Dream Matchup: Old Gunslinger vs. Jets
Frank Sinatra said the best revenge is massive success. In deference to The Chairman, let's strike up the band for the best Super Bowl imaginable.
Brett Favre vs. the New York Jets.
The emotional well-being of billions of New Yorkers, Cheeseheads and Favre Bashers would be at stake. They'd rather get run over by Favre's tractor than see him win The Big One.
And consider the alternative. Do we really want another feel-good Super Bowl featuring nice guy Peyton Manning and countless paeans about how the Saints rebuilt New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina?
I like nice guys as much as the next guy, but what do audiences really go for?
Redemption. Vengeance. A pile of crow higher than the Empire State Building just waiting to be eaten.
This would be the greatest Revenge Bowl ever. The only others even remotely close were Jon Gruden vs. Al Davis and Doug Williams vs. QB Prejudice. You could also throw in the AFL's facial of the NFL in Super Bowl III.
Jets fans would be praying that history repeat itself in Miami. When it comes to galling an audience, Favre pulling a Namath would be like Dick Cheney winning an Oscar for a documentary on global cooling.
Even the greatest Viking of all time would probably be on his knees for the Jets. Fran Tarkenton spent last summer trying not to gag whenever Favre's name was mentioned.
"Here comes Brett Favre riding in on his white horse," Tarkenton said. "Doesn't go to training camp, doesn't come to offseason workouts and he's gonna come on his white horse and bond with all these players."
Great White Horseman 1, Tarkenton 0.
In fairness, Tarkenton must have been reading all the Favre reviews.
Approximately 59 percent of the media said Favre was on a runaway ego trip. Another 32 percent thought his mind had been warped by vengeance against the Packers and Jets. The rest were ESPN reporters who hated Favre for either not returning their calls or making them spend two months at the Motel 6 in Hattiesburg, Miss.
I'll admit Favre's retirement waffling got old, but he is the media gift that keeps on giving. What was a better story than Favre Comeback II?
Boon or bust, it would be 1,000 times more interesting than "Tavaris Jackson Takes Command in Minnesota." That got lost in the river of bile.
Favre said he just wanted to win.
Yeah right, Mr. Selfish.
He said a biceps injury caused his December downfall in New York.
Sure thing, Geezer.
He said he wanted to make sure his old bones were up for one more season.
Just retire, you Hick.
"Favre's time has come," one New York columnist wrote. "It is over."
That was one of the nicer pieces of unsolicited advice he received. If anything, New Yorkers these days should all be wearing Wranglers in honor of Favre.
His collateral damage claimed Eric Mangini. That led to Rex Ryan, who according to New York media is currently Vince Lombardi. It also paved the way for the Jets to draft Mark Sanchez, who is currently a combination of Namath, Joe Montana and Avatar hero Jake Scully.
You won't see any thank you notes if the Vikings show up in Miami, however. You would see plenty of stories about how the Favre Experiment blew up in New York's face. Most of them would quote Thomas Jones or other ex-teammates who weren't too high on Favre after his three-interception final game.
"If I were to sit here and say, 'Oh, man, it's OK,' that's not reality," Jones said. "I don't like it, I know everybody else on the team doesn't like it."
An unidentified player chimed in that "there was a lot of resentment in the room about him. He never socialized with us, never went to dinner with anyone."
Favre reportedly hasn't joined the Minneapolis chapter of Toastmasters, either. He has thrown 37 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.
If my quarterback does that, I don't care if he retires 28 times every off-season and never shaves. And maybe that little biceps problem Favre had in New York wasn't just an excuse.
The fact is Favre has already won. Even if the Vikings lose Sunday, nobody in Green Bay or New York or the media or anywhere else can honestly say Favre hasn't proved he is worth the aggravation.
And even though he won't say it, you know he'd love to stick it to everyone who blasted him for not winning or dining with the Jets. And anytime New York has something stuck to it, the rest of America (outside of Wisconsin) feels a little better about itself.
Conversely, wouldn't New York love to prove it's better off without that tractor-driving prima donna? You'd almost swear Sinatra had this storyline in mind.
He wanted to be a part of it, New York, New York.
The Jets didn't want him.
Will Favre get his massive success?
Wouldn't you love to find out?