Editor’s Note: Our sports writer and editor, Rob Loeber, is – as you read this – moving from Tennessee back to Oklahoma. In order to manage the move, he’s taking the day off. In his place, Mark “The Howard” Hinderliter, has stepped up and shared his ongoing struggle…or perhaps resolution…about Brett Farve, the Vikings, and – um, – Sheb Wooley. Enjoy~ RDK
*Disclaimer: All facts reported in this article may only be facts to me and could have nothing at all to do with actual history.
Wow. I could probably just stop right there since the Vikings season of drama has been so well-documented.
We can always count on the Dallas Cowboys for an annual football soap opera but the Vikings have stolen the mantel of all football drama queens this year. And remember, I’m a Vikings fan! Well, okay…you’ll have to go back and read the first article I wrote on the inner workings of Brett Favre’s mind to understand my team allegiances.
Which reminds me – it’s probably time to explain how an Oklahoma boy became a Vikings fan. Previously I blamed Sheb Wooley; a cowboy actor from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, (somewhere along that time period). He also was known to be a singer. And he is in my family tree, according to my Father. So we’re 10th cousins twice removed or something like that. Whatever that means.
Any-hoo, back in the 70’s I had an album (one of those big black vinyl CD’s for you youngsters) called “Don Kirschner Presents – Fun Rock (1975). It had various silly pop songs on it, one of which was “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater” by none other than Sheb Wooley, my distant relative. And, in the 70’s the Minnesota Vikings had a great defense that was known as The Purple People Eaters. And that is how easily an impressionable young pre-teen in the 70’s becomes a life-long Vikings fan.
I never claimed to be a deep thinker. But enough about me. Let us begin again to pick at the lock on the door of Brett Favre’s mind.
First, the facts (see disclaimer above): there was the retrieval posse dispatched to Mississippi to return Favre to the Vikings fold after, of course, the preseason was over. There was a replay of last year’s NFC title game again lost by the Vikings. There was further poor play resulting in a poor record out of the gate. Randy Moss made a return engagement to Minnesota for about 3 weeks before he was cut loose. But he did catch Favre’s 500th touchdown pass.
The Vikings, not about to loose the soap opera mantel to Dallas, followed the Cowboys’ example and fired their coach. Then winter set in. A quick question: How many pro football games do you ever recall being postponed? This year alone the Vikings have been involved with three! It started with a snowstorm that re-routed the New York Giants to Kansas City. Incredibly, the roof of the Vikings aging stadium collapsed under the snow. They finally played the game in Detroit. The following week the Golden Gophers offered up their stadium for the Vikes to use. And the Vikings game against the Philadelphia Eagles was postponed two days due to a pending snowstorm in Pennsylvania, a game which the Vikings surprisingly won using a third string quarterback drafted as a wide receiver. Didn’t I mention before that they might as well play Joe Webb??
In the midst of all the game postponements came the end of Brett’s consecutive start streak. An iron man’s streak even detractors must admit was impressive: 297 regular season games, not counting play-offs or the rare pre-season appearance.
Lastly, because every modern drama seems to have a certain amount of sleaze involved, there were the accusations of inappropriate emails sent to an employee of the New York Jets during the one season Favre played for that organization.
I guess football actually is a place for soap opera drama that few could write but the Vikings actually could live.
So do you think Favre regrets coming back for a 20th season? I have no idea what he is actually thinking – probably no one does. Maybe even he doesn’t know. But like Michael Jordan playing for the Wizards, this season won’t do anything to enhance the legacy he will leave with the NFL. He hit 500 touchdown passes and played 20 seasons but the continual uncertainty concerning playing time and ridiculous coddling of an aging star athlete by a desperate team must tip the scales toward regret.
So here’s to next year and the eternal hope of a new season and Happy New Year to an athlete for the ages. Brett Favre – you’ll be wearing John Deere green from here on plowing around your farm in Mississippi. It’s been fun!