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Last night the Lions won the Superbowl.

By Kyle Bauer

From “The Real Deal on Headlines December 29th, 2009:

“I have been outspoken against the Minnesota Vikings all year long. I respect their defense and Sidney Rice, but otherwise, that team has many holes that can only be filled by unwarranted hype and slappiness. Yes, I am calling out Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson. OH HOW DARE I?!

It is tough to call out these players with what they have accomplished. We all know about Favre blah blah blah. The good has to be taken with the bad. The offense was shortened up and simplified in his favor. All Favre had to do was be a good game manager. As the season went on, we had seen the Vikings offense surprisingly open up, due mostly to the ascention of Vishante Shiancoe, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. That inflated Favres ego and the dynamic of this offense. Favre did a great job getting the ball to his receivers, but yes, I am going to say it, Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson would still have the Vikings in the playoffs. This offense goes as the offensive line goes, no matter who the quarterback is. Favre won them the game against the 49ers early in the season, but I think that is the only specific difference he has made. The offensive line has broken down exposing Favre and Peterson.

I cannot deny that Peterson is an elite running back in an age where they have become hard to find. If Jackson or Rosenfels were at the helm, he would have more carries, but in that instance he might have 10 fumbles instead of his league leading seven. I have always been weary of Peterson because of his inconsistency and a tendency to put the ball on the turf. Also he broke his collar-bone celebrating at Oklahoma. I will never trust a football player who injures himself celebrating.

Heres to Favre falling apart late in the season, like he does around this team every year (except 1997). Heres to the Vikings falling apart late in the season like they do every year (since 1977).”

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It is funny how the hatred of one man, of one athlete, can bring an entire country together. Yes, hate brought the country and possibly people from all over the world for one purpose; to see Brett Favre fail.

Last night, the social medium that is Facebook was flourishing with anti-Favre activity. My ‘brothers’ publically rallied with me on every play. It was a proud yet confusing moment, since we are lead to believe that we as a society love Favre, that we as a society believe that Favre is warranted every little bit of hype tossed his way. Favre rarely gets bad publicity but he always causes controversy. He extorts a type of controversy that is self-fulfilling. Favre creates the news for him and because we hate him so much, he draws attention. We do not realize that in turn, we aid the Favre monster. Majority of the people hate him, but everyone knows who he is. That is why we get the “40 year old version.”

What I do not understand is the ass-kissing by the media and the seeming incapability of anyone to call it the way it is. I have been wrong about many, many things NFL this season but ultimately I was right about Favre. If I saw this coming, are you going to honestly tell me that Merrill Hodge, Mike Ditka, Troy Aikman, Tom Jackson, Terry Bradshaw, etc. couldnt?! We root so hard for Favre to fail because he has to hit the bottom in order for any analyst to acknowledge it. This could be a far-fetched assumption, but I am of the belief that this is because there is proverbial gun to their heads. The gun is held by the league and networks who know that Favre is a polarizing figure who will always draw attention no matter which way you stand in respect to his talents. With this instance, trying to influence the belief that Favre is better than he really is, or even the best ever, will make more people feel obligated to view the spectacle.

Do I think Brett Favre is an above average quarterback? Yes. Do I think Favre is a hall of famer? Very much so. But I also do not see him anywhere near the top five all-time or as a top five or ten, quarterback today. Favre was more a product of a system on the field and off. He is a manipulation of the media and to lesser extent ourselves, though it be unintentional.

I hope Lions fans enjoyed last night as much as I did. For me, last night was a seminal moment that will personally not be topped until the Lions win the Superbowl. Last night the Lions were playing the Vikings. The Packers were playing the Vikings. The Bears were playing the Vikings. The Buccaneers were playing the Vikings. Everyone was playing Brett Favre. Especially as a Lions fan with no past Superbowl to cling on to, this was it for me.

The drama in the game left me in a state of constant flux. When he was injured I initially laughed. Then the fear set in. If he leads them back on that bad ankle it will be my worst nightmare. For the rest of my life I would hear about Favre’s “heroic” performance. I also knew that this could cause him to falter and lead to his demise.

As Favre drove down the field with under a minute left my heart could not slow down. I kept trying to figure in my head how I was going to avoid watching ESPN and Fox Sports for the next three weeks and still do my radio show. Had Favre scored that touchdown, I may had been relegated to give up my budding sports radio career altogether.

I had to keep thinking back to January 21st, 2008.

The same emotions went through my head as I paced back and forth, gently pulling my hair. I was thinking that we already lucked out once and we are not going to luck out again. Favre is going to put a bow on this game. My mental dissention will begin and physically I may not be able to eat for days.

I raised my arms in celebration when the 12 men in the huddle occurred. This was desperate satisfaction knowing that Longwell now had a bit harder of an attempt in front of him. Still my stomach was sunk, hope was dwindled down to the fingertips of a Saints defensive linemen.  Never did I think it could happen again…

Post-gasp, I began to laugh uncontrollably. I began to point at a close up of Favre’s teary, red eyes as he slowly walked off the field, stunned with himself. I pointed with all the furiosity someone could point with, hoping that it be so sharp, Favre could see it, right in his grey, self-absorbed face. I continued to laugh so boisterously, hoping that it be so loud and hearty that Favre could hear it beneath his purple earplugs. I have a feeling I wasn’t the only person, who wanted it be known to Favre from their family room’s and bar’s across the country, that they were reveling in his failure.

The Icelandic celebration hymn Olsen Olsen by Sigur Ros played in my head as I danced while the contstant shot of Favre beside himself on the sidelines sat proudly like a photo I wanted to frame and let hang forever.

olsenolsen

Examine the audio of Vikings play-by-play team Paul Allen and Pete Berchic….

(video courtesey of awfulannouncing.blogspot.com)

and then the reaction of these poor, poor Vikings fans.

(video courtesey of deadspin.com)

When you put you faith in the “gunslinger” this will happen. He will let you down. He will let you down because of karma. I believe in karma. When you hold multiple franchises hostage, inundate us with your selfish indecision and are given unwarranted praise because the media sold their soul to your soap opera of a career, it will come back on you. It came back on him last night. Now even Minnesota fans hate him too.  Such as his celebrity was self-fulfilled off the field, once again his fate was self-fulfilled on it.

“Ball don’t lie.”- Rasheed Wallace.

 

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