The Good: You remember last year. You had a strong opinion. Everyone did. Hell, Minneapolis's 'Star Tribune' wrote an editorial the day Favre signed, saying, in nice language, that the Vikings were wusses and Favre was a big baby. (Four months later, they were printing bonus sections starring Favre's grizzly face.) Brett Favre agreed with you. He thought he'd made a big mistake by coming back a second time after saying six months earlier that he was really, really retiring and, no, this time he meant it.
"I was driving into training camp and I'm saying, 'God, what was I thinking,'?" recalls Favre. "I thought, This is a mistake."
For a moment he wanted to bolt. But he changed into the unfamiliar purple and gold, trotted out to the practice field and called "22 Texas," handed off to Adrian Peterson, and all the doubt melted away.
Less than six weeks later, it's the Vikings home opener at the Metrodome, a place that devoured Favre during his Packer years. Many of the weirdos in long beards and horn hats still can't stand him. The team is down by four, with 12 seconds to go, stuck at the 49ers' 32-yard line. No time-outs. Vikings fans stand in the aisles, ready to make a dash to their Vikingmobiles. Sports radio is up on speed dial; Brett-bashing beginning in 4, 3, 2, 1. . . .
Favre rolls out to his right. He buys some time. Time to let it go. He throws a pass toward the end zone. He gets clobbered. How to describe the pass? It moves like a smart bomb through defenders, wasting no extra time in the air. A receiver named Greg Lewis tiptoeing along the back line of the end zone catches it.
"I hear the crowd roaring, and I said, 'You've got to be shitting me,'?" says Favre. "The guys pile on me, and I'm happy but cramping up. I pissed at 11:30 before the game and I didn't piss again till 12:30 am. I was that dehydrated."
He shakes his head in wonder. He looks like a little kid remembering his first trip to the circus.
"I thought, That's a helluva way to start the season."