The Cutler-Favre effect

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I just finished reading the comments from the last couple posts. Lots of great thoughts and ranging opinions on this whole Favre matter.

One thing I didn’t mention in any of my previous posts on Favre-to-Vikings, is that I think the Favre signing will be a significant psychological boost for the Vikings. Earlier this year, when Jay Cutler Favred himself out of Denver (or was pushed out Denver depending on your perspective), lots of folks initially said that the Bears gave up way too much to get him. They did give up a lot, no question. But I think it was a smart move (and a surprising one for Angelo). I figured the Bears signing Cutler would be an instant psychological boost for the Bears. It was and importantly, the excitement has only grown in Chicago since the signing – training camp was wild with Cutler there.

In many ways, the Cutler to Bears situation is similar to the Favre to Vikings situation. Both QBs have the luxury of having fine RBs and good running games behind them. Both will have decent O-Lines. Both will probably have good defenses to support them (if the Williams’ duo aren’t suspended). Both will be throwing to mediocre, at best, receivers. Both are self-centered, clearly. But perhaps the most significant similarity is that both QBs have landed on teams that have struggled to find consistent/quality QBs over the years. And because of this, the positive psychological effect their acquisition will have on the respective organizations, fans, coaches, teammates, will be huge.

Some may dismiss this psychological stuff as “fluff”/as not being a legit factor, but I think psychology is a huge part of football. Before the Cutler signing, I had the Bears hovering around .500 – same with the Vikes. But after these signings, I think both will now compete with the Packers for NFC North supremacy. When the perception is that THE position that has been a question mark for both teams for a while now has been settled, it has the psychological effect of inundating the team with confidence. Even if the reality may be different and even if there may be legit statistical reasons why these signings shouldn’t be a boost, if the perception is that the QB position has been at least temporarily shored up, chances are, that flow of confidence will carry forward and lead to some extra success in the season.

In fact, what I find somewhat interesting is that we’re already seeing the positive psychological effect of Favre’s signing on the Vikings – and yet at this point in his career, I view Favre as a mentally fragile athlete. Will his confidence be restored because of the support from a team that desperately wanted him or will his mental fragility infect his new teammates?

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6 Responses to “The Cutler-Favre effect”

  1. Cindy V Says:

    Didn’t Brett fire up the Jets when he first got there? Didn’t the sale of his jersey break records for them? Didn’t the ticket sales go up with Brett’s signing by New York? The team did start winning games under Favre’s leadership—not doubt there. But the boost didn’t last the season. There’s no telling what would have happened had Favre’s arm stayed healthy. No telling how long he’ll stay healthy in MN, either.

  2. Packsmack Says:

    I agree. Psychological boost = optimism = courage.

  3. Joe Says:

    The boost generally goes away once reality jumps up and smacks you in the face. Optimism is no substitute for talent, hard work and solid coaching.

  4. Kozak Says:

    Well, a big buildup makes for a big letdown if the result doesn’t meet up with the hype. It will all depend on how Cutler and Favre preform. The Bears and Vikings have been down this road before ( see Culpepper, Grossman et al).

    • Aristomenes Says:

      When the perception is that THE position that has been a question mark for both teams for a while now has been settled, it has the psychological effect of inundating the team with confidence.

      I agree with Kozak and Joe – the slightest problem will start the unraveling, and it will snowball from there, wrapping (through unraveling?) both organizations up in an orgy of blame and disaster.

    • Aristomenes Says:

      OOPS! I forgot to comment on the quote I pasted: “inundate” carries a negative connotation, as in “inundated with floodwater” or “inundated with hate mail”. Overconfidence in these two (Cutler and Brent Farve) is an inundation that will swamp these teams.

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