We are inundated by so much marketing hype in this day and age. Between internet pop-up advertisements, electronic billboards, late-night infomercials, not to mention all of the traditional marketing avenues, we are promised so many things by so many people, yet rarely does it happen where you purchase a product and get exactly what you were promised. Most of the time, there's always some little glitch or unexpected nuance that you find yourself having to rationalize away just to keep yourself sane.
Along those lines, and this will sound weird, but the Minnesota Vikings should be happy today. No, really, they should. They bought Brett Favre and, as best I can tell, got what they paid for. The outside of the figurative wrapper on the "BRETT FAVRE" they purchased said "Cannon-armed gunslinger, will make you think you're just good enough to win the Super Bowl, but will inevitably melt down at the worst possible time."
The Vikings knew this right?...RIGHT?
Was he anything but this yesterday, and for that matter, in 2010? You should be happy Minnesota; you got way more out of the "BRETT FAVRE" product than the Jets did in 2008, and more than the Packers did for most of the decade. In many ways, the product outperformed its promises, but unfortunately it delivered on the one promise you wanted to see least...the gunslinger slinging his guns at the time they needed to be slung the least.
Folks, this is what Brett Favre's been for the better part of 11 seasons now, pretty much since Terrell Davis walked into the end zone uncontested at the end of Super Bowl XXXII. Anyone who says he isn't is merely stating an opinion that can't be substantiated in nearly the plethora of fact that I have to back up my metaphorical packaging of the "BRETT FAVRE" product.
Sorry, ESPN. It's true. Sweep his mindboggling turnovers in this game under a rug of "he was just so courageous out there" if you wish, Boomer. Paint his reckless ways as the slinging o' the gun and his "having fun out there" if you'd like, Dilfer. The bottom line is the bottom line -- Brett Favre is just not good enough to outrun his own boneheadedness, not if your team's goal is to win the Super Bowl.
He is good; hell, at times this year, he was great. (Hell, he was so good at age forty that if he were a baseball player, we'd expect his name to be in the Mitchell Report! Just sayin'...) But in the end, he's playing a position where every play needs to be treated precisely with unwavering attention to detail. It requires a neurosurgeon, and while Peyton Manning is carefully making incisions, Favre is hacking off pig hooves in the back of Satiriale's Pork Store with a cleaver.
And if the Vikings didn't know this going in, then shame on them for handing the keys to Favre. Shame on Brad Childress for allowing an inexcusable "twelve men in the huddle penalty" on his watch, which forced the Vikings to activate the "CHOKE" switch on the Favre doll. In the end, Minnesota, you got Brett Favre, exactly how he has been, doing what he's done, whatever he wants, whenever he wants for the last decade.
You got what you paid for. Be happy with it, because the receipt expired yesterday when someone named Garrett Hartley kicked a field goal to beat you.
So now it's onto the Super Bowl, and despite seeing the previous year's conference champion in the divisional round and a 12-4 Viking team in the conference championship game, the Saints may not be ready for what awaits them on February 7. I heard Trent Dilfer on ESPN say that "facing Favre has prepared the Saints for facing Peyton Manning," which to me is a little like saying arithmetic has prepared them for trigonometry. In short, Dilfer's contention is silly.
Favre was going through his recount of the sequence at the end of the fourth quarter which culminated in his interception toss, and in doing so couldn't recall the distance they needed for a first down or how many yards he needed to return to Ryan Longwell's field goal range; my guess is if Peyton Manning were in a similar situation, he'd recall down, distance, yards needed, and could give it to you in inches, feet, or yards.
Put it this way -- if a football season were a rack of ribs, whereas Brett Favre would likely attack said rack with his bare hands and eat it as fast as he could with reckless disregard for cleanliness or manners, Peyton Manning would surgically remove and eat every piece of meat off the bone until the bone was completely clean and looking like a discolored piece of wood. Ultimately, both guys are full, but there's a real good chance Peyton probably ended up eating more meat and did so in a much prettier, efficient fashion than Favre, who in all likelihood wound up with indigestion, polyps and sauce all over his nicest pair of Wranglers.
So now we have one more game and then we get to the fun part of the off season -- the Brett Favre "Will He or Won't He?" Watch! Early news coming out of Camp Favre courtesy of Ed Werder of ESPN is that it is "highly unlikely" Favre returns, which of course means he'll come strolling into camp around Labor Day. It's all he knows, and oh by the way, have you been to Mississippi? There's nothing to do!
Personally, I hope the ol' gunslinger comes back. Tarvaris Jackson's screwing up the Vikings season isn't nearly as much fun to write about.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the Sean & John Show, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.