Brett Favre and the Vikings had a magical 2009 season before losing the Saints in the NFC Championship Game. Nobody can take that away from Favre. But the thing that sticks with him the most is the "dagger" of an interception he threw at the end of regulation when the Vikings were driving within range of a game-winning field goal attempt for then-Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell.
Tracy Porter intercepted Favre's pass and the Saints went on to beat the Vikings with a field goal in overtime. Favre recounted that moment in an interview with MMQB.
"Man, that was a magical year. It just seemed like on that drive, I remember thinking, I was beat to hell, but I remember thinking, This is meant to be. Because I grew up a Saints fan, and here we were, driving down to beat them. That pass was obviously a dagger in the heart. Like fourth-and-26 against Philadelphia. I was thinking, There’s no way they’re converting this. They did. We lost. That was one of those years."
It's painful for Vikings fans, and it's part of why the Vikings came in at No. 5 in NFL.com's new "Pain Rankings."
As a consolation prize, Favre can take solace knowing that his his relationship with Green Bay started to improve thanks to a couple of text messages from Packers general manager Ted Thompson following Minnesota's wins over Green Bay in 2009.
Favre will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and have his No. 4 retired this weekend.
Urlacher: Vikings didn't help Favre when he was down
In 2010, Favre's career came to a crushing halt when he smacked his head against the frozen turf at TCF Bank Stadium, suffering a concussion in what proved to be the final game of his career.
The Vikings played the Bears that game, and ex-Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher told ESPN why he'll never forget it.
"I’ll never forget that game because his teammates didn’t go help him when he was on the ground, man,’’ Urlacher said. "I was standing over him and I remember saying, `Hey, you OK?’ And he never said a word, and I was like, `You guys need to get somebody out here.’ He was messed up.’’
Believe it not, that was nearly five years ago.