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The Count of Mankato: Favre’s Ultimate Revenge

Published 9:38pm Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So it looks like Favre’s old body has finally taken its last beating. Or more likely, he can’t envision the punishment of another season for the next week, and then around August 27th he signs with San Francisco and they make it to the NFC title game, reducing Alex Smith to pre-pubescence. But you really want to know what I think?

What I think happened is that the Ol’ Wrangler pulled the most elaborate Count of Monte Cristo style revenge scheme in the history of sports. He remembered years and years of Viking Fan hatred, and it hardened in his soul. Every sack he endured, every jeer, would run itself over and over like a slide show twice a year in his weary, battered skull. When his beloved Packers cut him loose, he knew there was one team to seek vengeance against. But why not seek vengeance against Green Bay, you ask? He’s not the devil. He could never Edmond Dantés the team he won a super bowl with. But the gunslinger’s rage had to go somewhere. He began to plot. He even got traded to the Jets as a decoy, a year to distance himself from the rivalry; a craptastic year with a fake injury and ending in 9-7 mediocrity. But that was all part of the plan, wasn’t it? He was just old Brett, who didn’t know how to walk away, like so many greats before him. How could he do anything, any damage to anyone, after a season like that?

Then came the summer of 2009.  He played the retired act for just long enough to get an in with Brad Childress, to secure his spot on the team he truly hated the most, and signed with the Vikings. But Minnesotans didn’t get too excited, using the correct amount of cautious optimism that comes with embracing a rival. ‘He didn’t even go to training camp, how good could he even be?!’ and ‘How old is he, like a thousand?!’ were appropriate utterances at Vikings’ stomping grounds.

Then he did it. He became the Count. Favre played an amazing series of games, lavishing his receivers with bullets, bombs, and confidence. The Greg Lewis Catch. The emergence of Sidney Rice. The Baltimore Game. Favre’s passing game was a better offensive option than All Day himself. He threw a party and floated in on a hot air balloon and everyone was impressed. Hopeful even.

But low and behold, the NFC Title Game, where the old quarterback proceeded to destroy the hopes and dreams of every Viking fan old enough to still ache from the Gary Anderson kick. He had built Minnesota a fortune, and taken it all away. But fans tried to defend it, to not admit it to themselves what had happened. ‘How could Childress call that play?! Brett HAD to throw it across his body!’

The Count of Mankato then pulled the ultimate sucker punch. He held out just long enough so that the Vikings didn’t make a move for an extremely available Donovan McNabb, or draft Jimmy Clausen, or try and acquire Jason Campbell as a stopgap. It was just enough time for Viking fans to believe the super bowl hype. The gunslinger still had the magic, he’d shown it all last season. This was it, 2010 was the year.

And then The Count crushed it with a text message, laughing maniacally in a dark room watching footage of Tavaris Jackson. ‘This is it,’ he said, as he exacted his sweetest revenge.

Or not. These are just the kinds of thoughts you have as a Viking fan staring into the abyss of the 2010 season. Either way, when Brett shows up in Minnesota with another team, the above scenario can at least add some imaginary fuel to the fire. As if anyone needed it.

4th-And-A-Mile is a blog written by Sam Wiles of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and exclusive to AlbertLeaTribune.com.