I thought it appropriate to pass on this story in anticipation of tonight’s season-opening (finally!) tilt between Brett Favre’s Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints.
Some of you may well be pulling for the old gray mare. I, of course, will be pulling for him to get killed (although slightly less so than usual, since I had to draft him on one of my fantasy teams and have $500 riding on his shriveled ass — funny how that works).
The Saints will be employing the same tactic they used to beat Favre and the Vikings in last season’s NFC Championship game — hit Favre repeatedly.
Prior to said championship game, Saints coach Sean Payton told his players, in what was described as one of his more memorable speeches, that hitting Favre repeatedly would eventually cause him to make a mistake. Favre proved Payton right when he threw the game and the Vikings season away on an ill-advised across-his-body toss that was intercepted by Tracy Porter.
Several Saints players have said Payton’s pregame message not only gave them clarity, but inspired them. That message — Favre is an old man in the rain.
“When you get older in life, you tend to get very careful, and a little more fearful,” Payton said, according to players and staffers who were there. “You start thinking about your own mortality. If it rains outside you might not go to the store, especially at night. You figure you’ll just wait it out. You might have somewhere to go and you tell yourself I don’t want to go there. You don’t want to get in a wreck.
“If you keep hitting him (on Sunday) he’ll make a mistake. If we keep putting pressure on him (Sunday night) he’ll start being careful, he’ll start doing anything he can to avoid getting hit and he’ll make a mistake. I promise you, if we hit him for four quarters, he’ll turn into that old man who’s scared of the rain.”
And so he did and we all rejoiced and maybe kicked a stupid-ass, Super Bowl-less Vikings fan while they were down.
Tonight’s rematch isn’t nearly as big, but it will be interesting to see if the same scenario plays out. Kickoff is at 7:30 CT.