1991 was a happier time, by all accounts. I was eleven years old, Tecmo Super Bowl was fresh and new, and the horrors or work and bills and car repairs and diabetic cats and other such matters had not yet begun to take their toll on my addled mind. Up North, the Chicago Bears were still good. Granted, these were the waning years of the Ditka era, but enough Super Bowl leftovers were holding things down, and my beloved Neal Anderson was still tearing things up, so times were good and occasional playoff games were won. The lean times of the Wannstedt-coached Bears had not yet come, and for a time, it seemed that all would remain relatively well for untold ages, 11-5 seasons would be the norm, and the Chicago Bears would remain at the pinnacle of semi-respectability.
But in the South, a shadow was rising.
At first, he appeared to be no more than a slight blip on a radar screen, a laughable quarterback whose passes fluttered into the hands of practice squad-bound defensive backs, destined for a career of five years or less. Buried on a depth chart behind Chris Miller and Billy Joe Tolliver and impressing no one in clean-up duty, he was not unlike a gnat, an insignificant annoyance, unworthy of mention; nothing. Lacking both the heart and the brains of a typical NFL quarterback, he would surely drink his way out of professional football, and after blowing all his money on a Ford Mustang collection, he would spend the next fifteen years working light construction before dying in a bar fight. At least that's how things were supposed to have worked out.
But soon, it would be announced that the Atlanta Falcons would trade this apparent future failure to the Packers, in the ancient and storied kingdom of Green Bay. The future still appeared bleak, for their stasting quarterback was a mighty wizard known as "Majik" to many, or "Don Majkowski" to his mom and anyone else who remembered that the J was silent. He stood proud and tall, and his passes were objects of great beauty, and so, it appeared, he would remain the leader of this football team, for some time.
But it was not to be, and the age of Brett Favre was about to begin. For while he gave the outward appearance of an ignorant, pill-popping bumpkin, he labored in secret, and indeed sought to overthrow the Majik Man. And lo , after many arcane rituals involving human infant sacrifice, blood orgies involving the human infants that hadn't been sacrificed yet, and huge handfuls of Vicodin, Majkowski was struck down in his prime with a thunderbolt to the rotator cuff, and a new power arose in Green Bay.
In his new role as team leader, he was immediately embraced and beloved, and with his new-found passing skills, ripped from the core of Don Majkowski's shattered soul, the Packers soon found success. The determination, the gritty toughness that he displayed on the field soon brought him fame and glory, and with cunning and sinister guile, he grew his legend even more by putting forth that it was all for the love of the game and nothing more. He smiled, pumped his fists, and spoke honeyed words to the sports media who adored him, knowing that as long as he kept putting forth the appearance of being all "oh hey shucks fellas, just tossin' that there football around, say, have y'all seen my dog yet?" and hiding his true nature, he could easily conceal his lust for power. And his shadow only grew ever larger when the Packers claimed victory in the Super Bowl, and it was then that the Ring was forged.
For in professional sports, each player, coach, owner, random office worker, and towel manager who belongs to a championship team receives a special ring. Now granted, there are very, very many of these rings, (I bet the dude from Pawn Stars has at least a few) and in the NFL alone, sixty or more are handed out each year, but nevertheless, they remain an important symbol of victory and glory on the field of battle. For most players, many of whom never are granted the honor of wearing one, this is the ultimate in achievement. But Favre cared not for victory, not for glory, and definitely not for honor. He craved power. And soon, with this Ring, he would have it.
For even though the Packers would not again taste championship glory, his words and his appearance still seemed fair, and he was still honored and lavishly praised by many in the media. And through the black magic of Brett Favre, one by one, they fell; one by one, they were ensnared. And through the power of their words, printed and spoken, the power of the Ring grew, until it was, at long last, declared to be a Ruling Ring, a ring to tower over all other rings in its magnificence. It was, in the eyes of Favre's slaves and servants, the One Ring. As it was told in a rhyme by the blackened, twisted wraith, once known as Peter King:
Three rings for the red-skinned kings under the Beltway,And indeed, his powers grew, and he became the Dark Lord of professional football. Serving as both king and god to his enslaved subjects, they continued to sing songs of praise, and swing from his terrible scrotum as no scrotum has been swung from, before or since. He was spoken of as potentially the greatest quarterback of all time, despite other quarterbacks such as Montana and Aikman having several more Rings in their possession, and lesser men, Dilfer not the least among them, having just as many as he. No stretch was too far in making such a point, with some even going so far as to declare him the greatest quarterback with only one win, as though that actually meant something. In their eyes, the Dark Lord could do no wrong. But for a time, in the real world, it seemed he could do nothing but wrong.
