Lost in all the political craziness this week was the Minnesota Vikings preparation for their match-up with the Green Bay Packers Sunday at the Metrodome.
This week’s contest is extra special since it may be the final appearance of Packer QB (and future hall of famer) Brett Favre at the Dome. While Favre has certainly been one of the elite quarterbacks of all time, you would never know it by his 4-10 record in the Humpty Dome.
Favre’s personal “House of Horrors” has featured some of the most bizarre moments in the 45-year Vikings-Packers rivalry.
1993: The Pack led 13-12 with under a minute to play when the Vikings found themselves trying to get into field goal range. With the Vikes near midfield and no timeouts, diminutive wide receiver Eric Guliford found himself at the 10-yard line with no Packer defender within 20 yards. QB Jim McMahon lofted a pass to Guliford, who caught it and was knocked out at the 5. Fuad Reveiz booted the winning field goal to give Minnesota a 15-13 triumph.
1994: After throwing an interception which was returned for a touchdown, Favre left the game with an injury. Green Bay backup QB Mark Brunell ran for a TD to give the Pack a 10-7 lead, only to see the Vikings tie at 10 near the end of regulation. Reveiz kicked the game-winning FG in overtime for a 13-10 Vikings win. It was at this point that then Packer coach Mike Holmgren seriously considered pulling the plug on the 2-year Favre experiment and going with the talented Brunell.
1995: With Favre in the midst of an MVP season (his first of three straight), his Packers had the look of a serious playoff contender. However, Favre would also leave this game early due to injury. Backup Ty Detmer played well but was also injured in the second half. Enter third stringer T.J. Rubley. Late in the game, with the scored tied 24-24, Rubley inexplicably audibled out of a quarterback sneak on 3rd down and inches, deciding to go with a pass play instead. The throw was intercepted by Vikes LB Jeff Brady and Reveiz once again came on to kick the game-winning field goal. 27-24, Vikings.
1997: Favre brought the defending Super Bowl champs to the Metrodome on a Monday night and got his first dome win in six tries with a resounding 27-11 Packer victory. While the game was pretty non-descript, it was an off-field incident earlier that morning which captured the biggest headline. An FM radio personality who called himself Cabe (pronounced Kah-Bay) knocked on the door of a hotel room allegedly occupied by Favre. A man sounding like Favre answered the door. In the background radio listeners could also hear the voice of a woman who was not Favre’s wife, Deanna. After the incident was broadcast live on 92 KQRS, word got back to Deanna Favre that Brett was caught with another woman. The whole thing proved to be a hoax since it was not Favre in that hotel room. Cabe was fired and Favre sued the parent company of KQ92. An out-of-court settlement was eventually reached.
2002: Despite his reputation as a consummate professional, Favre had a rare lapse in this season’s contest. After Vikings safety Jack Brewer picked off an errant Favre pass, Brett proceeded to hit him out of bounds, drawing a 15-yard penalty. After the 31-21 defeat, Favre was asked if he deserved the flag. With a half-smile, Favre replied “Yeah”.
2005: In a game which was a microcosm of the 4-12 season registered by Green Bay, they blew a 17-0 halftime lead and lost 23-20 on a 56-yard Paul Edinger field goal at the gun. I never saw Favre with a more stunned look on his face.
If indeed Brett Favre retires at the end of this season, he will not remember his Minnesota visits fondly.
However, all NFL fans will definitely see him again in the Summer of 2012 at a podium in Canton, OH.
That is when he’ll accept his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.