brett-favre-story

Raw Brutality, and Brett Favre’s Class

The Vikings-Saints NFC championship will stay with me forever—it was the most physical, and fateful, game I’ve ever been a part of

By Sage Rosenfels

I wrote this piece in January 2010, in the few days that followed the NFC Championship Game between the Vikings, where I was the backup quarterback, and the Saints. You may think this game is special for its place in the Saints’ bounty controversy, but to me it’s special for an entirely different reason: In all my experiences in professional football, it best encompasses the true soul of what the NFL is. For my own sanity, I wanted to express my thoughts on the game and take you inside what happened before, during and after it. 

***

The game was a media dream. The New Orleans Saints, less than five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and region (including the Superdome, where the game was being played) were hosting the Brett Favre-led Minnesota Vikings. Both teams’ fans had been waiting decades for a Super Bowl berth; the Saints had never made it there in their then-43-year history, and the Vikings hadn’t been to the big game in more than 30 years. Favre grew up a Saints fan and lives less than an hour from New Orleans. The storylines were endless. Driving through downtown the day before the game, it was impossible not to feel the growing anticipation. The streets were crowded with Saints and Vikings fans, both groups celebrating what their teams had done already that season while also getting amped for the epic showdown to come the next day.

After our evening meetings, I popped an Ambien to ensure I’d get some solid sleep. I generally have no trouble sleeping before a game, and I usually never wake up before 7 a.m. on game day. On this day, though, I was wide awake at 4 a.m., my mind racing. The Saints’ defense didn’t have the best talent in the league, but they did have a great scheme, especially on third down. They brought a lot of really difficult blitzes and coverages that almost every team struggled with that season, and the confusion they created forced a lot of sacks and turnovers. Still, they had some weaknesses. During our film study sessions, we felt we had figured out a method to their madness, and by Friday we thought that unless they changed their scheme, we had an answer for whatever they were going to throw at us. People don’t realize how much this thought process can grind on a player. Add to that the anticipation of a 40-second play clock and 75,000 screaming fans with a Super Bowl invitation on the line, and itʼs easy to see why I woke up at 4 a.m.

On game day, as our bus made the short trip over to the Superdome, the streets were filled with Saints tailgaters and fans. The makeshift marching bands, colorful dangling beads, hurricane-sized drinks and people dancing in the streets made it feel like Mardi Gras in January. The late 6 p.m. kickoff only allowed for more time for partying and celebrating. I scanned the bus and noticed some of my teammates looking out their windows, with a variety of reactions to the scene on the streets. Most of them had serious, business-like looks on their faces, while others smiled at the hilarity before them. To the right of me, an offensive assistant was reviewing the gameplan with the wristbands that we were to use during the game, which, for the first time that season, had every offensive play in numbered order. These wristbands were created with the expectation of unprecedented crowd noise. The trainers also had custom earplugs made for every player and coach. They were specially designed by Starkey, a Minneapolis company that specializes in hearing aids and earpieces. Would they give us an edge? Time would tell.

Saints fans have a reputation for two things: Enjoying a good celebration and making things difficult on opposing teams. (Derick E. Hingle/US Presswire)
Saints fans have a reputation for two things: Enjoying a good celebration and making things difficult on opposing teams. (Derick E. Hingle/US Presswire)

In most regards, getting ready for this game was like most other games that year, but the locker room was noticeably more quiet and focused. During the season, even in big games, the guys had been fairly loose as they got dressed and taped. I can recall Brett holding court at his locker many times, telling hilarious stories of old coaches and players. His stories seemed to keep the players relaxed. But Brett had been subdued during the stretch run and was noticeably anxious about this game.

In the locker room, Brett was talking to me about a blitz he was really concerned about. He felt it may give our protection scheme some trouble. He asked offensive linemen Steve Hutchinson and John Sullivan about the same blitz, and we all reassured him we had the problem solved.

***

Brett thinks about football differently from most players and coaches, and it took me most of the first half of the season to understand how. At times I felt like I was an interpreter between Brett and our offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, despite them having worked together for almost a decade.

Most coaches cringe at what he does because it isn’t very coachable, but there’s almost always a rhyme and reason with Brett.

