For many fans, this Sunday’s matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints brings a bit of deja vu. That is because the last time these two teams met, it was in the 2009 NFC Championship Game that still gets talked about to this day thanks to its brutal nature.
Among the notable highlights of the game was the Saints’ thrashing of then-veteran quarterback Brett Favre. According to ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, Favre has revealed in his documentary “Shocked: A Hidden Factor in the Sports Concussion Crisis,” that he had indeed suffered a head injury during the game:
“A concussion doesn’t necessarily have to be knocked out cold and removed from a game, although the new protocol is in place to remove you from a game even if you’re not walking sideways or your arm goes stiff or whatever,” Favre said.
“You may even be able to function as if you didn’t have a concussion, but if you have head ringing or fireworks or any kind of fogginess, protocol says you should be removed from the game. In that game, there was some head ringing, there was some fogginess. There were two times in which I was hit by [former Saints safety] Darren Sharper late. He lunged at my head and both of them were pretty devastating hits, but I stayed in the game. One they threw a flag, one they didn’t. Why they didn’t throw the other, I have no idea. If head ringing or fireworks is a concussion, yeah, I did have that.”
While Favre’s revelation may have been somewhat shocking, it was not the least bit surprising. The Saints defense came at him with everything they had that day. The fact that he was concussed also makes the horrendous pick he threw late in that game to seal the game for the Saints a little less egregious.
Only years later the NFL had learned of the players’ extra incentive to hit Favre that day under the wishes of then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. As many know, both Williams and head coach Sean Payton were then suspended for an entire year as a result of “Bountygate.”