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Talking Points -- Favre circus will be fun to follow no matter how it all ends

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Anyone who reads the comment sections on newspaper Web sites knows they are an interesting phenomenon. Unlike the customary Letters to the Editor, contributors to comments sections can be anonymous and can say virtually anything.

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Usually, you will most often see a variety of opinions that prove that the world isn't black and white but a lot of gray -- that is until the writers all start calling each other idiots and you forget what the story was about.

But that hasn't held true in the volumes of comments being produced on the Web sites of Twin Cities newspapers and others devoted to sports regarding the Minnesota Vikings' signing of quarterback Brett Favre.

With a few exceptions, the comment camps break into two factions: The future Hall of Famer is the last piece needed to turn a promising team into a Super Bowl contender. Or, Favre is an aging egomaniac who is losing his skills and his health and should just fade into retirement and stop clawing his way back into the spotlight.

There seems to be little middle ground on Favre and the Vikings in the anonymous comment world. Love Favre, hate Favre.

So let's stake this claim: This might be the most enjoyable season in Vikings history since 1998, whether the team plays well or not.

No matter how you feel about the Favre circus, the season is going to be interesting. Neither Sage Rosenfels nor Tarvaris Jackson were showing any signs that they were on the verge of creating a sexy story line: Rosenfels as the long-time backup propelling himself to All-Pro status once given a chance; Jackson as the much-maligned "project" who finally put prodigious talents together with a wise football mind to become the star head coach Brad Childress envisioned.

With those two, it was sure to be a more negative experience watching the team this year, as each likely would fail to motivate an offense that supposedly is just a quarterback away from being a title-caliber outfit. The problems just swelled since early last season, when back Adrian Peterson ran all over the Colts in the second game of the season while Jackson mustered 14 completions, 130 yards, no touchdowns and two third-down conversions in 13 tries. The Colts scored 11 points in the final six minutes, won on a last-second field goal, Jackson was benched and the season was permanently soured, even as the team rebounded to win the division.

Those same things might happen to Favre. He's 12 years removed from the last of his three league MVP awards. He'll soon be 40 -- ancient by NFL standards -- and he's injured. But pedigree and potential still count for a lot in pro football, and Favre will be fun to watch, even if he, and the team, blows up big time.

And if he defies age and odds and calls to mind his spectacular past, that will be fun, too, even if it doesn't result in the hoped-for Super Bowl.

Vikings fans love pain -- we don't have space to recount all the instances. But we don't like dull pain, which is why we almost take perverse pride in '98 against the Falcons and 41-doughnut against the Giants.

This season was shaping up to be dull pain. With Favre around for how ever long he lasts, it automatically now will live forever in our twisted wreck of Vikings memories, either as a spectacular crash, as a thrilling but unfulfilling fun ride, or as the year it finally happened for us, like it did for the Twins in '87.

In any case, can't wait.

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