Football is based on the precision of the 11 guys on the field. Teams practice to perfect their footwork, timing, depth of routes, angles of blocking, reads and audible systems. It is understood that the team that has better athletes, plays with more passion and focus and executes the gameplan best usually wins. But Brett’s mind goes beyond strict execution of how plays are drawn up and techniques are designed. He realizes that slight movements by the quarterback, more than any other position on offense, can have a huge effect on the defense. Instead of going through his natural reads to find the open receiver, he sometimes gets them open by pump-faking, angling his shoulders and using his eyes to move the defense. He goes by feel and creates to get what he wants, instead of doing everything by the book and getting what the defense will give him. Most coaches cringe at what he does because it isn’t very coachable, but there’s almost always a rhyme and reason with Brett.

***

As we went out for warmups, the atmosphere was as I expected. We could feel the anticipation on the field and in the stands. I glanced over to our bench and saw our owner, Zygi Wilf, with a huge smile on his face. He understood how special the opportunity was for his team. As I watched the fans file into the Superdome, I could tell they were ready to unleash once the game started. I also knew that communication for our offense was going to be extremely difficult, especially for the linemen who were going to make a lot of calls to pick up the Saints’ exotic blitzes. After the game, Brett told me that on every play he had to yell at the top of his lungs in the huddle, and then scream the cadence at the line.

Brett Favre has a reputation for playing through pain, something he did a lot of against the Saints. (Mark Humphrey/AP)
Brett Favre’s reputation for playing through pain was put to the test in the title game against the Saints. (Mark Humphrey/AP)

Everyone had a sense the game would come down to the wire. And it lived up to that, reminding me of a classic heavyweight fight that went back and forth. Every play felt like a fourth down. Brett was playing unbelievably well while taking lots of shots, legal and illegal. He kept our team together, moving the offense up and down the field while making very few mistakes. Still, the raw physical brutality was unprecedented in anything I had seen in my nine-year career. There had been rumors during the week that the Saintsʼ plan was to take Brett out of the game, and the hits started to wear on him mentally and physically. By the fourth quarter he had a badly swollen left wrist, a deep scratch on his forehead, ribs that were in pain whenever he took a breath and a badly sprained ankle which could easily have been broken.

Even though we moved the ball, we continued to turn it over at crucial times. We fumbled twice inside the red zone and Brett threw a pick when we were in field goal range. We also fumbled inside our own 10-yard-line, which set up a Saints touchdown. Despite all of this, the guys never seemed fazed or worried. There were mistakes, but the feeling I was getting was that as long as we stayed within a touchdown we were going to win. Well, with the score tied and a little over two minutes left, we got the ball deep in our territory.

As Brett limped out to the field, I thought those final minutes were going to be the most important moments of the season. We converted a key third down, and then Brett threw one of his best passes of the year on a seam route to Sidney Rice.  After that play, which brought us near the 50, it got crazy on our sideline. Everyone could taste how close we were to winning the game and going to the Super Bowl. After Sidney’s catch, I heard coaches yell “Clock! Clock! Clock!” to indicate that we should spike the ball to stop the clock, then heard Bevell relay that to Brett on the field. We had timeouts left and still a minute and a half to go, so, not wanting to waste a down, I ran up to Bevell and told him we should run a play. As everyone was lined up to spike the ball, Bevell relayed to Brett to run “Mayday,” a basic handoff to the tailback. Brett did, and with the defense exhausted and confused, we picked up another first down and were in field goal range. We took our time and ran two more safe running plays that gained very little, calling timeout with 19 seconds left. Everyone, players and coaches, was wiped.

The third-down call was to run a simple pass play that was great against blitzes. Usually, this play involves a fullback, and I’m sure we had a couple of similar plays in the gameplan that involved a fullback. But for this one, we went without the lead blocker, instead hoping for man-to-man coverage and for Bernard Berrian to be open in the flat. Coaches and players were scrambling to get on the same page. Every offensive coach was making sure his guys were going to do their job correctly. Meanwhile, the special teams coach was one step ahead, getting the field-goal team ready.

The only problem was that a couple guys heard the play call and thought it was in a personnel grouping that involved the fullback. When the players huddled on the field, one last play from a game-winning field goal try to go to the Super Bowl, we ended up having 12 men on the field. We noticed it from the sideline, but there was nothing that could be done. Ryan Longwell was one of the best kickers in the league, but he was not known for his strong leg. The penalty moved us from the 33 back to the 38, pushing the field-goal attempt just outside of Longwellʼs range, making it important to pick up some yards on the play after the penalty.

