I find three of the teams in this Championship final four despicable, each one more than the next. I hate the Ravens because of the Colts betrayal and Ray Lewis. I hate the 49ers generally because of their dominance of the 1980's and specifically because they knocked my Saints out of the playoffs last year in ridiculous fashion (it is sad that the Saints will go down as the only team to ever lose to Alex Smith in the playoffs). The Falcons are, well, the Falcons...sworn enemy of the Saints; watching them win the Super Bowl in our home stadium would be like watching Hitler take the oath of office on the Wailing Wall. So with that bit of overwrought hyperbole out of the way, all that means is that I am halfheartedly rooting for the Patriots and to be honest, I am not too keen on watching Tom Brady and Bill Belichick lift another Lombardi Trophy either. So most of the joy has gone out of my football watching. In fact, if there were any good movies to go see, I would probably ditch these games all together and go out.
I am going to take this opportunity to tell the tale of my fanhood of a certain Brett Favre.
I was on the Brett Favre bandwagon early. Before he became a retiring dick-texting attention whore, he was a Vicodin addict. This was way back in the early 90's when he just got the job as starting quarterback for the Packers. Favre was not on my radar until he came out and admitted he had a problem with painkillers and checked himself into rehab. He may not have been the first, but he was the first sports star I could remember who went to rehab on his own, rather than only after being caught and/or being arrested. I respected that highly, having had a little issue with drugs and alcohol myself.
So I became a Favre collector. He was a great quarterback and sympathetic figure until... and that is the kicker. There was a point where if Brett Favre had either retired or just switched teams honestly, we all wouldn't hate Brett Favre. But, alas he didn't follow this path. In 2007, he forced a trade to the Jets (a team I hate) after he had retired after years of threatening to retire. Then he went to the Vikings and every year became a retirement deathwatch. He became an insufferable ass. Plus, on ESPN, before there was Tim Tebow, there was Brett Favre. I think we have all forgotten that.
By the time the 2009 season had rolled around, I had long disavowed any
rooting interest in Brett Favre. My Favre jersey was way way in the
back of my closet, waiting to be used as a painting coverall, and my
Favre player collection had been pared way way down. Then came the most joyous moment in my football watching life...
The New Orleans Saints had made it to the NFC Championship game and, being season ticket holders to the team, I drove down in one 21 hour shot to watch the game. Not only did the Saints win in glorious fashion, they put a final "fuck you" on to the career of Brett Favre, as he threw the crushing interception that led to the tying points that sent the game into overtime. Plus, the Saints beat the ever living hell out of him all game. It was a very satisfying victory indeed. I wish today's games could be as good, but I do hope there are some moments that lead to a feeling of satisfaction as thrilling for some team.