Own" switched teams. But Favre to the Vikings would be roughly 235,684 times bigger than any of these.
If this actually goes through and Favre does become a Viking, I'm guessing I'll probably just have to stay loyal to my team and try to ignore the dry heaves I get every time I see that purple #4 jersey. I'll have to slowly re-program my brain's reaction from "glee" to "disappointment" when I see a Favre interception, and vice versa for touchdowns.
I have one last thought, and this one is for Mr. Favre himself.
Brett, if you're actually serious about joining the Vikings, I have the perfect way for you to start winning over new fans in Minnesota: DO US A FAVOR AND MAKE UP YOUR F---ING MIND SOONER RATHER THAN LATER FOR ONCE IN YOUR F---ING LIFE! Whatever you decide, please, please, please, please, please, PLEASE just let this be resolved well before August. I have a summer to enjoy, and I don't want to spend it writing about what you may or may not do. Thank you.
OK, I'll stop there. I'd like to say writing this made me feel a lot better, but it really didn't. There's no simple on/off switch for diehard sports fans and their hatred. I will still hate Brett Favre until further notice. If he does become a Viking, I guess I'll just have to carry a puke bucket around with me when I watch the first few games.
Because it's like an Ohio State football star going to law school at Michigan--it just doesn't feel right.