- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

This is what the angst with Brett Favre is all about each summer. This is why he never runs out of suitors, no matter how much he vacillates and plays the good old diva from Mississippi.

That was Favre slicing and dicing his ex-team Monday night, throwing lasers all over the field, living up to the hype, turning back the clock.

That was Favre flashing his arm strength after deciphering the defenses of the Packers in an instant, enthralling a nation that never tires of pulling for the old war horse, that is smitten with the quarterback because of the way he plays the game.

That was Favre throwing a downfield block on one occasion and then leaping for joy on another after throwing one of his three touchdown passes. That was Favre telling reporters that he prayed himself into a bundle of nerves during the team’s chapel service in the afternoon.

“Man, I’m losing it,” he told himself.

This was not just another game.

If it was revenge Favre was desperately seeking against his old employers - he never uttered the word - he achieved it in compelling fashion.

It was one for the memory bank.

It was “Monday Night Football” as it should be: riveting, meaningful, dramatic.

It seems Favre is the piece that brings the Vikings all together now, that makes them a genuine threat to reach the Super Bowl.

The Vikings have a premier running back in Adrian Peterson, and Jared Allen is the anchor of a swarming defense. But it is Favre who has turned the Vikings from hopeful to expectant. It is Favre’s show, his team, his season.

It is equally true that it is merely a 4-0 start to a 16-game season.

So much still could go wrong.

Favre still could break down, as quarterbacks about to turn 40 years old are prone to do.

His precious right arm could show fatigue as the season progresses, even with the Vikings carefully limiting his number of pass attempts in each practice.

Yet no matter how it goes down the rest of the way, coach Brad Childress and the Vikings made the correct call in leaving the night light on for Favre.

They knew a serious playoff run never could happen with either Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels at quarterback. They knew neither quarterback had the arm or savvy to hold up against the top defenses of the NFL.

It also might not happen with Favre. But at least he plants the seed. At least he makes it a real possibility. With Favre, the Vikings can dream the dream.

Really, theirs was an easy decision in August. What did they have to lose?

Even Favre’s detractors might concede the obvious now.

Does anyone really believe the Vikings would be 4-0 if Favre were relegated to throwing passes to family and friends in Mississippi today?

Who completes that last-second bullet to Greg Lewis that ripped the heart out of the 49ers in Week 3?

You know the play. You watched the replay of it about a zillion times last week.

That is what Favre does. That is who he is.

His critics say he is liable to throw the bad interception, although he has not exhibited that trait with the Vikings yet. He has thrown eight touchdown passes and only one interception in four games.

That impeccable ratio has come about because of an offensive line that provides solid protection, the game-breaking potential of Peterson that defenses cannot ignore and the Vikings’ ball-control play selection.

The merger of Favre and the Vikings is seemingly perfect. Given where both were, they needed one another to have a chance.

And that chance is looking better all the time.

You could ask Ted Thompson, Mark Murphy and Mike McCarthy, the brain trust of the Packers.

Favre was their worst nightmare on Monday night, his every completion serving as a taunt.

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