Friday, September 24, 2010
Favring the Favren Favres
Favre Favre Favre Favre Favre Favre Favre Favre. There.
Basically, when it comes to the Minnesota Vikings that's about all there is these days. Yes, the annual circus surrounding Brett Favre has once again pitched its tents in the dark and terrible parts of our brain where we stuff things like Faces of Death videos and that time we got drunk and vomited on that really hot chick in the basement of our off-campus house because someone bought a keg full of cheap ass beer and all you got was that awful heady foamy shit and it just didn't sit well and . . . where the fuck were we?
Oh yeah. Favre. The ol' Gunslinger, that smilin' son of a bitch, that Wrangler wearing just happy to be here havin' fun blah blah blah. Brett Favre has become such a ridiculous figure that whenever he or the Vikings come up, talking heads and sports writers and bloggers inevitably descend into a madness akin to that scene in Being John Malkovich where Malkovich goes inside of his own head and everyone he sees has his face and every word that comes out of their mouths is "Malkovich". It's terrible and well past the point of absurdity and has come back around to being a serious issue on par with things like world hunger and peace in the Middle East.
How do we stop this nonsense? Well, it would help if no one ever talked about him again. But that is not likely to happen, as even all the complaining - as seen here - has added to the maelstrom of stupidity that is this ridiculous bullshit. Look, I hate it, but in talking about the Vikings, I have to talk about Brett Favre. Just hold your nose and we'll try to get through this together.
Anyway, the Lions head into Minnesota at 1-1 (Goddamn it, don't you dare tell me differently), where they haven't won a game since 1997, or back when I was in high school. Christ, there are probably people reading this who were in, like, Kindergarten back then. (Then again, as always, I leave open the disturbing possibility that there are people who are in Kindergarten right now who are reading this. I'm positive that half of the people reading this have the maturity level of your average Kindergartener anyway. Not you, though. You're suave and sophisticated. I meant the other half. Also, I have never really noticed until now just how German the word Kindergarten is. It's kind of messing with me to be honest with you. I mean . . . wait, what? Where am I? What's going on?)
Ahem. Anyway, it's been a long time since the Lions rolled into Minneapolis and beat the shit out of Prince and the Revolution. So many drowned bodies in Lake Minnetonka, blouses floating everywhere, mascara washing up for weeks on the shore. Terrible, just terrible. But again, I digress. Even though it's been so long, it always feels like the Lions play the Vikings tough, whether it's at home or on the road. After all, one of the most famous games from the hellroad that was 0-16 was the game against the Vikings in Minnesota, which was the game in which Dan Orlovsky forgot that you're not allowed to just wander out of the back of your own end zone. That game was also the closest the Lions came to winning in that godforsaken year. What's my point? The hell if I know. Ranting about Favre and Lake Minnetonka and 0-16 has driven me temporarily insane and I apologize. If I had to say, though, I'd say that the point is that over the last few seasons, whenever the Lions and Vikings get together, it's a legitimate battle.
I'm not entirely sure why that is but it's probably best not to delve too deeply into matters such as this, lest we find some horrible gremlin or ogre faerie or something at the bottom engineering all this madness just to mess with us. The Lions tend to play the Vikings pretty closely and that's that.
Which brings us to now. (Yeah, I know, I know . . . finally.) The Vikings head into this game at 0-2, the focus of the national media straight up their asses and the terror of the realization that if they don't do something quick then this whole season will spiral out of control eating away at them. Is this is a good thing for us or a bad thing? Well, it would stupid to say that it's a bad thing. I mean, the Vikings are 0-2, which is a hell of a lot better than if they went into this game at 2-0, you know?
But - and you just had to know there was a but coming - it also means that the Vikings are desperate and will do whatever they have to do to win the damn game. And let's face it, when it comes to winning, the Vikings have a hell of a lot more experience than we do. Our only real hope here is that the situation that has led to 0-2 is not an aberration but a true representation of a new horrible reality which has sunk the Vikings. (Note: I almost wrote "sunk the Viking's ship" which was too cute and stupid and caused my brain to call me a dumb asshole. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, but what the hell, I believe in bringing you into the creative process because I respect you. Yeah, that's it.)
