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Friday, August 21, 2009
Myth and reality at the Metrodome

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

 
  Kevin Seifert/ESPN.com
  It was standing room only for the media Friday night.
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

MINNEAPOLIS -- Brett Favre jogged onto the field Friday night for pregame warm-ups at exactly 7:21 p.m. ET. At that moment, a media colleague elbowed me and said the scene in front of us -- Favre wearing a purple jersey, purple socks and horns on his helmet -- looked like a "real-life Photoshop."

I can't think of a better way to describe what unfolded in front of me and about 60,000 others over the past couple hours. The player wearing No. 4 looked like Brett Favre and carried himself like Brett Favre, but for a while it just didn't seem real. Even the most grizzled Metrodome veterans I know were blown away by how their worlds seemed to be colliding.

Maybe that's why darn near every person engaged in flash photography for the better part of an hour: To document one of the more historic days in Vikings history.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, that's about where the fun ended. Once the pomp and circumstance was over, Favre looked very much like a 39-year-old quarterback who just finished his first week of practice in almost nine months. He misfired on three of his four passes, his only completion a diving 4-yard catch by receiver Percy Harvin, and absorbed two heavy hits from an active Kansas City defense. The Vikings managed 9 yards over five plays in two series before Tarvaris Jackson replaced him.

(Those same fans booed Jackson as he jogged on the field. Classy.)

For those who are interested and don't have a live TV feed, here is what happened on Favre's four passes:

  1. Favre throws several yards wide of fullback Naufahu Tahi, who is about 4 yards away from the line of scrimmage. Linebacker Tamba Hali slams Favre to the turf after beating left tackle Bryant McKinnie.
  2. Harvin makes a diving catch of a low throw at the Chiefs' 47-yard line, but the dive causes Harvin to lose first-down yardage.
  3. Favre steps up in the pocket and fires about 15 yards downfield to receiver Jaymar Johnson, but the ball sails about 3 yards wide of Johnson.
  4. Chiefs linebacker Corey Mays bursts through the middle of the Vikings' line untouched on a blitz, slamming into Favre just as he lets go of the ball. Favre's pass falls well short of Harvin down the left sideline.

I'll have postgame reaction in a few hours.