Still, we called the same play as before the penalty, hoping to get a blitz. Jonathan Vilma, their defensive leader, recognized the formation and audibled to the best possible defense. As you may remember, Brett rolled out to the edge and had a chance to run, but he saw Sidney Rice flash open and decided to try to fire it in to him instead. It was intercepted by Tracy Porter and nearly returned for a touchdown. The game was going to overtime.

Brett later told me he couldn’t get anything on the ball, thanks to a combination of exhaustion and his busted-up ankle.

***

After the Saints won the toss, I walked back over and sat next to [Favre]. He turned to me and said ‘I choked.’

I sat on the Gatorade coolers on our sideline, and Brett limped over to sit next to me. I didn’t know what to say to him; I could feel the weight of the world on his shoulders. I could tell he felt the interception cost us the game and season. I could also sense that he envisioned the story of that year—at 40 years old, he was having his best season—was going to be summed up by that one play. A play that never really should have happened in the first place. He had played almost flawless football, fighting like it was life or death to him, and this is the way it was going to end. We sat there for a few moments in silence.

The referees and team captains went out for the coin toss to start overtime, and I got up to see who won possession. Brett didn’t even bother. He didn’t have the energy, and I think he was still in shock from the interception. After the Saints won the toss, I walked back over and sat next to him. He turned to me and said “I choked.” I paused for a second and said, “Brett, you are the most amazing football player I’ve ever seen. It has been an unreal experience to watch you play this year.” I can’t really describe the look he gave me, but I can tell those words meant something to him.

***

We never got the ball in overtime. There were about five plays that could have gone either way; two challenges and two pass interference calls that were questionable. As the Saints lined up for what was the game-winning field goal, I still felt confident we were going to win. But we didn’t.

I walked across the field to congratulate my friend Drew Brees after the game. I was happy for him and all he had done in New Orleans. I then walked to the end zone and took a knee, watching the celebration, the confetti falling and players from both teams sobbing. The place was pandemonium, but our locker room was completely quiet when I walked in. Guys were pissed, crying, shocked. Heads hung in disbelief. Tarvaris Jackson, the other quarterback, and I sat in silence. Brett slowly took off his shoulder pads next to me, in tears. I tried to imagine what was going through his head. Front office personnel were making their way around the locker room, consoling players and shaking hands. Mr. Wilf shook every players’ hand, thanking them sincerely. Person after person walked up to Brett, his eyes still red, and told him how much of a warrior he was in that game.

The ecstasy and agony: Garrett Hartley's field goal made him a hero in New Orleans, and Brett Favre a goat to the rest of the nation. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images :: Damian Strohmeyer/SI)
The ecstasy and agony: Garrett Hartley’s field goal made him a hero in New Orleans, while Brett Favre was left to ponder the mistake that left him one play short of a Super Bowl. (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images :: Damian Strohmeyer/SI)

The next day I woke up and flipped on Sportscenter as my kids went off to school. Talking heads discussing the game accused Brett of choking. This immediately pissed me off. How could these sports analysts have such a lack of understanding of the way Brett performed?  How could they not see the hits he took and the injuries he sustained, and how he carried our whole team on his back through them all? How could they not see the time and effort it took to prepare for that game; the hours and hours of film, meetings, practice time and conditioning it took to get to that moment? How he helped make good young players into Pro Bowlers? How could they not realize that if we hadn’t fumbled earlier in the game or hadn’t had the miscommunication that led to the 12-men-on-the-field penalty, he wouldn’t have ever been in that situation in the first place? It was discouraging to see the entire game encapsulated by one bad play.

Guys at the facility were cleaning out their lockers and waiting for the team meeting. Brett wasn’t in his usual seat for the meeting, but no one questioned why he wasn’t there. He could have been getting multiple MRIs or X-rays for all we knew. Our coach, Brad Childress, addressed the team, thanking everyone, and went over some administrative things like offseason schedules. He then had Mr. Wilf speak, which he usually does only once a year—the day training camp starts. Watching him speak, his hands shaking and his eyes holding back tears, my eyes started to well up also. He spoke about understanding how much this game meant to all of us and our families. He truly realized this when he saw his wife and daughter weeping in the tunnel after the game. It made him realize that the game of football is about family, and how we should be appreciative of ours. He told us not to wallow in our sorrows, but to go home and tell our families how much we love them, and to support them.

