Employment is a very strong incentive. Just ask their coach, Brad Childress, who is coaching for his job this year. If the Vikings do not make the playoffs AND win a playoff game, he's gone. He knows it. The players know it. Fans know it. Brett Favre knows it (which is why we will likely hear his name again after the third pre-season game). The Vikes are a team struggling to create an identity. High intensity in the pre-season can sometimes help with that.
Well, it looks like the Vikings and Favre couldn't wait until the third pre-season game. Today, Brett Favre officially became a Viking just days after they broke training camp. The Vikings are expected to conduct conference shortly.
Daily Norseman is all over the Favrestock 2009!
What does Favre signing with the Vikings mean for the Colts and the NFL in general? Let's talk after the jump...
My opinion on Favre differs from most of the mainstream. Most people dislike Favre now, and those that vehmently defended him (Packers fans) are now the hated rivals for Vikings fans. However, my opinion of Favre stems from one kernel of truth lost on all the anti-Favre spin that mixes in fiction with fact: Brett Favre can still play QB at a very high level, and because he can still do this, he still wants to play.
Joe Montana, Dan Marino, John Elway, and Steve Young all retired because they were done, not necessarily because they wanted to retire. Their bodies simply could not handle the stress of the game, and they were physically unable to play at a high level. With Montana, it was his elbow. With Marino, his legs. With Elway, his arm. With Young, concussions.
At age 39 (soon-to-be 40), Brett Favre can still deliver the football with accuracy and velocity. I watched six NY Jets games last year, and in five of those games they won because Brett Favre was their QB. While some love to point to the Jets 1-4 slump in December as evidence that Favre is over-rated and "done," what many forget is from September to November, Brett Favre was a legit MVP candidate. By late November 2008, the Jets were 8-3, on top of their division, and looked poised for a strong playoff push despite their horrid defense. Then, Favre tore his bicep muscle. The Jets went 1-4, missed the playoffs, and in typical New York fashion... they pointed fingers rather than owned up.
Just FYI, the NY Jets (with virtually the same team, sans Favre) were 4-12 in 2007. In 2008, they were 9-7 with Brett Favre, 8-3 with a healthy Brett Favre. When it is all said and done, Brett Favre can still help a team win football games. In the NFL, that is the bottom line.
With Brett in Minnesota, the Vikings are now the team to beat in the NFC. Despite what some fans will suggest, the Vikings were not going to win anything with Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson as the QB. You're high or dumb if you think otherwise. The last six years, QBs named Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Tom Brady have won Super Bowls. What does that tell you?
To win the big one in this league, you must have a premier QB. If you don't, then you are wasting your fans' time.
Guys like Rex Grossman, Kurt Warner (age 38), and Matt Hasselbeck can get you to the game, but to win it you must have a premier players under center. Favre, even at age 39, is still in that category.
So, how does this affect the Colts?
Well, for one, Favre will likely continue his streak of consecutive games played, meaning Peyton Manning has little chance to catch Favre in this category. And while the Vikings do not face the Colts during the regular season, they do face the Ravens and the Steelers. A Vikings team with Favre has a better chance to beat those two AFC teams than one without Favre.
It remains to be seen if Favre signing with Minnesota puts them over the top, but one thing is certain: The Vikes are a better football team with Favre at QB. While some may disagree, they really cannot do so without looking like Favre haters. The bottom line in this league is winning friggin' football games, and Brett Favre does indeed know how to win.