This highly dramatic television series has been one of the most watched and most anticipated sports dramas to hit our homes since Friday Night Lights. In fact, us sports fans have been duped into watching the play-by-play of whether Favre will play again since 2002. Since then, every summer has turned into a Brett Favre media fiasco that has us all wondering, “Is the old man really worth all of this?” His indecision has led to his separation with the Green Bay Packers, then a season with the Jets, and then, after announcing his retirement for a second time in 2009, he signed on with the Vikings.
The Vikings are hoping that Favre doesn’t have a change of heart here as the 2010 training camps get underway. He had one of his best seasons last year, according to ESPN.com, with a quarterback rating of 107, a completion percentage of 68.4 and only seven interceptions. While taking leading the Vikings to an NFC North title, he threw for 33 touchdowns and over 4,200 yards.
Now, I must say I had a great time watching Favre play with the Vikings last year. To say that he looked like a kid having fun out on the football field game after game is an understatement. Favre was exciting, and frankly, it was hard not to pull for the guy. Billing Favre on a Monday Night Football game last year was the best TV of the season. Excitement, drama and warmhearted embraces after the game.
So, going into this season, we all know that Brett doesn’t want to participate in training camp. He really is too old for that kind of thing and his bruised and battered ankles may not be able handle them as well. We know he isn’t going to announce he is going to play until training camp is at least half over. These are things everybody knows about uncle Brett, right?
So, I must admit I was really surprised late Tuesday morning when Fox Sports Radio made the announcement that Brett Favre has decided to retire. According to the report, which has three unnamed sources, Brett Favre has told team officials that he is not coming back this year. To add to that report, according to ESPN, Favre has sent several text messages to his teammates saying, “This is it.”
Part of me wants to believe that Brett Favre is a stand-up guy and that if he plans to retire, he would notify his team just a few days after last season so the Vikings organization would have time to make thoughtful quarterback decisions, rather than at the last minute. The other part of me says this report of his retirement is just another mastermind media-inducing false-retirement story that keeps us all guessing what he is going to do next.
After hearing the Fox Sports Radio report on Tuesday and having some time to digest what is going on here, I don’t believe for a minute that Brett Favre is going to retire. He is simply killing time until training camp is over and all the pre-season games are over. Hell, he may even miss the first four games this year. Brett Favre will play football this year.
Apparently, the Fox report has the Vikings a bit worried though.
The Star Tribune reported on Wednesday that the Vikings have offered to increase Brett’s salary to $16 million guaranteed, which is $3 million more than he was scheduled to make. While I think this is kind of a foolhardy move by the Vikings (they must be new to Brett’s waiting game), the draw Favre brings to the Vikings is worth every penny spent to bring him back.
In the next week or so, Favre could hold a press conference to announce to the world that he is retiring. There will be tears. He will cry. The grey in his five o’clock shadow will be even greyer than before. He will say that he is going to retire.
Don’t believe it. As long as Brett Favre can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, Brett will always play. Ten years from now, he will be sitting out all games except division games and the playoffs. Twenty years from now, he will only play in playoff games. This show will go on forever, and ever and ever.