December 22, 2010

Favre's Last Stand

The Vikings season hit yet another nadir in a year full of them Monday night, as the Vikes were crushed by the Bears on national television, playing outside at TCF Bank Stadium.

The game was at least the 10th "final game of Brett Favre's career," although I'll be on hand for the next one in Philadelphia next Sunday. After he was listed as "out" for an entire week, Favre was upgraded to "questionable" the morning of the game and then played, although Adrian Peterson ruined tens of thousands of fantasy football championship games by surprisingly missing the game.

Favre deciding to play reminded me a lot of the last scene of "The Wrestler." I was fully expecting him to die on the field, although he merely left the game with a concussion in the second quarter. It was, at least, the 10th or 12th "last game of Favre's career," and I'll be there for the next one in Philadelphia next Sunday night.

He was replaced by Joe Webb, a rookie sixth-round pick playing the first cold-weather game of his life. I admire Webb's tenacity, especially in running for a third quarter touchdown, but he has no business starting an NFL game at this stage of his career, especially not in the cold.

The broadcast itself was the usual disconnect- almost every NFL fan is sick to death of Favre and would just as soon never see him again, but all we got from the two-hour pregame show and three-hour broadcast was nonstop praise and idolotry. The low point was probably Jon Gruden referring to Favre (I'm not kidding) as "the Ultimate Warrior."

It even continued on the "Mike and Mike" show the following morning, on which one of the hosts referred to "the thing Favre is addicted to, that keeps him going out there." They were talking about competition, but I assumed they meant Vicodin. And speaking of which, they were talking on the broadcast about Favre possibly taking a painkiller injection before the game. Because it's not like he has a history of painkiller addiction or anything.

The only positive developments: They honored the 50th anniversary team at halftime, and 83-year-old ex-coach Bud Grant- who narrowly edged out Brad Childress and Mike Tice to be named the best Vikings coach- came out IN SHORT SLEEVES, The honorees included '70s stars on two different sides of the law: recent convicted felon Carl Eller and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page.

And finally, it was great to see a game outside in the snow in Minnesota, especially with fans throwing snowballs in the air after both Vikings TDs. Too bad any new stadium will have a retractable roof and they'll never be a snow game again. Dana Wessel had the best take on Twitter:

Just like I predicted in 1995: Favre's career would end as a Viking playing in an open-air Gopher stadium because the Dome collapsed

Posted by Stephen Silver at December 22, 2010 01:36 AM
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