Posted by: Jeff | October 30, 2009

The Sociology of Football: What It Means To Be A Vikings Fan In A Brett Favre World

This topic hurts.  A lot.  But in case you’ve been living in a cave (in which case, I’m impressed by your internet access), you’ve heard that Brett Favre is now playing football for the Minnesota Vikings.  And boy does he play it well.


I admit, I’ve had a lot of difficulty adjusting to this new situation.  You see, I don’t remember football from the pre-Favre era, so for as long as I can remember, Brett Favre played in the NFL.  And for the majority of those years, he played for the Green Bay Packers.  The team all true Minnesotans hate.

The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (sweet name, by the way) wrote that an individual’s identity is formed by the synthesis of what you are and what you are not.  This dialectical relationship between opposing identities defines a person.  For millions of Minnesotans (yes, there are millions of us), part of our identity is hating the person who personified our mortal enemies, the Green Bay Packers.  That person is/was Brett Favre.

You might guess at the confusion that one has when part of their identity is ripped away.  But this reversal would have even Hegel’s head spinning.  Favre, our loathed and hated rival, is now a captain on our very own team.  How am I supposed to process that?  If I am going to continue to cheer for the Minnesota Vikings (and I am), I now have to swallow my pride and cheer for the man that I wished bodily harm upon for over 15 years.

It’s a very confusing situation.  But you know what hurts the most?  The sudden realization that this Brett Favre guy is really awesome.  Not only is he good at football, but he’s a great teammate.  I’ve never seen a quarterback sprint 40 yards down field to throw a block.  And I’ve never seen a quarterback sprint 20 yards down field to be the first teammate at the side of a fallen comrade (WR Percy Harvin).  The guy is starting to grow on me.  And I hate him for it.  Or maybe I love him.  I don’t know.

And that’s just it – I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel.  What partially defined my affection and attachment to the state of my youth has been turned on its head.  Watching me watch Vikings games must be very amusing given my continued seesaw between furrowed brow and adoring gaze of admiration.  Every great play he makes tempers my suspicion that he will emerge from halftime of a game clad in green, but I’m still not convinced this isn’t a dream.

Which leads me to my point – this weekend the Vikings travel to Green Bay to play at Lambeau Field.  This was Brett Favre’s home for a very long time, and is most closely associated in my mind with this place.  If we can win this game on Sunday and move to 2-0 on the season in the only games that really matter, I think I can find it in my heart to forgive Brett Favre for 16 seasons of treachery.  In fact, I think I can really start to like him.



  1. Hey Pervdiddy, you’re young and stupid. You state the following in your opinion piece, “Not only is he good at football, but he’s a great teammate. I’ve never seen a quarterback sprint 40 yards down field to throw a block. And I’ve never seen a quarterback sprint 20 yards down field to be the first teammate at the side of a fallen comrade (WR Percy Harvin)”. Well us Packer fans have watched Favre for 16 years throw blocks, make tackles following fumbles, or his interceptions. Packer fans have also watched for 16 years as he celebrated and supported his teammates. Well we all know you, Pervdiddy, have never seen a quarterback do these things before, but all of us Packer fans have seen these things for many many years. Heck you must not have been watching those past Packer/Viking games when Favre would do those very same things to your Vikings. Brett Favre is a spectacular player, a Hall of Fame player, and you damn better start to like him as your QB, you dumba$$.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. I do take issue with the idea that just because a player is a future Hall of Famer, everyone should love him. But yes, in this case I think it’s safe to say that at 10-1, I love him very much as my QB.

  3. […] I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan, which means I’m giddy with nervousness about the game this weekend.  It’s the first time the Vikings have made it to the NFC championship since 2000, a year that will forever be sullied by the fact that the Vikes got a 41-0 drubbing at the hands of the Giants. […]

  4. This has actually sparked up an idea in my mind. This really is a superb weblog article.

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