There are signs that this is indeed possible. First of all, there is a bunch of gibberish floating around about Brett Favre not having fun this season and that being the case for the Vikings piss poor start. That is utterly ridiculous, of course. I mean, I doubt Brett Favre is sitting around in the locker room telling his teammates "Sorry, guys, I'm just not havin' fun. Looks like it's a 4-12 season. Sorry, but what can you do?" I mean, if that's the case, then why doesn't the team just import a ton of hookers and blow and set up a pinata filled with strippers and pills in the locker room. Everybody having fun yet! Hell, yeah, coach! We're gonna go 12-4 now!
It's ridiculous. Then again, maybe Brett Favre isn't having fun because he is 168 years old, and his go to receiver is Bernard Berrian. Look, that will depress anybody. I know. For three straight years I took a chance on Bernard Berrian with my fantasy football teams and let me tell you, that son of a bitch just does not come through. But what other choice do the Vikings have? Sidney Rice is dead, Percy Harvin is in the midst of a record breaking "Not tonight, honey, I've got a headache" streak that has undoubtedly left Favre with an epic case of blue balls and that leaves Berrian, and, uh . . . well, let's see here. There's Greg Lewis, who, uh . . . is certainly a dude I suppose. There's Greg Camarillo, who's an okay possession receiver and there's Hank Baskett, who the team just signed in a fit of desperation because he's tall. No, seriously, that's the reason. Sidney Rice is 6'4" and so is Baskett and so the team figured that Favre would have good chemistry with him. Jesus!
Of course, Baskett is best known for being Mr. Kendra Wilkinson and for being a supporting player on a horrid, apocalypse presaging reality show on E!, and we are more likely to hear about him being cuckolded in the future by his almost literal whore of a wife than about him becoming a quality NFL receiver. (I'm sorry, that's not fair. His wife isn't a whore. She just accepted a bunch of money for a tape of her screwing some dude on camera. That just makes her a . . . wait, what's the difference again? Anyway, I think we can all agree that she's at least a Famewhore, right?)
So, why are the Vikings struggling on offense? Well, Jesus Christ! Just read those last two paragraphs again. To make matters worse, Berrian's knee has started to give him some trouble, which means that it's possible that the Vikings will have to suit up Favre's dog from that one awful Wrangler's commercial and a bottle of Vicodin at wide receiver. I mean, we know Favre is comfortable with that.
Okay, that's a little unfair, and I should probably apologize but I am in a bad mood and writing about Favre tends to make me feel overcome with self loathing and you're all just lucky that I haven't degenerated in angry grunts and wild hooting.
The point to all this nonsense is that the Vikings passing game is in tatters, which, well, hooray for us, you know? Helping matters there is the fact that Bryant McKinnie is now officially straight ass as an offensive tackle, which should be a problem for the Vikings considering Kyle Vanden Bosch looks like he prepared for this season by drinking the blood of 100 virgins in some sort of weird, youth-giving ritual sacrifice. He is powered by the spirits and the blood of a 100 young Aztec warriors and Bryant McKinnie and Brett Favre are about to feel his wrath.
Damn. It feels really, really good to be able to write that about someone whose on my team for a change instead of writing it about the other team.
That said, the Vikings have plenty of players like that of their own populating their defense. The Williams Wall is still there and Jared Allen is likely looking forward to resuming his grudge feud with Gosder Cherilus, which, uh, isn't so good for us. Basically, even if the Vikings struggle to score points, it's not like we'll be lighting up the scoreboard either, especially with Matthew Stafford out.
And that's going to be really key here, I think, since this is one game where Calvin Johnson has a really, really good matchup. He'll either be lining up against Lito Sheppard or Asher Allen, who are 5'10" and 5'9" respectively. Calvin is 6'5" meaning that at the very least, he's going to have a 7 inch height advantage. That shit's almost unfair. It's like if, back in the day, Hakeem Olajuwon was allowed to post up John Stockton on every play. Unfortunately, Calvin have Shaun Hill and his pop gun throwing to him instead of Stafford and his howitzer. Still, I would hope that the Lions recognize this matchup and try to get Calvin the damn ball. He could absolutely kill the Vikings on jump balls, which means that even if Hill needs to leave the ball short, Calvin should be able to go up and get it.
