By Karl Terry: PNT columnist
It all came down to Monday Night football and I choked.
This past week was the first time I was a real contender to win the weekly office football pool. After Sunday’s games I was tied with one other guy and we had picked on each side of the Green Bay and Minnesota game. In my mind I thought I had picked Brett Favre and the Vikings to win but, in fact, I had picked the Packers.
I thought it would be a good game, instead it became a highlight reel for Favre’s section of the Hall of Fame. The 30-23 loss turned out to be Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ worst nightmare.
Never mind that anytime the Packers face the Vikings it’s a grudge match. This time around it was personal with Favre going up against the team he led since many of the players involved were in grade school. Favre wanted to beat his old team and Rodgers wanted to get the Favre monkey off his back.
A Denver Broncos fan myself, watching Rodgers reminded me of John Elway in the early years — running for his life because he couldn’t get any protection and seeming the only guy on his team making plays happen.
On the flipside, watching Favre reminded me of Elway’s later years — say for instance that Super Bowl where he bested none other than Favre himself. Both that Super Bowl and last Monday’s game featured Hall of Fame talent placed amid solid supporting casts and outstanding performances.
I’ve got to admit I have been among those who felt Favre had done his career and his legend great damage by coming back so many times. I was one of the loudest groaners when it was announced Favre had come to terms with the Vikings. Hadn’t he learned anything from his injury-shortened season with the New York Jets?
Evidently the surgery he had during the off-season really worked well because he looked like the old Brett Favre. Evidently he had the same problems with his throwing bicep that Elway had in the end of his career. Elway tried to fix it with a complicated surgery that took a long recovery time. The story I read said if Favre had done the same procedure he wouldn’t have been back in time for this season.
I know first hand how hard it is, once you reach middle age, to get the body to do the things that were once easy. I can’t always face down the nagging little pains and take that extra mile on a walk or do that extra measure of physical labor in the yard.
I admit I got a few chills watching Favre beat the Vikings. The guy, who turned 40 last week, was having more fun than a youth league player in his first game. I like to see the old guy win, maybe because I am one.
As for Aaron Rodgers all I can say is your day will come. Some day instead of looking over your shoulder and seeing the entire Vikings pass rush bearing down, instead you’ll see your own youth back there.