Oh, we Chicagoans hated Brett Favre before. Don't get it twisted. We hated him throughout his Packers career, throughout his Packers return, throughout all of it. But underneath the hate we had at least some semblance of respect. We understood why other people loved Favre so much. We tolerated the media gushing because frankly, all things considered, Favre deserved his lofty perch.
The news that the Vikings are set to sign Favre caps off what has to be one of the single most self-involved, solipsistic two-year runs in the history of professional sports and/or solipsism. Ceasar had nothing on No. 4. And what once was a begrudging dislike, at least among Bears fans, has morphed into something more: we now completely, totally 100-percent no-equivocations hate Brett Favre. And now we must hate the Vikings, too.
See, the Vikings, despite their geographic proximity and that one annoying fan who always blows that stupid horn in the Metrodome, aren't so bad. Their fans really aren't so bad, either. Minnesotans are nice folk. The team has nothing on the Packers in the ways of classic Bears rivalry. We may not have rooted for the Vikings, but we didn't root against them.
Again, not anymore. Favre's signing turns the Vikings into Bears-territory public enemy No. 1. What's different this time is that Favre's antics have so alienated football fans nationwide that Bears fans won't be alone in their hatred. We're coast-to-coast, baby. Find us a football fan who isn't completely sick of Brett Favre, and we'll find you a middle-aged sycophant with a rumpus room full of rapidly deteriorating (in value, anyway) Favre memorabilia.
Perhaps the saddest part of all of this is what it does to Adrian Peterson, the Vikings' stud running back. Peterson is not just good. He's a sublime pleasure to watch. (Not to mention a pretty insane fantasy football player.) And now every time Peterson does something well, breaks open one of those trademark explosive runs he's mastered so early in his career, the knowledge that this success likewise helps Brett Favre -- well, you can see the dilemma here.
So it is, though, that we assume this crutch of hate. Bears fans have disliked Brett Favre for far too long. We're ready for this. But it is nice to be joined by so many others. For once, we're not just bitter. We're the majority.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.