Of course, the stale fart in the room, the one that nobody wants to talk about but which will inevitably choke us all out is the fact that the Lions secondary is more than capable of making Baskett look like Sidney Rice. Shit, Baskett's slutty old lady could probably catch 7 or 8 passes against the Lions gang of fools who call themselves defensive backs. After all, let's not forget that she's a veteran of the Lingerie Bowl.
And then there's Adrian Peterson. That name should strike fear into the hearts of Lions fans everywhere, but for some reason it really doesn't. Maybe that's because, for the most part, Peterson has looked human against the Lions during his career. He never really seems to explode against the Lions and even though he inevitably gets his yardage, he never really dominates the game and is always good for a fumble or two. This should be even more the case this year with Ndamukong Suh ready to impale him should he make the mistake of trying to cross the line of scrimmage and with Vanden Bosch powered by his Aztec blood waiting to rip his head off, along with Sammie Hill and Corey Williams and God willing, The Great Willie Young waiting for him at the gates of hell. The Lions defensive line is the best it has been in years and hopefully, they can slow Peterson down. Of course, having said all that, now Peterson will run for 200 yards because the world hates me.
Speaking of numbers, Favre is only 275 yards away from becoming the first player in NFL history to pass for 70,000 yards for his career and he's only 2 touchdowns away from becoming the first player in NFL history to throw for 500 touchdowns. Again, because we are Lions fans and this is just the way things are in our wretched world, Favre will accomplish both of these against us. You know it and I know it.
This game is weird. It really, really feels like the Lions can win this one. But it also feels like the potential is there for a pissed off Vikings team to kill us dead. I have no idea which one of these scenarios will play out. Obviously, I'm hoping that the Lions can ride into Minnesota and wreck the Vikings season. But . . . well, how many times has Hope cruelly tricked us? It's tough to stand up again and believe in Hope. It's tough to put yourself out there yet again and say that you believe that this time will be different. It's tough, and only a great fool or a dedicated masochist would put himself in that position. Then again, that just about sums me up, doesn't it? A fool and a masochist. That's fine. I am not afraid and I will stand in front of the Failure Demon and I will smile and laugh in his ugly face and then I will punch Hope in the mouth and tell him that he belongs to me now and that the past is worthless and the future starts now.
FIVE NO DOUBT TERRIBLE PREDICTIONS
1. The Lions will try to lean on Best but he will struggle running the ball against the Williams Wall, gaining only 50 yards on 16 carries. However, Best will catch 7 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.
2. Shaun Hill will throw for 280 yards and complete 25 of 40 passes. Many of these will be to Best and to Brandon Pettigrew as the Lions once again effectively use the short passing game. However, Hill will also get the Lions wide receivers, particularly Calvin Johnson, involved in the game more.
3. Calvin Johnson will catch 7 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. He will catch a couple of jump balls, taking advantage of the size disparity between him and the Vikings cornerbacks. We will all breathe a sigh of relief and I will give Calvin back the name St. Calvin. If he struggles again, Lions fans will split apart in a horrible civil war surrounding his fate and there will be many tears shed and many dead bodies left behind when it is all over. Fucking Roy Williams. This is all his fault for filling us with The Fear.
4. Favre will throw for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns and we'll have to sit and listen to the announcers verbally blow him because, well, this is what happens to Lions fans. He'll also throw 3 interceptions and both Favre and the announcers will blame it all on his receivers, especially Hank Baskett, whose concentration will lapse during a pass to him when he is forced to picture his wife riding some asshole on camera. Baskett's spirit will be utterly broken when that asshole looks back and has the face of none other than Brett Favre! The asshole will then shrug and say "Favre?" and Baskett will fall down on the field in emotional torment while Louis Delmas picks off the pass and returns it for a touchdown.
5. Adrian Peterson will run the ball 24 times for 98 yards and a touchdown. He'll also be responsible for one crucial fumble. After the game, The Great Willie Young will skin him alive and hang his pelt on his wall as a trophy.
PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: LIONS 28, VIKINGS 24