After the meeting, I met with Bevell and my quarterbacks coach, Kevin Rogers, to discuss the game and the season. I then went down to the training room to find the old man sprawled out on the training room table with ice bags and ace wraps around multiple parts of his body. We talked about the game and different plays that occurred, some of the hits he took, and his injuries. Before I left, he brought up what I said to him in overtime, and how much he appreciated those words. I told him it bothered me that his incredible season could be remembered by one play.

Quarterbacks all have different abilities and traits. Some are playmakers, some are executors, and some are a little bit of both. I’ve never been around a guy who could make more positive things happen for an offense than Brett Favre. He made defensive linemen miss in the pocket. He found receivers who may have run the wrong route. He fit throws into the smallest windows. The physical beatings he took every game were at times difficult to watch. The most amazing part is that he did this all at 40, nine years older than me.

***

Before writing this, I talked to some friends who were at the game. All of them said it was, without a doubt, the most amazing sporting event they had witnessed. The atmosphere during the game, the intensity on the field and in the stands with celebratory tears flowing, and the all-night party in the French Quarter were unforgettable. For those who were in the Superdome that night, the experience was incredible. But whether you were there or just watching on TV, there was more to that game than can be summed up by a line in a box score or recap. It was all of football, the emotion, physicality and subtle twists and turns of fate that dictate the lives of everyone associated with the game, all represented by a quarterback who fought like a warrior and came up short, through no fault of his own.

Sage Rosenfels was a reserve quarterback for the Vikings in the January 2010 NFC Championship Game. A fourth-round draft pick of the Redskins out of Iowa State in 2001, he spent time as a backup with the Dolphins, Texans, Vikings and Giants. He officially retired from the NFL in July.

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236 comments
crwalsh11
crwalsh11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPZCVCZNc50 

Hey, Coach Payton and Coordinator Gregg Williams, I've been breaking down some film and I think the ball was out at 1:42? What do you think? Maybe the refs also got paid some bounty? Or was it just Katrina relief?

JamesBizzo
JamesBizzo

The Saints should still be sending Thank-Yous to the Vikes for giving that game away. That horrible INT, 3 fumbles in NO territory. Minnesota was the better team.

James170
James170

What people seem to be forgetting is the incredibly dirty play of New Orleans throughout this came. I stopped counting the late hits after I got to 10. There were obvious attempts to injure Favre throughout. I went into the game with a fondness for New Orleans, and came out a permanent Saints-hater.

Andy Hurst
Andy Hurst

Extremely well written and insightful article. I am a diehard packer fan and am in love with Mr. Rodgers but Brett is the reason I love football. Hands down one of the toughest men to ever play the game and i absolutely hate when people bash him. He had fun while he played and thats why it was hard to walk away for him. He loved to play and it showed. Ted Thompson did the right thing letting him walk even though it pissed everyone off that man is prophetic. He saw the future. Imagine if he pushed Arod back on bench and let Favre un-retire?? What if he made that int while wearing the green and gold?? Wow I never gave Rosenfels a second thought before this article now i can't wait to read more from him. Well done Sir

beekay31
beekay31

And as mentioned by many others, the game never should have come to that.  MN gave away at least 13 points by fumbling 3 times in both teams' red zones.

beekay31
beekay31

Favre's INT in that game mattered way less than everyone wants to claim it did.  The line of scrimmage was the 38.  If Favre throws incomplete, that's a 55 yard field goal attempt.  Longwell's career long is 55 yards, a distance he made only once his entire career.  If Favre runs, he's being spied by a LB and only gets down to the 37 or 36 tops.  Even on a healthy ankle, he lost all his speed in his remaining years in GB.  Even when it looks like he has room to run, the defense closes fast.  Look at Favre's rushing stats.  He never topped 100 the whole second decade of his career and not even 30 four of his last 5 seasons.  He long since lost his legs.  As far as a 52-55 yard FG, Longwell only makes 60% of his kicks over 50 yards and rarely attempts any over 52.  He has made only 10 kicks greater than 52 yards in all of his 15 seasons.  Chances are highly likely Longwell comes up short on the kick even if Favre doesn't throw a pick.  And Favre knew that having played with him for all but a couple of his years in the league.  I'm a GB fan and watched this scenario many times throughout their careers.

