For all of the bluster about Obama being a liberal (he isn't) who is leading the U.S. into socialism (it's not) and all the concurrent yelling and screaming about FREEDOM!!! ...the truth is that most Americans, when push comes to shove, are really communists at heart. I don't mean theoretically sounds Marxists or Chinese Communo-capitalists or Latin American popular dictators—I mean old-school European Soviet Communists; you know, the kind who talk about "we're a democratic and free country," but who really mean, "you are free to do only what we say you can do."
I first realized this at the beginning of the decade when I served a three-year term on our city council here in my home town. Part of my duties included serving on a number of citizens advisory boards, including the one for Parks and Recreation. The park department had successfully passed a modest sales tax increase to fund their operations, and after several years of outstanding management with no pay raises at all, the Park Board budgeted a substantial raise for the director. People here freaked out. We had a public hearing at the library, and there were more than 50 people there, and they all basically had the same thing to say: "I couldn't get that big of a raise at my job, so why should he get such a big raise?"
Practically everyone who has a comment on Brett Favre and his recent signing with the Minnesota Vikings, including my childhood hero and the reason I'm a Vikings fan, Fran Tarkenton, are communists. The line basically goes like this: "Favre said he retired. He has no right to come out of retirement. The Vikings said they were moving on. They had no right to sign Favre after all."
Give me a freaking break, communists. Let me address the critics one by one.
Fran Tarkenton: Dude, I love you; you're my hero, and I'll always cherish the memories, but here's the reality—no one outside of Minnesota even knows who you are anymore. Who's next, Bud Grant? I would give anything to have seen you raise that Lombardi trophy, but you had three tries to get it done and came up short each time. Chill out on the anger. The Vikings are better with Favre than without him.
Sports writers and TV commentators: These people are maggots and parasites. I think about them the way Lou Brown, manager for the Cleveland Indians in "Major League" does: "I'm for wasting sports writers' time; let's see if we can make them eat a s*** sandwich." They all whine about how sick they are of the Brett Favre story, then talk about it all day long. LIARS! You love Brett Favre! You worship Brett Favre! You light candles at an altar in the break room in prayer that Favre does this year after year so you have something to talk about! Does anyone think the national media would have more than 30 seconds to talk about the Vikings other than, "Vikings lose, their QBs suck," with their previous QB staff? Please...
Green Bay Packers: I'm an old-school Vikings fan, so anything that cause pain and angst for Packers fans and players gives me the warm, soothing comfort that only schadenfreude can bring. Upset? Burning Favre jerseys? Losing sleep at night? Eating way too many sausages? Slipping deeper and deeper into dysfunctional alcoholism? Good! It's what you cheese heads deserve!
Minnesota Vikings: Let me quote former Jets and Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards: "You play...to win...the game!" The only Vikings players upset with the Favre signing are named Sage and Tarvaris (stupid names for QBs anyway). The fact of the matter is that if either one of them had enough skills to start and win in the NFL, none of this ever would have happened. Favre was Minnesota's best option to win it all now, this year, while all their pieces are in place. If you want to know the reality of this signing, look at Vikings single-game and season ticket sales since the signing was announced—they had to shut it down because the demand crashed their computers. Real Vikings fans know that T-Jack was worse than Marc Bulger; we were never going to win with him. Rosenfels was a backup on a Houston team that can't finish better than .500. Neither of these guys was going to take us to the top of the mountain. Maybe Favre won't, but we know that he can.
Everyone else: Freedom means freedom to do something that you don't agree with or like. It also means the freedom to voice your displeasure, but when your only argument is, "He said he retired; he should stay retired. The Vikings shouldn't have signed him (even though he was a free agent) because it's not fair to the other quarterbacks. Favre shouldn't play for Minnesota because he used to play for Green Bay," then as far as I'm concerned, you're one of those sad people in the library complaining that someone else doing a different job than you do for a different company than you work for is getting a raise that seems too big just because you've never gotten one of those yourself. And when you demand that everyone be treated the same, and you impose arbitrary rules upon everyone else based on your perception of what constitutes fairness, then that makes you a...