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Summer drama doesn't spoil loyaltyPosted Thursday, August 5, 2010, at 9:49 AM
I have been a loyal Minnesota Vikings fan for as long as I can remember.
I was born in 1973. The Vikings had already played 12 seasons in the NFL before that.
But for as long as I can remember, I've been loyal.
I remember the "Purple People Eaters," defense.
I remember the season of Les Steckel (3-13 in 1984).
I remember 15-1 in 1998.
I remember years of mediocrity.
But I have remained loyal as a fan.
And I plan to continue to remain loyal to the Vikings.
With or without Brett Favre.
The Vikings were 12-4 in 2009.
Favre -- who had long played for the much hated Green Bay Packers (at least, from my perspective) -- was at the helm. The team came within one pass (a Favre interception) of the Super Bowl.
Had the ball not been thrown and the Vikings reached the Super Bowl, our house would have been an interesting abode as Merry is a die-hard Indianapolis Colts fan.
Who knows what could have been.
And yet, for a Vikings fan, that saying goes a long way.
Since 2000, the Vikings have made the playoffs four times, reaching the NFC Conference Championship twice.
Since the arrival of Adrian Peterson, arguably the best running back in the NFL, the Vikings have tallied 30 wins and only 18 losses.
They have been to the playoffs two years in a row.
They have won the NFC North Division two years in a row.
One of those years was without Favre.
Every summer, for what seems like an eternity, Favre begins waffling on whether he wants to come back or not.
Whether he wants to retire from the game finally or come back for another swan song.
One of my best friends is a huge Packers fan. He and his significant other go to Lambeau Field at least once a year to watch Green Bay play.
They have a great time.
He's still a huge Packers fan. Without Favre.
This illustrates my belief that one person does not make a team.
Sure, the year after Favre left the squad -- 2008 -- the Packers finished 6-10.
But they were 11-5 last year and made it to the playoffs, losing a heartbreaker to Arizona, 51-45, in overtime.
With a new quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who has quietly become one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
In 2008, the Vikings -- pre-Favre -- were 10-6. This was with Gus Frerotte and Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback.
Jackson is still with the team. He was quoted recently as saying he learned a lot sitting behind Favre last season.
Through his career, Jackson has tossed 21 touchdowns while throwing for only 3,601 yards.
These career numbers, however, come from a quarterback who has never played an entire 16-game season at the helm.
The squad drafted him for a reason and I believe in the team and its direction.
Whether Favre elects to come back or finally retire doesn't matter.
I can understand how difficult it must feel for an athlete at the midway point in life.
How do you leave your selected career at the ripe old age of 40?
I'm sure it's difficult.
But whether he comes back or not, doesn't matter.
I'll still root for the Vikings one way or the other.
And I'm confident they will have yet another good season.
With or without Favre.
The continuing saga of "As The World Turns (With Brett)" means nothing to me.
If he plays, great. If he doesn't, that's fine.
The Vikings will still be a good team.
With or without the soap opera.
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