CarlEllerFan
CarlEllerFan

You know, we hated Brett Favre for 15 years and he made the viking blood boil!,  Then we had to accept him into our clan......but it worked great, favre always wanted to be a viking, lol, he brought us a great season in 2009 and, I dont think he failed us, others failed us in new orleans to put him in the position he was in....I still wear my favre home and away jerseys to antagonize Greenbay fans....I can wear them forever, a quote from Brett, " the best team and group he has ever played with"...We need a new leader like Brett, so start looking....I cried through 4 superbowls, but I never change my colors.

msandberg0202
msandberg0202

Being a Vikings fan your use to horrible endings to important games. The biggest Vikings mistake was twelve men in the huddle. Which was amazing considering this was the 22nd game of the year. I am not a conspiracy theorist by no means but I believe the NFL strongly wanted to the Saints in the super bowl. The abuse that Favre was allowed was wrong period. The ref's were not going to call an illegal hit penalty and everyone watching the game knew it. The phantom pass interference call in overtime against Ben Leiber confirmed suspicions. The Vikings turned the ball over way too much and committed a grave sin with twelve men in the huddle. They did however clearly out play the Saints and I believe if the game was called fair the Vikings would have won. The 2009 Saints may be the most tainted super bowl winner in recent history but they still got their ring. 

Existdrummer
Existdrummer

                                To those who wish to proceed to hate on Favre for his decision, take a moment and imagine...Favre completes the pass to Rice, gains more than enough yards to clinch the field goal, and puts the Vikings into the Superbowl. Now is this still the same choke and awful pass? No, by no means does anyone say that. It would be "an AMAZING play, able to throw middle of the field, across the body." His play is remarkable and exciting. These "dumb ass" plays are what makes him who he is. These plays are what win games in the clutch. These plays are astonishing. It didn't work sure, but again, keep in mind how things would be if it did. Favre gave that game more than any other player has given a season of games, kudos to him for being nothing short of a warrior

AllanBrown
AllanBrown

Sage who? Maybe if he had skipped the Ambien altogether, he could have done more than hold a clipboard. Maybe the look Favre gave him was trying to figure out who he was. We sure didn't know and we watched every game.

rheffero
rheffero

This was one of the best stories that I have read about a NFL game in the last 5 years. Not only did it provide insight, it also shows how much emotion goes into these games. Fans get jaded over lockouts, contract holdouts, players who exhibit bad behaviour, but this story was an eye opener about how much players, coaches, owners really care about the game.

Remember, in football, players often taking a pay cut to play these games as their salaries are based on 16 games.

To Sage, great retelling of the evenr, about a great game, played by giants in the sport (Favre; Brees, Hutchinson, some others are likely HOF candidates).

To the folks who get the priveledge to cover sports, these are the stories the fans want to read. Stories about games, strategies, game time decisions, why someone went left and not right. 

I would suggest writers cover more of this, and less of offering their opinions. 

Well done Sage.

louiprada
louiprada

Btw nice story sage! Some NFL games makes a good story or even a movie.

louiprada
louiprada

We live for moments like that in 2009. Well Good thing NFL season is right around the corner!

lastofthereal
lastofthereal

Since no one else will say it, I will. As a life long Vikings fan I blame Adrian Peterson for the 2009 debacle. Not only did he have crucial fumbles in the NFC championship but he also had a fumble at the end of the season against the Bears that basically gave the game to Chicago. If the Vikes had won that game they would have had home field advantage in the playoffs. I don't think the Saints would have won in Minnesota. There are a lot of what-if's and no take backs but all those stupid fumbles that year marred what could have been the Vikings first Super Bowl. AP is a great player but football is also about accountability. Was Farve's throw a dumbass move, sure. But he should have never been put in that position.

lars1459
lars1459

Traitor got what he deserved. I feel nothing but disdain for him.

Baconpizza
Baconpizza

Favre's one tough SOB, I don't think anyone would deny that.  But the reason for the "choke" talk is due to the fact that Favre made a terrible decision at a crucial point in a game.  He didn't have to throw that ball. There was plenty of room to run, but he forced a pass that should never have been thrown in the first place, a problem that lingered throughout his entire career (hence his INT total).  

