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Commentary: State of purple welcomes Favre

"Bretter late than never?" read the West Central Tribune's sports headline Wednesday.

How true!

Brett Favre arrived on the Minnesota Vikings practice field Tuesday, gray beard and all, with a torn rotator cuff and a bionic quarterback's arm that was surgically repaired in May.

His arrival sparked interest that is almost unsurpassed in Minnesota history since the days of the Purple People Eaters.

For example:

- A helicopter followed Favre's SUV from St. Paul to Viking headquarters in Eden Prairie.

- Media galore descended upon the same location.

- And the Vikings have sold more than 3,200 season tickets since Favre's signing.

All this excitement is over a 39-year-old player who won his last of three-consecutive MVP awards when he was 27. However, he certainly is a Hall of Fame candidate.

The reality is that even at 39, Favre is likely better than the three quarterbacks on the Vikings roster. In the first half of the 2008 season, he played at a Pro Bowl level for the New York Jets before being injured.

Favre's leadership alone will be the biggest key to success for the Vikings team in 2009. He has quickly taken control of the team huddle. He knows how to win. Moreover, even when injured in 2008, he never missed a start.

Those four qualities have been missing on the field during the Viking coaching tenure of Brad Childress.

Most importantly, Favre's arrival brings a sense of excitement in Viking land, which we have not seen since former owner Red McCombs rode into town with his cry of "purple pride" and drafted Randy Moss.

In true Minnesota nice tradition, we welcome Favre to the land of purple where people love the Vikings.

We wish Favre the very best in the coming football season, especially when playing that team from Wisconsin.

Skol, Vikings!

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