12/04/09 — Local Opinion -- 'Old' Favre returns

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Local Opinion -- 'Old' Favre returns

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on December 4, 2009 1:46 PM

My biggest attraction and more recently biggest turnoff with Brett Favre in has been his unpredictability.

From the offseason waffling of will he or won't he return, to the late season collapses and interception totals that piled up faster than the gross national debt, Favre's act had become tired.

He looked broken down and as if the game was no longer fun to him at the end of last season. Favre ended the year with 22 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions as the New York Jets lost four of their last five games to finish 9-7 and missed the playoffs.

Nursing a torn bicep tendon and knocking on the doorstep of 40-years-old, Favre's career at least seemed to be over.

That all changed with one drawn out will he play again saga with the Minnesota Vikings over the summer. Favre finally reported to training camp in mid-August and has since recaptured the magic that once made him impossible not to watch for football fans like myself.

The Vikings are 10-1, in first place in the NFC North by three games and are a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

After throwing 20 ore more interceptions in six of his previous 18 seasons, Favre has been picked off just three times in 2009. One year ago, Favre threw at least two interceptions in seven games with the Jets.

Favre has thrown three or more touchdown passes in eight of Minnesota's first 11 games. He currently ranks in the top 10 in the league in quarterback rating, passing yards, touchdown passes, passing yards per game, completions and completion percentage.

Joined by Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, Favre finds himself squarely in the hunt for the league's MVP award. Favre has won the award three times, but hasn't been tabbed the league's most valuable player since 1997 when he shared it with Barry Sanders.

Favre is currently on pace to have more completions, fewer interceptions and a better completion percentage and passer rating than he did in any of the years he was named the MVP.

While Favre still has exceptional physical skills for a 40-year-old, those abilities become enhanced through work ethic and dedication. Stories of Favre being spotted at the Vikings' practice facility at 9 or 10 o'clock at night have become more frequent.

The joy I once found in watching a boy from Mississippi, who in a lot of ways never grew up, sling a football around had diminished as did his ability to excel at the highest level. Green Bay Packers fans or just fans of Brett Favre once knew what to expect out of a man that made fourth-quarter comebacks and improbable heroics seem ordinary.

He may be in a different uniform, but Brett Favre is back.

He's once again predictable.

That's all right by me.