Favre's problem was never toughness, competitiveness, talent, etc.  His problem was his ego-- he believed in his own legend to the point that he always tried to do more than he should've. 

TimRTimmons
TimRTimmons

Sage Rosenfels:

Thanks for taking us inside that game, it was as you wrote, "an amazing sporting event." And myself after that game, having been a huge Favre fan since the mid-90's, felt that I had never enjoyed following a team (and a player) throughout a season like I did that year. And now looking on to the forthcoming season I know that I will never have an experience as an NFL fan like I did that year. I feel that here is not one QB in the league now, nor will there be one at any time in the near future, that is as fun to watch as Favre was.

RenoGruber
RenoGruber

Ugh. this f*cking game took too much out of me.  I totally re-calibrated how much I need to care about sports.  So I guess in that way, thanks Vikings. 

GregoryLasica
GregoryLasica

Yeah, the media and some fans forget that one or two plays doesn't define the game.  A lot happened up to that point of the INT and 12-men, fumbles and red zone turnovers.  1998 or 2009 which was harder to stomach?  Probably 2009 because it was more recent.  I figure I will live another 40-50 years, we have a shot.  A little optimism is good. 

Junaid
Junaid

I am a Saints fan. I saw Bret play that day. He was a warrior. I was worried at his determination and admired ti at the same time. I do not know many QBs that can face that kind of physical, emotional and mental pressure. I could not even watch the game winning kick because I was on my knees praying. Can you imagine how intense each play must have been for Favre? Amazing. Legendary and without a doubt far from a choke. Far from it. 

ItsTheDavidShow
ItsTheDavidShow

I'm a lifelong Packers fan and I watched every game Brett Favre played. The guy was a warrior, but no question -- When I was watching the game live, and I saw him roll to the right and the VERY MOMENT his head turned left, I sat up on my couch and said "Here comes the interception!"  And there it was.

The guy is one of the all time, flawed greats. I appreciated what he brought to the game, but those fundamental flaws always flared up.  I appreciate Sage trying to stand up for a team mate, and I can equally appreciate Brett, but there's no denying that in the final years of his career, both with the Packers and the VIkings, every season ended on a crucial interception. That's equally telling.

landsdown
landsdown

Im not a Vikings fan but  without doubt Brett Favre was the best player on the field that day. No one else would have even been playing on that last series with the amount of abuse that was doled out by the Saints. (Brees would of bailed in second quarter) 

I totally disagree with everyone who suggests it was a dumb pass. There was no one else open (Berrian came open only after Favre looked away) and they were not in field goal range so in reality he had nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying the pass.  Had he simply thrown an incompletion ....he would not be wearing goathorns but the result is the Vikings punt anyways.....game over and game goes to OT where Saints get 5 controversial calls in a row and its the same result.

The bottom line is that  whether its an interception or an incompletion ....its  inconsequential to the outcome of this game.  They would not have tried a 54 yarder with Longwell (long shot at best) and risk giving the ball to the saints at the 44 yard line...15 seconds and all their time outs. Think it through.....Favre made the right decision regardless of not getting desired result.

Mark_Beauchaine
Mark_Beauchaine

Good article!  Brett had a great year. A friend from up there was chortling about how great their season was going and I said "just wait, he'll break your heart"  The best QB ever? No, The most entertaining and durable QB ever, no doubt.
It must have been a HUGE bitter pill to swallow the following year too when GB beat him twice AND made it to the SB and won. Sweet revenge!

KimberlyJeanRadies
KimberlyJeanRadies

Mirrored my many thoughts to a T!!!!!. Brett, no matter what, you were the best quarterback in your time, by far. This game was sooo Intense, I could almost feel all the pain. I ached with every hit you took. You are tough as nails and my ...God did you give, give and give for many many many years... Aside from all the ups and downs thru the years, you still managed to bring excitement to the game we all love! That game for me was the best game I've ever seen to that point. Both sides of the ball, both teams; played the hardest I've ever seen. It was like watching a Rocky movie as the only line that I kept saying , "Brett, get up, Get up Brett.... Beaten but not defeated. Love ya Favrey Boy!

zheart67
zheart67

Man, it’s 3+ years later and I’m STILL soooo  tired of all the whining Viking fans.  The game was there for the taking despite the numerous turnovers from your team all game long and your team blew it, plain and simple.  Was the Saints defense physical and going after Favre with bad intentions?  Hell yes, but that’s every defense in the NFL in every game.  If they're any GOOD anyway.... Their JOB is to (1) get to the QB, and (2) HIT him.  HARD.  Make him think about whether or not he wants to be back there in the pocket looking for a receiver.  The Saints just did it a little better than you were expecting and it helped turn the game in their favor.  Get over it.

