So after training camp is basically three-quarters of the way over, Favre decides that he is going to play for the Vikings and that his rusty body can hold up one more season as a starting quarterback. Many ask why he would subject his body to another season of injuries, aches and pains. (He was good last year as a Jet until he got hurt, and that ended it his season, really.)
The answer to that question is simple. He still has a beef against the Packers for their reluctance to allow him to come back out of retirement.
So last year Favre had to prove he could still play with the Jets, even though the team isn't a Packers’ rival. And he could play well until his body gave out to injury in the later part of the season. Since he was not able to get back at the Packers as much as he wanted to with the Jets, he had to retire in hopes that the Vikings would pick him up. Favre is returning to the NFL for personal reasons, plain and simple.
So why would the Vikings decide to take the old man back, in all Favre's wishy-washy glory? When they were considering it, I simply could not understand why they were even thinking about it. Now, that they have signed him for some $25 million in that year, I completely understand it. Money. The Vikings are desperately in need of money in this terrible economy. And so far, it seems to have worked.
According to ESPN.com, the Vikings sold more than 3,200 season tickets in the first 24 hours after uncle Brett was signed. Another 11,000 single-game tickets were sold as everybody in the Land of Lakes got fired up to see the veteran in a purple uniform. According to the Vikings Chief Marketing Officer, Steve LaCroix, seats for the Green Bay game on Oct. 5 are only available through a season ticket, and there are roughly 6,000 season tickets left – and that was reported on Aug. 21. I bet there are about half that now.
Vikings fans now have a reason to buy a jersey, too. More than 200,000 Favre Jets jerseys were sold last year; now, that demand for the Vikings version should be even higher, because of the division rivalry.
I had heard that before Favre was signed that the Vikings were basically giving tickets away to get people to those games in Minnesota. It is not very often that a team offers ticket packages to fans. In the NFL, it is season tickets or nothing. That is the norm. But in this economy, any kind of incentive to get people to the game is a must and this, I guess, is where Favre comes in.
No ticket packages complete with four Cokes, four hot dogs and four foam fingers is going to get a family to break the bank and go to the game. But if you put a flailing 39-year-old quarterback in the picture, that same family will sell the dog, auction their minivan and cash in their kids’ college funds to get those season tickets.
So while I had initially thought it was just Favre using the Vikings to get back at the Packers, it really is the Vikings using Favre to sell tickets for at least one more successful, money-making year in the NFL before it will have to relocate to an area that can support an NFL team. Mark my words, if the Vikings don’t make it to at least the second round of the playoffs this year with Favre, the Vikings will soon be the Idaho Falls Vikings or even the Las Vegas Vikings. Who knows?
And if Favre plays terribly, and the Vikings don’t win a game this season, fans will still tune in to see Favre’s fall from grace – probably more fans than would watch if the Vikings won a total of six games.
Yes, Favre is bringing in the bucks for the team, plain and simple.
I’m not sure more of same is in store for the Eagles and Michael Vick, but Vick’s presence too will certainly get more fans watching, nationwide. They may not like Vick, but they will watch to see what happens, and that will be an added economic driver for the Eagles.
These drama players may not be likeable, and they may have been signed to their teams for all the wrong reasons, but one thing is certain. It will make for must-see television throughout this season.