The longer Brett Favre takes to decide whether to come back for another season with the Vikings, the better it apparently is for the economy in his offseason home of Hattiesburg, Miss.
First, there were billboards in the small town thanking the 40-year-old QB for a season in purple and hoping for another go-round. Now? A Vikings fan is set to take out a full-page color ad in Monday's Hattiesburg American newspaper with a similar message.
Benjamin Nelms, 39, a Vikings fan living in Madison, Wis., is the man behind it. The ad already is paid for and costs "about twice as much as season tickets," Nelms said. An ad representative from the paper confirmed that it will run on Monday.
Nelms sent us a copy of the ad. Much of it is essentially an open letter to Favre from Nelms, who said last season was even more fun than 1998. He ends it with, "Brett Favre, thanks man. Rest up ... then come on back. Sincerely, a Vikings fan."
Nelms, who has a Ph.D in medical physics and runs his own business designing cancer therapy products, said he initially had an idea to put up a billboard before others beat him to it.
"I started to think about what I wanted to do," Nelms said. "If I had five minutes with Favre, here's what I would want to say to the guy. That was that."
Vikings fans should perhaps be encouraged by Nelms' participation. He hadn't attended a Vikings game in person for nearly 15 years before going to the Vikings/49ers game this past season that became famous for Favre's last-second hook-up with Greg Lewis.
Nelms wants one more year of magic -- 16 games, at the very least, he can look forward to. He hopes Hattiesburg is a small enough town that the ad will reach Favre and have an impact.
"I don't want to guilt him into coming back. I don't want him to read it and say, 'Oh, no,' " Nelms said. "But I hope that if he's on the fence, this can be a piece of wind that pushes him back onto our side."