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Favre’s return: A game for the ages

October 30, 2009

The game of the season is finally here. For most of the people in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area, the date Nov. 1 has been circled for quite some time. Brett Favre’s returning to Lambeau Field has been talked about and hyped since Aug. 18 when he signed with the Vikings. I’m sure there were few who had this day circled when the rumors of Favre coming to the Vikings sprung up in the early summer days of May.

Favre has played in roughly 130 games at Lambeau Field, starting in all but one of them. In the third week of the 1992 season, Favre replaced then-starter Don Majkowski who was suffered a severe injury in the game. He then became the starter for good. This covers a span of 16 years. This Sunday he’ll be seek- ing his 90th victory at Lambeau Field.

The Monday Night game a few weeks back was a huge success in terms of entertainment value and viewership. The game this upcoming weekend was moved from a noon start to a 3:15 p.m. start because of the demand of people want- ing to see this game across the nation. This could be the most-viewed game ever that is not played as the two national spotlight games, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football.

Favre and the Vikings won the first meeting between these two teams. Aaron Rodgers proved he could be on the same field as Favre, as he threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns and had a passer rating of 110.6. The offensive line didn’t help him out at all, as he was sacked eight times. Favre also had one of his better games this season against his former team, throwing for 271 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 135.3.

Coming into week eight, the Vikings are 6-1, having suffered their first loss of the season to the Pittsburgh Steelers last week 27-17. Favre showed some vulnerability last week as he committed two turnovers late in a game, but the loss is not solely on him, as Adrian Peterson couldn’t get the run game started and the Vikings as a team committed eleven penalties.

The Packers come into this week 4-2. Last week they got to beat up on one of the league’s worst teams, the Cleveland Browns. The score was 31-3, and it wasn’t close from the very beginning. After a scoreless first quarter the Packers jumped out to a 21-3 halftime lead. They added ten points in the second half winning, 31-3. The running game came on last week for the Packers, as Ryan Grant rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown.

This week has a lot more at stake than just Favre returning to Lambeau Field. If the Vikings win, they would jump out to a 7-1 record and give them the tiebreaker over second- place Green Bay. The Packers would then drop to 4-3 and be 3.5 games back behind the Vikings. If the Packers win, they would be tie the Vikings in the loss column, as the Packers would be 5-2 and the Vikings would be 6-2 and there wouldn’t be a head-to-head tiebreaker, seeing as both teams beat each other once.

This week is the halfway point in the season. Playoff talk is starting is brew up and both these teams are in the discussion. But for now, the talk this week will be Favre returning to the place he used to call home for 16 seasons. This time though, he’ll be running through the tunnel on the visiting side in a purple uniform.

Derek Johnson is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.