Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Black and Blue Division

One interesting aspect of the fallout from the Vikings fling with Favre is the divisions it has created among both Viking and Packer fans.

Among Viking fans there is a large delegation that seems to believe that with Favre clad in purple, the long awaited dream fantasy of a Vikings Super Bowl victory will finally come to fruition. They're busy buying Favre jerseys, putting money down in Vegas on the Vikes, and booking hotel rooms in Miami. I've labeled this group of Viking fans "NeoBretts" and estimate that they currently compromise about 80% of the Viking fan base. Their support however is contingent on Favre's and the Vikings success and once he starts throwing the ball to the guys in the wrong jerseys, I expect their numbers to dwindle precipitously.

The other group of Viking fans are cool-headed and rational enough to realize that while Favre once WAS a great quarterback, his best days are long behind him. Now, he's nothing more than a washed-up, egomaniacal prima donna whose brain is writing checks that his arm can no longer cash. Yes, he's still a gun-slinger, but one who's now much slower on the draw and less accurate with his shooting. Worst of all, he still carries with him some of the arrogance of youth that most men with his experience have learned is unfounded. The idea that he's going to calmly and carefully help quarterback the Vikings to the Super Bowl with deliberate style is absurd. Even if he wanted to take such a measured approach to the game, he couldn't. It's not in his nature. He's still Brett Favre and even if he manages to contain his urge to improvise for a good part of the season, you know that at some critical point in a key game he's going to try to do too much. When the Favre of old gambled, he usually won more than he lost. But expecting the Favre of late to pay off is a sucker's bet. I estimate that 20% of Vikings fan--the Realists--are not suckers today.

Meanwhile, there are also divisions among the Green and Gold faithful. I think that most Packer fans (60% or so) are actually happy that Favre is a Viking and were laughing in their beer yesterday. They recognize that he's a shell of the former quarterback who light up Lambeau Field and that his age and attitude will prove to be detrimental to Minnesota's hopes. The other 40% are still unable to let go of the Favre man-crush that they've had for years and still pine for him in their hearts. They're having a tough time coping with the idea of him playing for the Vikings and spent most of yesterday weeping in their beer. However, I would expect for most their sorrow will quickly turn to bitterness and anger at the perceived betrayal. Hell hath no fury like a Packer fan scorned. Assuming that Favre stays healthy until then, the November 1st Viking-Packer showdown in Lambeau should be one of the most anticipated games in the rivalry in years. With the all the mixed emotions, divided loyalties, and lost loves involved it almost could be aired on Lifetime.

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