Favre to Re-Re-Retire??

Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is supposedly “retiring” again…I think we have heard this before

Everyone out there must have thought Tuesday August 3rd was a network re-run as news leaked that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was going to re-re-retire. According to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune, the 40-year old passer told teammates late the prior night that he was not coming back for a 20th NFL season.  Like New York Yankees baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, “It was dejavu all over again”. 

Apparently Favre’s surgically repaired ankle – last year it was his surgically repaired shoulder – could not survive workouts with Hattiesburg, Mississippi high schoolers enough to get ready for the rigors of another NFL season.  So with this enormous news coming forward, I decided to go back into my archives to see if once again the public “could” be part of another waffling melodrama.  On July 31, 2009, I ran a piece called “Favre tells the Vikings “No Thanks”, but is he really retired”.  The entry gave quotes from No. 4 saying he was finally done and that his ailing shoulder would not allow him to comeback….Does any of this sound familiar. 

I wasn’t buying Favre’s conciliatory retirement talk in late July 2009 and until I see backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson starting under center September 9th against the New Orleans Saints in the NFL’s opening game, I am not buying it in August 2010.  Don’t even think about writing Favre’s final NFL career stats in ink, because last year on August 19th there was a piece titled “Favre unretires again and joins the Minnesota Vikings for the 2009 season”.  Yes, maybe the soon to be 41-year old (October 10th B-day) is really too tired and beat-up from the hellacious beating he took in New Orleans last January in the NFC Championship Game overtime loss to gear-up for one more season. 

But the greatest waffler in NFL history since Orlando “Pancake” Pace, just cannot stay away from the spotlight.  Favre’s final pass from the 2009 season was a risky cross-field pass that was intercepted by Saints DB Tracy Porter near the end of the regulation (19 seconds left in the game) and you know that is still haunting him.  There is no way that Favre is not ready with a crowbar to jimmy the door back open on his career.  The Vikings have assembled too much talent and Favre is such an ego-maniac that he will not let anyone else lead a team loaded with the NFL’s most Pro Bowlers (8) in 2009.  

Let’s also remember that Vikings management including head coach Brad Childress (picked Favre up at the airport in August 2009) and GM Rick Spielman will continue to rollout the red carpet for the league’s reigning old-time king.  And don’t forget that the 3-time MVP is coming off probably one his greatest statistical season ever too — in 16 starts led his team to a passed numbers of 363-531, 68.4% (career high), 33 TDs, 7 INTs (his fewest in a season), and a career-best 107.2 quarterback rating. So until I see Favre standing at the podium in Canton with his gold jacket on….I will always believe the NFL’s graybeard gunslinger quarterback thinks he has one more season left in him. 

Here’s what Tarvaris Jackson had to say about a possible Favre retirement, “I haven’t heard anything about it. I’m not looking at it any different. I’m still going to show up and work hard every day…If something happens, we’ll see…It’s always back and forth with Brett. It’s a decision. He deserves the opportunity to decide when he’s going to retire or not, whether he wants to retire or not. It’s up to him. Right now, I’m just trying to focus on getting better.” 

No. 4’s back-up added on the on-going melodrama, “”It’s been about three years now I’ve been getting asked the Brett Favre questions…It’s kind of part of my life now. I actually might miss it. Like I said, it’s his decision. He deserves however long he takes to make the decision. It’s on him and I’m just going to come out here and try to get better.”

If Favre’s decision is his final one, then hallelujah and let’s move-on to the litany of other topical stories heading into the 2010 NFL season.  I have to admit that I have been a Favre follower since his early days with the Packers when he made magical plays out of nothing almost every game.  His childlike joy for the game was like none other. But my bro-mance and the love of many NFL fans and media has definitely been stretched to its limits by his flip-flopping retire/unretire ways which definitely has tarnished his legacy. 

Though I refuse to be fooled by Favre again – trust me he will be back for $13 Million reasons and rising.  But if this is truly it — yea right — No. 4’s final legacy will be that he had a “quality” that made everyone root for him even if he was on the opposing team’s sideline. Favre’s passion for the game brought childhood “street” football to the masses and he truly was a true gambler at heart. Good Luck Brett riding off into the sunset on your tractor and please stick with staying on your farm this time.

However you know the cynical and probably “right” side of me says that in a couple of weeks, Favre’s ankle will be magically healed in time for the Vikings’ 3rd or 4th preseason game.



Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


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