Every spring, there comes a wonderful day when the Pittsburgh Steelers announce their schedule for the upcoming season. I have a ritual where I first scan the list for any of our most hated rivals (Patriots, Iggles, Cowboys). Then I go through each game and mentally evaluate my team’s chance of victory. Of course, this is not an exact science as my preliminary prediction of going 15-1 in 2009 demonstrates.
I bring this up because when I saw the Minnesota Vikings on this year’s schedule, I immediately marked that one down as a W. At the time, the Vikings were being quarterbacked by Tarvaris Jackson. The only time Jackson was able to drive the team downfield was when the ball was snapped, he took three steps backwards, handed it off superstar RB Adrian Peterson, and stood there as Purple Jesus bulldozed over the opposing defense. I figured the Steelers would feast on this one-dimensional team.
Enter Brett Favre. Favre had retired for third or fourth time (I lost track) but this time it appeared he really had thrown his last NFL interception pass. Unfortunately, as spring turned to summer and summer into fall, the Favre Saga took on more TWISTS than a M. Night Shyamalan movie. Until, finally, the dust settled and Favre was the new quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings.
I should have known better. I am a movie buff, after all. What is the first rule of the horror movie? The bad guy never dies! Every time you think they’re finished, they pop back up to menace the nerdy kid with a heart of gold and big-breasted yet misunderstood cheerleader one last time before the credits roll. And for those of us who are sick and tired of Favre and his wishy-washy attention whoring ways, the entire Favre Saga was nothing if not a horror movie.
Which reminded me, Halloween is right around the corner. I was going to do a post suggesting appropriate costumes for our favorite Steelers. You know, LaMarr Woodley as the Invisible Man, Santonio Holmes as Dirk Diggler, Skippy Reed as Lindsay Lohan. Then I watched Friday The 13th and it dawned on me, Favre doesn’t just remind me of Jason Voorhees. He IS Jason..
Let’s look at the ways each have come back from the dead. In the original film, Jason doesn’t really “die” but he is supposedly already dead, having drowned as a child attending Camp Crystal Lake. In Part II, the stupid oversexed pot-smoking teenagers think he’s dead after driving a machete though his shoulder, only to watch him come back for one final surprise. In Part III, an axe to the head fails to stop him, although it does leave him with a splitting headache. Thank you, I’m here all week. The Final Chapter (an underrated gem, in my opinion), he’s once again hacked with his own machete. Jason Lives sees him sort of drown, although his dramatically clenched fist in the final shot indicates more mayhem to come. Jason Takes Manhattan sees the toxic waste in a New York sewer fail to stop him. Next time, try using the “food” sold at one of Manhattan’s toxic hot dog vendors. You get the point.
Now let’s look at Favre’s “resurrections.” He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons, who allowed him to waste away on the bench. He was saved when the Packers traded for him. He eventually took over as their starter, leading them to their best record in 30 years. He also developed an addiction to painkillers and alcohol. Vicodin is a bad drug, folks (except when it’s really really good). Checking into rehab was, in essence, another comeback. Years later, Hurricane Katrina blew through Mississippi, causing extensive damage to his home. Favre seriously contemplated taking a year off so he could be there to shake their hands, to be there to share the land, I’m talkin’ ’bout together now! He played anyway.
That year, the Packers took Aaron Rodgers with their first round pick. Thus began the annual “Will he retire?” idiocy. In 2007, Favre had one of his best seasons ever, leading the Pack within a game of the Super Bowl. The Packers rewarded him by jettisoning him in favor of Rodgers. Favre announced his retirement. Two months later, he un-retired to play for the New York Jets. Those toxic sewer hot dogs weakened Favre as a hot start quickly fizzled into a disappointing injury-plagued year. The Jets released Brett and he retired again. This time, he stayed on the shelf for close to four months before un-retiring to suit up for the Vikes.
By my count, Jason has come back from the dead something like fourteen times. Favre, on the other hand, has made around eight figurative or literal comebacks. Advantage Voorhees. However, Brett has also made 271 consecutive starts. Jason has only made 11 movies, 12 if you count that hideous Freddy Vs. Jason crapfest. Advantage Favre. Hopefully when Friday the 13th comes this Sunday the 25th that advantage won’t be enough to deny the Steelers the victory I predicted for them many months ago.
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