I can see why people who aren't Viking fans get tired of this. It all seems so theatrical, melodramatic, overblown. As a Viking fan, I sort of love this. It's all pretty exciting and dramatic.
I want to come back to, and highlight, some things Mark Wald wrote about Favre at Cold, Hard Football Facts:
"But none of that matters, because the guy’s a little weird. You know, can’t make up his mind, that sort of thing [...]
"The big knock on Favre these days is, of course, his waffling on retirement.
"Big deal. Hell, I’ve been trying to take Friday off from work the last six weeks. Gone so far as to schedule vacation, tell the boss, and make alternate plans. Then I end up coming in anyway because I just can’t tear myself away from the place I love it so much.
"Apparently that makes me and Favre the world’s biggest d-bags.
"And how about the fact he’s holding the poor Vikings hostage? You know, the Vikings, those trusting souls who had no clue he just might take a little while to make up his mind.
Look, if your neighbor’s wife is stepping out and he doesn’t care, then why should we? The Vikings either have the world’s biggest case of Stockholm Syndrome or they went into this with their eyes wide open. Maybe your neighbor’s wife makes one hell of a meat loaf."
I think Wald makes a good point. Maybe as a person, Favre is a bit of a flake. He's indecisive and emotional. He likes attention. He has trouble making up his mind whether, as a man old by football standards and a multimillionaire, he'd rather enjoy his life, or play a physically and mentally challenging game that he loves again. But really, who cares? Is being indecisive such a gigantic character flaw to justify the vitriol often directed at Favre? It doesn't seem like that big a deal.
But I'm glad too that now we have substance. When Favre is tooling around Mississippi and the Vikings make vague, meaningless statements, it all seems a little vaporous. His absence is so noticeable even as there is really nothing to say about it. When I see Favre on video showing up in Minnesota, talking to people with the team, it's solid. Now those personality issues, the media attention, all of that, doesn't really matter. Favre is now a football player, working with the football team. What's going to matter is on the field. He's here for the year: there's no more speculation or non-story to discuss.
Look, I don't feel that great about the Vikings' 2010 season. I really feel like 2009 was the opportunity: things came together beautifully, and the Vikes were in an NFC Championship Game that they had every chance to win, but they blew it. I don't think they'll win the Super Bowl this season. Rationally, anyway.
Emotionally, I'm ready to get back on for the ride. I'll believe anything. I'll start having dreams about the day after a Super Bowl win again. Emotionally, I'm back. Emotionally, I'll follow this team closely all season in that desperate hope that this is it, this is the year, the year it all finally happens.