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Brett Favre talks with the media after his first practice with the Minnesota Vikings on August 18, 2009 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
It's not exactly rocket science. Brett Favre is a very, very hateable person. We wrote an ode to our hate yesterday -- which, if you're wondering, is burning even brighter on day two, thanks to Favre's "It's good for football" nonsense. This man is a plague; he must be stopped.
Not surprisingly, the people paid money to analyze sports in Chicago largely agree. A quick survey of local sports columnists prove that most of them are like the fans they write for: they hate Brett Favre. Except, that is, for Rick Morrissey. But we'll get to him in a second.
First, the Chicago Tribune's Steve Rosenbloom: "I already had the Chicago Cutlers at 13-3, but that goes to 14-2 as soon as the drama queen becomes a Viking. I mean, it doesn’t get much better for a questionable Bears defense than for Minnesota to bring in a quarterback with a worse rating than Tarvaris Jackson --- true fact --- and compound that with a quarterback who has the credentials to overrule handoffs to Adrian Peterson, whom the Bears can’t tackle. What’s more, Bears coach Lovie Smith beats Favre more than he beats Jackson. The only way it could get any better for the Bears is if Favre was coached by Charlie Weis. Goodness, even Bob Babich could deisgn a defense to win that game."
Likewise, the Sun-Times's Rick Telander is almost shocked at how frequently and readily Brett Favre was willing to lie about his return: "It's a marvel to me that a fellow could say, as Favre did last February when asked if he had absolutely retired from the game, ''I can say that -- there's no way'' -- and then find a way. Just say you're going to play forever, for as much money as possible, with no loyalties to anyone or anything except your own ego, and that you'll stop playing -- or un-retiring -- when nobody on the face of the earth will have you on their team. There's dignity in simply saying you don't want to go through the ugly part of training camp one more time. Just say it. But don't keep playing this cat-and-squirrel game."
A bit more level-headed, the Trib's David Haugh argues Favre makes the Vikings the best team in the NFC North: "Consider this Vikings team won the division in 2008 with Gus Frerotte playing quarterback. They can contend for the NFC title with Favre, a clear upgrade. [...] Objectively, a guy who will turn 40 this season rates behind Jay Cutler and the Packers' Aaron Rodgers as the best quarterback in the division. But he doesn't have to have a Pro Bowl season for the Vikings to compete for the Super Bowl, which is what made this so appealing for both parties."
Mike Mulligan agrees, but calls it "a big if": Signing Favre is a boom-or-bust move. If Favre can hold off time, this move could turn out to be brilliant. Tarvaris Jackson would be rated the No. 32 quarterback in the league if he were the Vikings' starter. Favre is probably only the third-best quarterback in his division, but the Bears' Jay Cutler and the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers are among the top 10 in the league.
And finally, perhaps silliest of all, the Trib's Rick Morrissey gets on the pro-Favre bandwagon and asks why anyone cares whether or not Favre returns. Don't make fun of my Brett!: "Three weeks ago, Favre said he planned to stay retired. Most people took it with a grain of salt because the guy seems to stay retired the way Paris Hilton seems to stay celibate. You're tired of the Favre story. You get mad about it every time you think about it, and you're mad because it's taking up the time normally reserved for pondering the proper ratio of cheese to refried beans on your pregame nachos.
But Favre maneuvering his way out of three weeks of training camp -- that's a veteran move."
We'd actually argue that it's a dishonest, lazy, self-centered and basically unfair-to-his-teammates move, and that Favre managed to somehow damage his reputation even more than if he had just returned in the first place, but you know the old saying: one man's liar is another man's veteran.