Dear Vikings Fans,

This one's on you. It's not on Brad Childress. It's not on a bunch of overpaid Pro Bowlers. When the vast majority of you gleefully welcomed the gray haired texter into your arms last year, you were making a deal with the devil. You crossed a line that fans should never cross.

For 16 years you watched Brett Favre perform his magic with the Packers. You hated the fact that Titletown was relevant again and that we had the biggest star in the game. A QB that provided breathless moments and maddening moments, but he never missed a game and helped bring the Vince Lombardi home where it belongs.

Since your team was very good most of these years under Denny and Tice and Chilly, the rivalry got more and more intense each year, putting the Bears rivalry in the rear view mirror. It reached a point where your team decided to go after some of our best players, like Kampman, Sharper and Longwell.

We took it as a source of pride. If you can't beat the best, try to sign their players. Fine. If Ryan Longwell decides he'd rather kick indoors, I can't blame him. Even though he left Titletown as the team's all-time leading scorer, seeing your kicker go to your rival is just part of the game.

But when the Favre-Packers divorce went down, Brett tried to make a play to join the Purple. It didn't work and he had to deal with the trade to New York. By retiring for the third or fourth time after his season with the Jets, he had maneuvered the system to allow himself to be a free agent. Now he was ready to join the Purple--a talented team, yes, but mostly because he could stick it to Ted Thompson and the Packers organization.

A small minority of you were appalled. You could never, would never root for that guy. He was a Packer. Case closed. I admire that resolve. If Brian Urlacher joined the Pack, I would puke. But no, the vast majority of you couldn't buy your purple #4 jerseys fast enough. Forget the fact that you hated (though maybe admired) him for 16 years, no he was one of you, so life was great. He was on the field facing the Chiefs in a preseason game within 72 hours of becoming a Viking, and there were thousands of #4 jerseys in the stands.

Ah, but the football gods weren't having any of it. Terry Bradshaw didn't play for the Cleveland Browns. John Elway didn't play for the Raiders. Joe Montana didn't play for the Cowboys. Hall of Fame, top 10 all time QBs don't do this. If you allow this to happen, revel in this, you will reap what you sow.

First the football gods let you believe you were being delivered to the Promised Land. You got agonizingly close to the Super Bowl--only to see ol' #4 provide another championship overtime miscue. Then when you were happy to see your team do whatever it took to convince him to come back one more time, the football gods let the bottom fall out. Complete implosion: injuries, off-field indiscretions, bickering in the locker room.

It had to end this way. After Chilly's inevitable firing, the dust is settling, the ashes are still smoking and you are looking at what's happened to your team in ten months time. You are uncertain about your team's future. Who will be your QB next season? Your coach? Will any of the free agents return? You're back to square one. Most of us hope you get back on your feet quickly. This is a fantastic rivalry that's only fun when both teams are good.

Meanwhile, the Packers are poised to compete for a Super Bowl this year and for many years to come. I know it hurts. And I'd really like to feel sorry for you.

But I can't.


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