BrunoBataglin
BrunoBataglin

This was REALLY the game that has showed to me what the NFL is all about... AMAZING!

adamnicholls183
adamnicholls183

Great article

Interesting that one link suggests Favre had no chance of playing in the Superbowl

So the refs and Saints prevented the world from enduring Sage or T Joke vs Peyton Manning.

And that would have been an epic blowout and a 5th Superbowl loss for the Vikings................Vikings fans should count their blessings in hindsight

rbtlnd59
rbtlnd59

I  am die hard Packer Fan ! But I am a TRUE Bret Favre fan. No man has played the game with the passion that he had. I always marveled at his play and few could argue the fact that he was probably the most entertaining player that ever played the game. Many of his games the team lost, and he shouldered the blame. He never gave up on any game,and pulled of some miraculous comebacks pretty much singlehandedly in NFL history. Bret played for the love of the game. his break up with Green Bay  it was a chess game and and the only way for Bret to win was to keep going to fight back and win this chess match he could not give up on the situation he had to win! his competitive spirit would not let him lose,it was over  only when it was OVER! And by his thoughts it was over when he beat Green Bay that is as close as it was going to get to finishing the chess match. which in all reality ended in a stale mate. neither side really won, but it was OVER 

RonAglund
RonAglund

@msandberg0202

There is nobody as big a crybaby and a sore loser like the Vikings fans. "The Giants stole our signals, the refs liked the other team more, the Saints sacked our QB". It can't be that you turned to ball over 8x in that game (was that part of the conspiracy too?), no the Saints had to have cheated because they went after your QB.

Go back and watch that game. The Vikes went have Brees hard as well but the Saints kept a RB or TE back to help protect and the Vikes chose not to. The Vikes got lots of extra yards that way but also let their QB get killed. As for the bounties...you can see how much the NFL is against that here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhnn9kbqQUA

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@Existdrummer Hahahaha! Yeah, for those who didn't think Favre choked - just like he has through his whole career at big moments, just IMAGINE that he didn't! Hilarious!

DD
DD

You read a well written and insightful article written by someone who actually played the game at its highest level and all you can do is bash him? You're just another one of many who don't feel better unless you can drag someone down to your level.....pitiful.

jbjeep75
jbjeep75

@AllanBrownAllan who?

At least he made it to the field. What have you done lately? Get rid of that "we" stuff. The rest of us knew who he was. Don't try and include the rest of us in your ignorance.

Schoopster
Schoopster

@lastofthereal  

Sorry "real" but in your attempt to think you are being groundbreaking and "telling it like it is" you conveniently miss a very important part of the big picture, and team sports... that being they wouldn't even have BEEN in a position to play in that game without the efforts of Adrian Peterson that season.  So zip the "I blame AP" because of the fumble routine.  

flannlv
flannlv

@lastofthereal Your point about home field advantage isn't necessarily true.  The Saints sat Brees and a host of starters for their final game against CAR because they had clinched the number 1 seed.

wright.jp.0628
wright.jp.0628

@lars1459 you're wishing violence on a human that has never done anything to you? Classy... but I guess I wouldn't expect anything more from a Packer fan.

Schoopster
Schoopster

@Baconpizza  

I always hated Favre before he played for the Vikes that season.  And still think he's a dope with his texting/sexting activity.  What a rube.

But in terms of toughness, he absolutely won me over during that first season, and especially that game.  And as for the "He should have run with the ball".. anybody who says that simply is ignoring the facts.  Take a look at those post-game pictures of his leg and you'll see he was lucky to be WALKING.  He would not have gained a yard running the ball, and he was trying to get the ball in range for a MAKEABLE field goal.  If only the Vikes had Blair Walsh at THAT TIME.  Wouldn't have mattered....