Six for the Yinzers in their halls of steel,
Two for Fat Humps doomed to die of high cholesterol,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Hattiesburg where the shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them
One Ring to bring them all and in his Wranglers bind them
In the Land of Hattiesburg where the shadows lie.
For while it granted to him great power, the One Ring also gave him unnatural long life, and while it still allowed him to play on a professional level at the age of 735, his slow decay was all too evident. His passes went off-course, the interceptions began mounting, and actual critics arose, and even after sacrificing his own father in a dark, murderous ritual to absorb his strength, it became clear that his time was ending, and that Aaron Rodgers would soon claim his place on the dark throne. It was then that his fair mask began to slip, revealing the Dark Lord in all his cruel malice, and even after using all his tricks and dark craft to retain as much attention as possible - for attention is the key to his power - he was cast out of the kingdom, and Green Bay would be troubled by his foul spirit no longer.
Like all truly evil things, he was drawn to an evil place, New York, a grim and Satanic city whose continued existence is the surest sign that a benevolent God is but a fairy-tale. There with memories of their own drunken, overrated quarterback who only won the big one once still fresh after four decades, they leaped at the chance to claim the Dark Lord as their own. What resulted was a disaster, a nightmare of a football season that is best not recounted here, but it involved shoulder injuries, lost games, and electronic pictures of the Dark Lord's tiny, tiny dick. Whether the penis was like that to begin with, or whether it was that way through some treachery of the ring cannot be told. But summing the whole situation up : LOL. And in less than a year's passing, he was cast out of even a kingdom as foul and dark as himself, and to many, it appeared as though his tale had ended.
But some things that should not have been forgotten were lost, and evil was not destroyed. Using all that remained of his dark powers of enchantment, he mystified yet another team's upper management, and lusting for their own Ring of Power, the Minnesota Vikings gave him a new home. But things are different now. The boyish looks and seeming innocent purity of a kid who just loves him the shit out of some football are both long gone, and Favre's twisted, misshapen form has been revealed, and it is known to all that he truly is the Dark Lord, a fell creature of horror and injustice, and even worse, one with a puny little peepee. The love and adulation are gone, the interceptions outnumber the touchdowns, and even the sportswriters are no longer being held in thrall. For they all have now seen the darkness. The darkness that some of us have known about for a long, long time.
Because as the Dark Lord grew in power, it was in Chicago that his hammer-stroke fell hardest. Game after game of watching Sunday massacres unfold, while pathetic Wannstedt and Jauron-coached teams were bloodied and broken by the Dark Lord's forces. We all watched in horror as touchdown after touchdown was thrown, and watched in complete fucking utter annoyance as TV announcers wouldn't stop talking about that fucker, even when there was no logical way to even stretch what was going on out there into some sort of Favre reference. But goddammit, we knew all along. We knew. We didn't know where the bodies were buried, but we knew they were out there. And for years, we had to hold all this bullshit in, while ESPN types sucked his puny little dick, and forty year old white guys wore #4 jerseys everywhere, because as far as they knew, he was just like them. But no longer. The rest of the world now knows what I've known for years, the rest of the world is sick of seeing his stupid face and hearing his stupid voice, and the rest of the world wants to be rid of that dong-gobbler now and from motherfuckin' now on. And I'm sorry if I couldn't keep the Tolkien jive going any longer, because this has been building for a long time. And goddammit, the time is now.
This season is probably lost, the playoffs seem less and less likely, and the Bears' Super Bowl hopes ended somewhere around the third preseason game. But this season can still go down as one of the greatest in history. Because if this team is to do anything this season; if this team is to only do one thing completely right, let it be this game. It's time to put baby to bed. We must hit him. Hit him high, hit him low; it makes no difference. Crush him, break his ancient bones, and send him to go deal with his soon-to-be-broken marriage, which would have been just fine right now, had he retired for real the first time. He wants to be remembered as the guy who left everything he had out there on the field? Fine, but whatever he leaves out there is eventually getting taken away on the little trainers' golf cart thingy.
It's time to end our long national nightmare once and for all, and inadvertently revive the Vikings' 2011 playoff hopes in the process. Break him, throw him down from his dark tower, and finally let good prevail.
Pound-for-pound, the Bears are no match for the Vikings, and in all likelihood, the final score will reflect that. But for the sake of football, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of anyone who has ever tried to sit through an entire televised football game in the last decade, this is a task where failure is not an option. Win or lose, the Dark Lord must fall. The Dark Lord must fall.
For real though: Vikings 31, Bears 17.