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)

Brett Favre Announces his Retirement as the NFL Says Goodbye to an Icon

(Philadelphia, Pa) — Fans always remember where they were and what they were doing when “their guy” did something special.  Well on March 4th 2008 an “American icon” Brett Lorenzo Favre gave his millions of fans one last moment to savor of his Hall of Fame level career as he announced his retirement.  Though he started out as a free bird kid quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons in 1992 – I can still remember loose cannon Falcons head coach Jerry Glanville calling his 3rd string quarterback “Mississippi”, because he couldn’t say ‘Farv’ correctly during his rookie season – the ‘crazy kid’ became a man and then a legend in Green Bay, Wisconsin producing an NFL Films vault worth of treasures in his 17-year career that will surely end in Canton, Ohio at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.His last pass may have been intercepted by the Giants cornerback Corey Webster ending the Packers’ NFC Championship game, but it was fitting that the pass was thrown in the snow of the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau field.  Favre endeared himself to all fans with his genuine kid like enthusiasm for the game.  His giddily waltzed through the storm of seventeen NFL seasons winning a Super Bowl (XXXII, of course winning the MVP) and producing numerous records including most career NFL touchdown passes (442), most career NFL passing yards (61,655), most career pass completions (5,377), most career passing attempts (8,758), most career NFL interceptions thrown (288), his “iron man” most consecutive starts quarterback streak (253 and you can make it 275 if you include the playoffs), and most career victories as a starting quarterback (160).  But it was his enthusiasm along with his everyman humility – Remember Favre’s quote after breaking Dan Marino’s yardage record in week 15, “I’ve said this all along: I’ve never considered myself to be in the same league as Dan Marino”.  He added “What a great passer, maybe the greatest passer ever — that made everyone love him to the point that you had to root for him even if he was on the opposing team’s sideline.  Fans sometimes ask me is it all an act by #4 with all of the smiling, laughing, and his just plain having fun approach to football.  To answer them in a word “No” as his passion for the game stems from a pure love of “street” football that we all remember from our youth. 

Everyone has moments of Favre that they will tell their grandchildren about like the Super Bowl win over the Patriots where he and Reggie White brought the title back to “Title Town”, the magical December 2003 night in Oakland where playing through tears he won one for his Dad throwing four touchdowns in a 41-7 rout as every pass seemed to find a receiver, snowball fighting on the field in the playoff win over the Seahawks this season, taking on Warren Sapp after sacks, blocking on end-around plays downfield, and numerous other stories.  But my Favre memory is a personal one that shows the “character” of the retiring legend.  It happened on December 3rd, 2001 in Jacksonville, Florida.  As the nation was still hurting from September 11th   — I still remember not feeling too safe on the flight —  I went to Florida to do a piece on Packers backup quarterback Henry Burris and to see the Monday Night match-up between the Jags and Packers.  At the Packers’ team hotel it was like a scene out of a rock star’s life as everyone wanted to see Brett as they thought his retirement was near – little did they know he would play until 2007.  Wide-eyed I introduced myself to him by calling him “Mr. Favre” as I stood talking to Burris.  Through all the madness of humanity in the lobby that day, in his “Favre” way he told me to call him “Brett” and proceeded to tell me how well Burris was learning his playbook and praised him.  The moment was only a few minutes, but I appreciated him spending time with us.  Also from talking to Burris, I could sense how he marveled at hanging out with and learning from one of the NFL’s best on a daily basis on the practice field and in meetings.  By the way in one the best games I have seen live, #4 led the Packers to a comeback 28-21 victory throwing for numbers of 24-42, 362 yards, 3 TDs, and no interceptions.

The 2007 NFL season now takes on a significant note as it was the last time that we saw one of the NFL’s All-time greats at his very best.  The rickety 38-year old graybeard’s play was inspiring as he threw for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns leading the Packers to a NFC North division title and back to playoffs culminating in hosting a picturesque NFC Championship game in frigid Lambeau field.  I am glad for Favre that he went out on his own terms, because too often players want one more game and never receive it.  Though football’s John Wayne is through throwing passes, his legend will continue to grow by the day and happily we will all plan to see him in Canton in a few years. 

Good Luck Brett and we will miss you!!