That picture, sent by Newbie, pretty much says it all. He notes the connection between Brett Favre and Dairy Queen (the former word being a symbol of his long-time football employer, and the latter being a term preferred by cheeseheads to describe the Vikings). Yes, everybody is welcoming Favre to Minnesota in their own little way. Most with open arms and frenzied purchases; some with multiple swear words and general unhappiness; and a sweet select few with discounts on deep fried meat combo meals.
Favre is so connected with the number four that on the way to watch his debut Friday night at the Unofficial RandBall Headquarters, we even took a picture with the camera on our phone of the No. 4 bus rumbling by. Friday night was an event made out of the second preseason game of the year. A bar full of patrons cheered when Favre came onto the field. And even though he looked full of rust -- as was to be expected -- the big-time feeling felt good.
We have to admit we're a little surprised at what has been an overwhelmingly positive reception from fans. Perhaps they realize (correctly) that the old enemy gives a very good team a chance to be special if he's healthy and makes decent decisions. Perhaps they were so tired of the QB carousel that they'll settle for anything that offers a glimmer of stability. But we think the biggest factor is that finally this market has a huge name from the outside that wanted to play here.
Yes, Favre completely dictated the terms and led Brad Childress around by the nose. But a fan base that is insecure about nobody wanting to stay here or come here -- one with fresh memories of the departures of Johan Santana, Torii Hunter, Marian Gaborik and Randy Moss, regardless of circumstances -- must feel pretty good that Minnesota was the only place Favre wanted to play this season. Aside from a homegrown superstar, there's nothing Minnesotans love more than when an outsider decides to love Minnesota. For better or worse, he is ours now. Much of Wisconsin has abandoned him, electing to turn 16 years of what we imagine were pretty good memories into dust. (Though we have heard stories of fans who switched allegiances from the Packers to the Vikings this year because they support No. 4 over Green Bay).
Favre wants Minnesota, and Minnesota wants Favre. Maybe just that crazy sentence is enough to explain why nobody wants to stop talking about this.