Brett Favre: Hero or villain?
Brett Favre's crucial interception in Sunday's NFC championship game ended a season in which the Minnesota Vikings quarterback has been both lauded and loathed.
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How can you win games against a team as good as the Saints when you fumble five times, losing three, as the Vikings did? And why was Head Coach Brad Childress content with a difficult 50-plus yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation?
Short passes and draws had worked for Farve all game, but with just under a minute to go, the Vikings took their foot off the gas once they got within the outer limits of kicker Ryan Longwell's field goal range. Twice they ran the ball, unconvincingly. Both wenr for no gain. Then there was the bone-headed too-many-men-in-the-huddle penalty that pushed the Vikings back five yards, making it a potential 55-yard field goal attempt.
To win the game, Favre needed to make a completion to shorten the distance. The star was forced into that position by the play calling, his defenders say.
'He went out a champ'
None of that will stop Favre’s many detractors from blaming him for the Vikings loss. But, elsewhere in sporting world, another champion had his back.
"I felt a little bit like Brett Favre today," she said when asked about heavy strapping around her right thigh. "He's such a champion, so I'm like, 'Hmm, I got to be like this guy'. He went out a champ today. Hopefully, he'll come back."
And in Vikings territory, you won’t find many fans ready to ditch Favre.
“[Favre] was like a coach on the field, and he can take a lot credit for the development of young football players such as Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and others,” writes Sid Hartman in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, adding that the Vikings need to bring Favre back if they want to win next year.
Yet in that question – Will he come back? – the notoriously indecisive Favre has already planted the seeds for another reprise of the hero vs. villain debate. He told ESPN that his return is "highly unlikely."
For longsuffering fans of the Vikings – a team that lost four Super Bowls in the 1970s and five NFC championship games since – the proverbial “wait 'til next year” approach just got a lot more longsuffering.
At least there's always ice fishing.
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