In an editorial on Monday, the Irish Times argues that sports have replaced religion as the main form of identity and social bonding. In Wisconsin over the weekend, six goats were stolen from a farm bringing the summer total to 106 in a bizarre series of crimes that have left investigators baffled. What might these two seemingly unrelated items have in common?
It's just a theory right now, but stay with us here. A Wisconsin woman on her way to Minneapolis/St. Paul on Friday, the day of Favre's first game with the Vikings, stopped at an auto repair shop in Winona, Minnesota and, naturally, told the mechanics that she had a live goat in her trunk. Upon opening the trunk, the mechanics indeed found a goat, which the woman said she planned to slaughter, but there was an unexpected twist.
The goat had been painted purple and gold - the colors for the Minnesota Vikings. Shaved into its side was the No. 4 - the number of Brett Favre, who made his Vikings debut Friday night in a preseason game in the Twin Cities.
The goat was lying on its side, tied at its feet. [Auto repairman James] Prusci said it had some pretty big horns.
Animal control was called, the city attorney is weighing charges against the woman, and the goat, naturally named Brett, is hanging out at a foster home. So, a scruffily bearded character by the name of Brett was intercepted en route to a brutal demise? Sounds familiar to Jets fans.
Is it too big a stretch to assume that there is a cult of fanatics on the loose in Wisconsin who believe that slaughtering goats dressed like sports heroes will somehow earn them favor with the fates? It certainly fits with the idea that sports have replaced religion, especially if it is going through the same evolutionary process starting with ritualized killing that we read about in the Bible.
Would a goat's slaughter be designed to help or harm Favre? Who knows what lurks in the hearts of cheeseheads? Whatever their rationale, it's probably a good idea for the virgins of the upper midwest to stay closely protected until Favre's next faux-retirement commences.