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Vince Vitrano: Not For Broadcast



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I offer the following observations on Brett Favre becoming a Viking.

1) Whether he plays great or falls on his face, the NFL is better with Brett Favre.

2) I am now instantly more excited for the football season.

3) The NFC North may not be the best division in football, but it is by far the most interesting.

4) I believe signing Favre was not a good football decision for the Minnesota Vikings. I don't know that they're better with him.

5) I believe signing Favre was an excellent business decision by Viking Owner Ziggy Wilf. They're selling out games, and they're selling out gear. No one has talked this much about the Vikings since the Purple People Eaters.

6) Brett Favre is not telling the truth. If he, "just wants to play," then he should not have retired from the Green Bay Packers in 2008. If he, "just wants to play," he should have honored the second year of his 2-year contract with the New York Jets. Brett had multiple opportunities to "just play." He wants the Vikings, because he wants to stick it to Ted Thompson. Whatever... but just own it. Be honest.

7) Brett Favre didn't just magically come to this conclusion. The guy didn't want to go to training camp. Again... just own it.

8) I agree the Packer management could have handled the Favre debacle much better, but it's not all on them.

9) I am a Packer Fan first, and do not understand people who say they now hope the Vikings beat the Packers.

10) I appreciate all Brett Favre did for the Packers over nearly 2 decades.

11) The Green Bay Packers did more for Brett Favre than he did for them.

Upon this final point I will expound. I do not diminish the great personal achievement of Brett Favre. He's a Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest Packers to ever play the game. His arm and his leadership helped bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay.

That said, I'm a bit tired of hearing turncoat fans talk about what's owed to Brett Favre because of, "...all he did for the Packers."

What about all the Packers did for him? Ron Wolf rescued him off the trash heap in Atlanta. Brett Favre was drunk, stupid, and nearly washed up. He was well on his way to squandering his remarkable talent.

To head coach Jerry Glanville, the guy was a joke. Literally a joke. You've seen Glanville talking about how they used to bet on whether Brett could throw the ball into the 3rd deck of stadiums. That was it. Dude missed the team picture because he was hung over... or maybe still drunk. This guy was going nowhere.

Ron Wolf brought Brett Favre to Green Bay, and gave him the gift of a second chance. He added to the gift the most complete coaching staff in the history of the National Football League. At one time or another it was Holmgren, Andy Reid, Jon Gruden, Steve Mariucci, Marty Monrnhinweg... and that's just the offensive side of the ball. Ray Rhodes (for all his faults) and Dick Jauron also became head coaches in the NFL.

Favre also received the gift of extraordinary patience on the part of Holmgren. We've all seen Holmy... agonizing over whether to pull Brett out after dude failed to listen again. Holmgren stuck with him, when others wouldn't have.

The Packers stood by Favre during the drinking, partying, philandering, and drug abusing years. Granted, he's hardly the first Green Bay Packer or NFL player to battle those demons, but many times it would have been easy and justifiable for the Packers to cut ties with Favre... and they didn't. 

The Packers also had some pretty talented people in at quarterback in those days. Ty Detmer, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks. All were starters in the NFL after serving as back-ups to Favre. It's more likely the Packers win a Super Bowl with one of them, than it is Brett Favre wins a Super Bowl without the Packers.

So good luck, Brett. I don't wish you ill, with exception of October 5th and November 1. Actually, I wish you and that team ill every game you play, but in life it's all good. I look forward to seeing you peddle toothpaste and blue jeans for ever and ever, amen.



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