Vikings Give Steelers Nation Reason to Appreciate the Rooneys

Sometimes the best posts are the ones you don’t write.

How’s that, you ask?

As the entire football world knows, last August Brett Favre again dominated the news coverage with his annual “retire, retire me not” soap opera only to show up at Vikings headquarters 2 weeks prior to training camp.

It made for good football copy, and I fully admit to interest in the outcome.

But the sheer skeptical of a player, with no formal ties or history with a franchise, holding an entire organization hostage bordered on the inane.

Work commitments prevented a “Never Would Happen in Pittsburgh” post from gracing his corner of cyberspace.

And just as well, as Brett Favre came out and did want no one expected him to do, putting together a phenomenal season worthy of a man half his age.

Before going on, let me make a few confessions about Brett Favre’s history with me. I was an early Brett basher. First because he was tremendously hyped even before his first game in Green Bay (I remember the headline “Sunday Could be the beginning of the Brett Favre era in Green Bay.)

The fact that his first game and first win coincided with Bill Cowher’s first loss and Rod Woodson’s worst game helped his cause none here (click here to see lowlights from that lamentable day at Lambeau.)

I remained a Favre skeptic for a while, but waned while he started justify and then not only live up to but beyond the hype. He really earned my respect on Christmas even 1995, when Kevin Greene and Greg Lloyd, among others, continually knocked the snot out of Favre, but Favre refused to relent.

So I found myself rooting for Favre in 2009, save for his visit to Heinz Field.

And when the Steelers failed to make the playoffs, I was among those who wanted to see Favre end his career hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

The thought that Favre’s career might end with an interception pained me.

That Was Then, This is Now

But perhaps not just as much as it pained Favre.

Favre knew he needed ankle surgery if he was to play again, yet he delayed it until late in the off season. He dithered again about whether or not to play, until his coach sent a posse down to Mississippi to get him to play.

Since then you’d think Ringling Brothers had set up shop in the Metrodome. Favre falters (gee Brett, maybe you’d play a little better if you’d taken some snaps in training camp, eh?) Brad Childress brings Favre a toy in the form of Randy Moss. Moss’ performance in Minnesota is Mundane.

Childress cuts Moss after Moss waxes about how much he misses New England and then humiliates the team caterer of all people.

Childress gets taken to the woodshed by Zygi Wilf for not checking with him before cutting Randy Moss. Word is the Wilf polled the locker room to gauge support of Childress….

Can you imagine a player, a quarterback, holding the Steelers hostage, keeping Steelers Nation hanging on a thread by his every word? Can you imainge Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher, or Mike Tomlin bringing in a Diva mid-season only to cut him, and then only to get into a very public spat with upper management over whether it was right or not?

No, you can’t.

In contrast, the Vikings are almost a picture of anarchy.

Dan Rooney would never have allowed such a spectacle to unfold. Neither would Art Rooney II.

And for that, Steelers fans should be thankful.

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