In one of the more bizarre stories to come out of the Brett Favre saga is the role he can play according to a dearth of hypothetical data. ESPN commissioned a study by a company called AccuScore to determine what impact Favre would have on the NFC North Division. According to the story, AccuScore conducted 10,000 computer-simulated NFL seasons without Favre being on the Vikings – splitting Minnesota starts between quarterbacks Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson. Then another 10,000 simulated seasons were run the through the computer with Favre as a Viking. Confused? Join the crowd.
When the 160,000 games played by each team – we don't believe the 10,000 seasons included the proposed plan to expand the regular season to 17 or games 5,000 seasons into the future – the results came back that signing Favre will be a good thing.
In the seasons computed without Favre on the Vikings, the Vikings, Packers and Bears end up in a near-dead heat – the Packers averaging 9.6 wins a year, while the Vikings and Bears each averaged 9.5. Even in the simulated world the Lions suck, averaging just 3.4 wins for 2009. However, with Favre, the Land of 10,000 Lakes becomes the Land of 10,000 NFC North titles.
With the Favre data included into the computer run-through, the Vikings become the big daddy of the north, averaging 10.2 wins, as opposed to 9.8 for the Packers, who surprisingly get better with Favre in the division, and the Bears at 9.4. The nightmare for Lions fans continues, since their team drops even farther – averaging just 3.3 wins a year.
There are rumors from a source close to this cyberdrama that in 2,300 of the simulations, Brad Childress did impose a deadline on Favre reporting and the deal fell through. The company apparently takes its work very seriously and provides advice to gamblers and fantasy football players. According to the ESPN story, they take into account 100 variables on players and coaches, using historical playcalling and player performance in situations like prime time, grass-to-turf, division games, etc.
They also claim the Vikings would have a better statistical season from the quarterback with Favre. In the 10,000 years of playing the 2009 season, Favre would complete 272 of 433 passes (62.8 percent) for 3,088 yards with 22 TDs and 16 interceptions. The combo platter of Sage and T-Jack would completed 256 of 429 passes (59.7 percent) for 2,944 yards with 20 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
ESPN seemed to back the computer simulations as scientific research. Then again, the network is seemingly at war with KFAN-AM Radio in Minneapolis over the Brad Childress deadline the network still maintains was issued, despite denials from both Childress and Favre directly. While the study may have some validity, it should be noted that championships are won on the field, not the hard drive.
"Our inaugural ‘State of the Vikings' event is special as this is the first large-scale effort by the team to interact with our season-ticket owners in a town hall setting," said Steve LaCroix, vice president of sales and marketing. "It is also a major piece of our efforts to build upon our year-round communication plan we have initiated with our core fan base."