After a Circuitous Journey, Favre Returns

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As of 1 P.M EST on August 4th, Brett Favre was back with his Green Packers teammates

(Philadelphia, Pa) – After months of speculation since his tearful “I’m Done” retirement speech, Brett Favre is back with the Green Bay Packers.  Of course his journey back to the team has taken a circuitous route to say the least.  The trek included the wild month of July 2008, where daily this ever-evolving story played out in the media had more twists and turns than a Six Flags rollercoaster.

On Saturday while in Canton, OH for the Hall of Fame inductions, I heard several media members saying that Commissioner Roger Goodell had heard enough and that he would re-instate Favre per his faxed paperwork.  Sure enough just like everyone’s Sunday morning cup of coffee before church, “the Commish” confirmed the rumor letting the venerable quarterback return to Titletown.  Favre then seized the opportunity to basically say to Packers GM Ted Thompson and Chairman Mark Murphy,  “You know what you can do with your $20 Million dollar Marketing Offer…. I am playing football”.  By Sunday night at 8 PM EST Favre, wife Deanna and agent James “Bus” Cook arrived in Green Bay via chartered plane. The scene at the airport was something out of “The Prodigal Son Returns” as the 38-year old quarterback exited the plane and waved a constituency of several hundred fans despite thunder and lightning in the area.

The Packers still do have options here (Cut Favre leaving him to go somewhere else – i.e. Minnesota Vikings, Trade him – probably wouldn’t get much in return given the situation or humiliate the future hall of famer by designating him as a backup quarterback).  But my gut feeling is that Favre has beaten Thompson and Murphy into submission.  Favre’s ego is “big”, but for the legend’s sake his standing within the annals of Green Packers football history is even bigger — this is #4 we are talking about for goodness sakes.  His deified status is part of his own doing from his glorious 17-year career resume including a Super Bowl title and 3 MVPs.  But the other half of his exalted status was definitely enabled by the Packers, who have allowed the graybeard quarterback to dictate his terms year after, after year.

So we are right back where we left off at the 2008 Combine way back in February. Favre is back on the Packers’ roster at a cost of $12.8 Million for 2008 and former 2005 first round pick Aaron Rodgers more than likely moving back to carrying a clipboard after about little over a week of being the man at the Packers’ helm.  To his credit the very professional Rodgers said of the chance to compete with the future Hall of Famer, “I’m a competitor. I’m going to compete, This isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to be a dogfight. And I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people give me a chance, but I believe in myself and I’m going to be the best I can be and let coach decide from there.”  But does anyone really believe in a fair competition that the former University of California star could beat out John Madden’s all-time favorite player at any facet of quarterbacking. 

Expect to see Favre – The “Comeback” Kid” turned an 18 TD and 18 INT ’06 season into a MVP runner-up performance in ’07 that produced a 13-win division title season for the Packers and passing numbers of 356-535, 66.5%, 4155 yards, 28 TDs and 15 INTs – on the sidelines of Lambeau field as a starting quarterback on Monday night September 8th when the Vikings take on the Packers.  Sorry Vikings fans, I failed to mention that Favre will be in a Packers’ uniform.

With the dust of this situation looking to have finally cleared for another year unless Aaron Rodgers suddenly becomes Johnny Unitas in his prime, I wish the Packers and Favre luck for the upcoming season especially in healing their lockerroom. My only request to Favre is that he decides early about his playing future for the 2009 season – let’s say February 9, 2009 right after the Pro Bowl — and for the Packers to not back down no matter how many times the veteran quarterback flip-flops.

 

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer/Analyst for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

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