I've definitely been a Brett Favre hater and the amount that he is fawned over and worshiped in the media disturbs me greatly. That being said, I would not want to see the last play in Favre's career be a terrible interception that denied his team a shot at attempting a game-winning field goal with a Super Bowl berth on the line.
It all started so well for Minnesota on Sunday. They marched down the field for two touchdowns on their first two possessions. For the majority of the game, the Vikings looked like the better team, moving the ball with ease on the Saints' defense. They also held Drew Brees and New Orleans' offense at bay for much of the evening.
Unfortunately for Favre and the Vikings they didn't capitalize on this domination by turning the ball over 5 times, including one at the end of the first half and Favre's interception at the end of regulation.
After Reggie Bush muffed a punt close to the end of the first half deep in Saints territory, giving the ball Minnesota with 1:13 left on the clock. Two plays later, with the Vikings looking poised to punch it in for a touchdown, Favre and Adrian Peterson royally screwed up a handoff and the Saints promptly pounced on the ball and took the game into halftime tied up at 14.
Favre's interception at the end of regulation not only cost the Vikings a shot at a Super Bowl, but was also exactly the kind of careless, gunslinger throw that Favre had curbed his natual instinct for all year. Rolling out of the pocket to his right with room in front of him to gain 5-7 yards, Favre instead threw a wobbly ball that hung in the air across his body to Sidney Rice about 15 yards down the field.
The pass was easily picked off by Tracy Porter and the Vikings never gained possession of the ball again as the Saints drove down for the game-winning kick on the opening series of overtime.
For Favre and the rest of his Vikings teammates, yesterday would have been one of the most frustrating days of their entire football playing careers. They were a better team yesterday in nearly every aspect of the game than the Saints, but when you turn the ball over five times, you are leaving the window of opportunity open for your opponent and against Drew Brees that can spell disaster.
They can lament a possible roughing the passer call that was missed, or the phantom pass interference call on Ben Leber in overtime, but when all is said and done the Vikings can only blame themselves for this loss.
For Favre the end could not have been more excruciating. He must have seen visions of Corey Webster from two years ago after throwing his second interception at the end of the game. For most of the season Fave had avoided that kind of throw completely, but his knack for turning the ball over reared its head for the Vikings at a most unfortunate time.
There's not a player I may dislike more, but you never want to see a legend like Favre end his career on such a disappointing note. It wasn't that he lost, which I was rooting for, but that he lost because of his and teammates' miscues rather than being outplayed.
For Favre's sake I'd bet he comes back and to give himself another shot at erasing his recent playoff failures next year with a Vikings team that should look very similar next year. I can't stand him one bit, but a player of his caliber certainly deserves to end his career on his own terms, something he has the opportunity for next year.