What Favre says now doesn't matter
Brett Favre told ESPN after the NFC title game Sunday that he's highly unlikely to play again.
Do you really believe that?
If so, did you believe Favre when he tearfully announced at a nationally televised news conference after the 2007 season that he was retiring from the Green Bay Packers?
Did you believe him last offseason when he announced his retirement from the New York Jets and then said there was no chance that he would reconsider?
Maybe you did.
Perhaps you didn't.
But either way, don't believe him now.
Look, this isn't to say that Favre is lying. He simply has a habit of thinking out loud, and then changing his mind later.
The Minnesota Vikings fell a single, agonizing step shy of the Super Bowl when they lost an overtime game Sunday at the Superdome to the New Orleans Saints. Favre was beat up during the game. He continued to play after suffering what looked like a serious injury to his left ankle on a high-and-low hit by two Saints defenders that should have drawn a roughing-the-passer penalty, given the NFL's rule against hitting a quarterback below the knees after Tom Brady's injury last season. When Favre spoke to reporters after the game, he resembled a boxer after a fight.
But Favre probably believed he was retiring the last two times as well, and believed that he would stick to those decisions.
The fact is that the guy likes to play football and, as he demonstrated this season, he still can play it rather well, even at age 40.
As Favre said Sunday during his postgame news conference: "I'd like to win the Super Bowl. Who wouldn't? Of course, I can't print anything for you guys, but I know I'm going out on top, one way or the other. I mean, I didn't feel like I had anything to prove coming in. But if there were doubters out there, maybe I served notice to them. But my goal was to get to Miami. Obviously that's not going to happen. But if it is [his last game], no doubt, I'm on top."
Indeed he is. He secured a Pro Bowl spot this season and he did it based on his play, not just on his reputation. He finished fourth in the NFL most valuable player voting.
The Vikings were a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season and likely will remain that next season. It remains a good situation for Favre. The Vikings still will have Adrian Peterson, a good offensive line and a solid defense. They have good receivers who looked better playing for Favre than they'd ever looked playing without him.
Favre doesn't need the money. But the money is good and that almost always counts for something, even to those who don't necessarily need it.
Even Favre seemed to sense Sunday that whatever he felt or whatever he said immediately after the game about his football future might not have lasting value.
"I know people are rolling their eyes, or will roll their eyes," Favre said after the game. "In a situation like this, I really don't want to make a decision right now based solely on what happened because I do know the year could not have gone any better aside from not going to Miami. I really do enjoy the guys. I just wonder if I can hold up, especially after a day like today, physically and mentally. That was pretty draining. I am gonna go home a couple days and talk to everyone in the family."
Vikings Coach Brad Childress said he told Favre to go home and heal, and they'd talk later.
Last offseason, Favre signed with the Vikings in August. Even if he announces his retirement in the coming weeks, why believe him?
If fool me once is shame on you and fool me twice is shame on me, then what is fool me three times? Something not too personally flattering, one would guess.
It's not what Brett Favre says now or what he says a week or two weeks from now. It's not even what he says in a month or two.
It's what he says when it's just about time to play football again next season.
And he just can't seem to stay away, not when he still can play like he played this season.
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Posted by: kguy1 | January 27, 2010 11:29 AM
Posted by: BMACattack | January 26, 2010 6:55 PM
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