So, his decision was not really about "ego" - it was instincts, and if Sidney Rice had moved to the ball the way he should have.. it may have been a completely different story. Too much analysis paralysis here....

Wisconsin77
Wisconsin77

@BaconpizzaMaybe Favre should have ran, but there are a couple of reasons that he didn't.  0 yards down the field there was a Linebacker running right at him at full speed.  He would have closed the distance quickly, so I doubt Favre gains more then 3 yards.  The other reason he didn't run was a direct result of bountygate.  Because he didn't want to take another hit.  Bountygate already resulted in his first interception, and here it indirectly resulted in his second.  Because of this I laugh when people try to claim that bountygate had no impact on the outcome of the game.

Wisconsin77
Wisconsin77

@RenoGruber I agree with you on this.  My passion for the NFL has not been the same since, not even close.  I still have a sour taste in my mouth.  From the Saints cheating to the obvious favoritism to the Refs, I will never emotionally invest myself into the sport that much again.

HoppinBill
HoppinBill

@ItsTheDavidShow I had a similar reaction.... being a lifelong Vikings fan, I knew either something amazing or something terrible was coming as Brett rolled out.  When Brett was a Packer, I used to cringe when we played against him and he rolled out that for fear of the amazing, and I was always happy when it turned out to be bad.  This time, I cringed and hoped.  Alas, though I am glad Favre spent some time as a Viking.  I think it was a great way to finish his career.  We enjoyed playing against him all those years and it was cool to root for him without any guilt.    I hope all the Packer fans get over their hatred of Brett for coming to MN.  He had his flaws, but yeah... he was one of the fun ones to watch, for sure. 

skolsquad
skolsquad

@landsdown There was one other possible outcome other than an incompletion or interception.  If you go back and look at the play, Favre definitely had at least 5 yards of running room which would have moved the Vikings back into Longwell's range (also had one timeout left).  I'm a Favre/Vikings backer all the way, but on that play, he did not make the "right" decision.

In a way though, its fitting.  Favre always lived and died by slinging it.  You win some, you lose some.

RonAglund
RonAglund

@Wisconsin77 There is nobody as big a crybaby and a sore loser like the Vikings fans. "The Giants stole our signals, the refs liked the other team more, the Saints sacked our QB". It can't be that you turned to ball over 8x in that game, no the Saints had to have cheated because they went after your QB.

Go back and watch that game. The Vikes went have Brees hard as well but the Saints kept a RB or TE back to help protect and the Vikes chose not to. The Vikes got lots of extra yards that way but also let their QB get killed. As for the bounties...you can see how much the NFL is against that here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhnn9kbqQUA

Schoopster
Schoopster

@skolsquad @landsdown 

Longwell's range was 49 yards?  Nice try.  Makeable for him would have needed to get him into the 40-45 yard range at LEAST.  And Favre knew that, and it was the decision he made.  Didn't work out due to execution, but the decision was the RIGHT one. Period.  Would have been the SAME result if he had thrown the ball out of bounds.

Wisconsin77
Wisconsin77

@skolsquad@landsdown

 And why do you think Favre opted to throw it instead of running?  Because 10 yards down the field there was a Linebacker running right at him at full speed.  He would have closed the distance quickly, so I doubt Favre gains more then 3 yards.

That was one reason.  The other reason he didn't run was a direct result of bountygate.  Because he didn't want to take another hit.  Bountygate already resulted in his first interception, and here it indirectly resulted in his second.  Because of this I laugh when people try to claim that bountygate had no impact on the outcome of the game.

skolsquad
skolsquad

@Schoopster @landsdown @Wisconsin77 Just an FYI, Longell made 7 field goals of 48 yards or longer between 2009 and 2011 including four of 52 yards or more. So your theory is wrong, Schoopster. And if Favre even gains 3 yards, Wisconsin77, we are looking at a 51 yarder - obviously makeable.  Also, he was indoors.  Longwell made 21 of 22 field goals indoors in 2009.

Statistical Evidence: 1   Speculation: 0

KimberlyJeanRadies
KimberlyJeanRadies

@rbtlnd59 @KimberlyJeanRadies YEP I can, Im from Green Bay. Been to more games than I can count and never missed a game he played. Packers, Jets, Vikes.. If by chance  I didn't watch it live, it was recorded. I can excuse typing Bret once , but not thru-out your post. LOL hahah..

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