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Looks like the best is yet to come

We are charging at one of the most interesting times of the year if you love sports and the outdoors.

Brett Favre helped the Minnesota Vikings grab an even bigger share of the entertainment dollar last week by agreeing to wear purple this fall. The pandemonium his decision has caused in the state of Wisconsin has been heart-warming and it has also helped Zygi Wilf with his stadium plans. This year's Green Bay-Minnesota games are going to be greater than ever.

A pal of mine who uses metaphors much more colorful than Minnesota's jerseys when watching Viking games, believes that Favre is the missing link. This is a guy that used to throw a foam rubber brick at the TV set when the Vikings screwed up. He might be on the right track because the Vikes have a great running attack, some decent receivers and their defense has been rock solid against the run. As a writer, I like the symmetry of the once-hated Favre leading the Vikings to their first Super Bowl victory.

Favre's arrival has also done the Twins some good (along with a softer schedule). Is it just a coincidence that Minny started winning ballgames after the Vikes landed Favre? The answer might be "yes" if you are just a sports fan but "no" if you are a business type. Those guys will tell you it is money, not love, that makes the world go round.

The Twins are actually making a move up the ladder. They have played most of the toughest teams on their schedule and September has 24 dates with divisional foes. Their pursuit of a division crown could easily challenge Mr. Favre and the Vikings for the state's top dog award with the sporting set.

Speaking of dogs, they have been on my mind a lot lately. We lost our German Shorthair to cancer this summer. She was only six years old and a terrific upland hunter. Our yellow lab, who has hunted with the shorthair and I the last two years, will have to do double duty this fall. How well he will do is hard to say. It is hard to fault a lab. They generally have terrific noses and they love to hunt. They are a good, all-purpose gun dog that can stand those cold, wet, windy days when the ducks fly the best. Yet for all of their good points, they are still mainly a flushing breed. When they catch the scent of pheasant or a grouse they work until they put them in the air or catch them on the ground. My yellow lab is about a subtle as a right cross when it comes to pheasants.

Driving to work this past week I realized that this will be the first time in 30 years that I will not have a pointing dog when the upland season begins. Hunting with a pointer is very special and I intend to get another one some day. The concensus around our place right now is that fall might not be best time to train a new pup.

My son took our pointer out on hunts these past two falls when he wanted to show her off to his friends or his cousins. They practically all came away with the same sense of wonderment. When a pointer locks up on a bird you quickly understand the meaning of the word "anticipation." That stone cold stare and the slight quiver tell you to get your thumb on the safety and your index finger on the trigger as quick as you can because something is going to happen.

Favre, the Twins and hunting -- the best is yet to come.