Saturday Scorecard: To root, or not to root?
Welcome to Saturday Scorecard, where we wrestle with the pressing sports questions of the day, such as: do you want ranch or bleu cheese dressing with those hot wings?
Super Bowl Sunday may be a national holiday for sofa lounging and junk food consumption, but true football fans know that the "Championship Sunday" is better. A football doubleheader, if you will.
Here are some notes to help you pass the time until kickoff.
Divided loyalties: In an era of bitter partisan politics, it's no surprise that the thought of Brett Favre quarterbacking the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game has people foaming at the mouth.
One camp wants him to win triumphantly. The other wants him to fail in an epic sense.
But, that's enough about Kiln, Miss. . . .
The reasons may be different, but folks at the Broke Spoke are as conflicted as their cheesehead cousins in Wisconsin. Our friends to the south love Brett Favre, but they also love Drew Brees and the Saints, the final obstacle standing between Brett and a third Super Bowl.
In these parts, folks love Favre and what he means to the Packers, but hate that he plays for the enemy. The past few days on local sports talk radio have resembled a health care town hall meeting. People are digging in and sticking to their positions without a lot of tolerance for other viewpoints.
That conflict is good for sports and will undoubtedly lead to monstrous ratings for the game, which is slated to start at 5:40 p.m. on FOX.
For fans in Wisconsin and on Rotten Bayou, much of the debate can be alleviated with one sentence.
If it were any other team. . .
Imagine if Favre were still with the Jets and was facing off against Peyton Manning and the Colts this afternoon in Indianapolis. Many in Wisconsin and Mississippi would be gobbling up New York merchandise and cheering for him to go all the way and win another Super Bowl ring.
Favre's move to Minnesota, the Packers' hated rival, poisoned public opinion about him in Wisconsin. Generous fans would like to see him do well and the Vikings lose. That's precisely the way many Saints/Favre fans feel. The compartmentalization of emotions is what makes the run-up to this matchup feel so tense.
So, how will this be resolved? Like most big games between evenly-matched competitors, you have to look toward turnovers, penalties and special teams.
The Saints are favored by 3 1/2 points, primarily because they'll have home-dome advantage and be backed by leather-lunged fans thirsty for a title. Brees is an outstanding quarterback, but if he loses this game people will be fitting him with the Dan Marino suit (worn by outstanding QBs who can't get it done in the playoffs). Favre has the experience and other intangibles.
Saints running back Reggie Bush and Vikings counterpart Adrian Peterson (who hasn't rushed for 100 yards since mid-season) are spectacular backs, but could cancel each other out or, more likely, be overshadowed by the passing game. The defenses are solid, but this looks like it could be a shootout decided by turnovers and special teams play.
Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin's migraine headache could be a sidebar, but the determining factor in this game will be how the teams play up front.
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Favre beat my Cowboys, but the guy is amazing! You Packer fans need to stop crying and appreciate the legend you once had. I hope he wins the SB!
RoseBowlMtg......nice thoughts...but that's your opinion. Molitor and Brett are very different situations. If Brett had not sat down....cried...and said how he had no more desire to play football I would be on your side....however...he did retire and then he decided to come back....too bad so sad. Sorry....he's a great football player, but as an person....he's a jerk. And that's my opinion.
Remember when "Just a DH" was stated about Milwaukee's 15 yr veteran, Paul Molitor? Molly was loved, injured, played great, had drug issues and offered the maximum 20% salary discount by his GM after 15 years. Molly went to AL East rival Toronto because he was not wanted anymore here and got better. After 15 yrs he played 6 more years, won a WS and advanced his legacy. The Packers are set at QB, the Packers had every right and moved on since AR was ready. Favre is playing better than ever and as a Packer fan and an NFL fan it is great watching someone do so well who we cheered for for so long. Many said Favre would hurt his legacy by playing after the Packers but instead he is enhancing his incredible career. This is NFL history.
It's not about Brett. It's the Vikings. If you're a Packer fan, you don't root for the Vikings ever. I still have Brett Favre photos and other memorabilia in my house but that doesn't mean I support whatever team he plays for. Let his family cheer for him no matter what. Brett and his current team need to go down to the Saints!!
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