The Shutdown Eleven counts down a list of eleven NFL-related things, in order of the editor's preference. In this installment, we look at the most interesting players heading into the 2010 NFL season.
The nine-spot might seem a little low for a man who's gone out of his way to make himself the biggest spectacle in sports, but at this point, Brett Favre is Hulk Hogan. You can try to make it different -- put him up against different villains, change his outfit a little bit -- but at the end of the day, you're going to get the same big-boot/leg-drop combo you've gotten for decades.
That doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. Brett Favre's leg drop was just as effective in 2009 as Hulk Hogan's was against the Iron Sheik in 1984.
But nothing lasts forever. Sooner or later, Favre's going to get to where Hogan is now, bottoming out on some third-rate show watched weekly by about 19 people. The questions for Favre are 1) Is that year 2010?; and 2) Will his gimped-up ankle speed the process towards "Come on, someone get this old man off my TV" territory?
If not, and Favre can put up a season anywhere close to his 2009, the Vikings are Super Bowl contenders. Perhaps even favorites. But if he's not as sharp as he was, or he can't stay on the field, then the Vikings will have gone through an awful lot of drama for nothing.