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Monday, July 28, 2008



Brett Favre has a contretemps with the Packers that doesn't seem to be going away. I haven't swayed from my opinion that Favre is being selfish, but I certainly also believe that he has every right to be. To be able to play in the NFL, that's a gift I wouldn't toss away on a whim, and surely Favre isn't. His quote to Peter King of Sports Illustrated:
His words to me Saturday: "I never didn't want to play. My problem was, was I committed to do the offseason program, was I going to be up to the task of doing everything that comes with it -- studying, working out, preparing? Playing was never going to be the problem. What I live for is playing the games.

"I know the perception is that I've waffled," he added. "But any veteran who's played in the league this long is going to have some doubts about playing in a 16th or 17th year. And [the Packers] wanted an answer from me early in the offseason. Ted and I talked about it. We talked about a lot of things. I reiterated to him, 'Ted, I was honest with you guys and gave you an answer March 3.' I could have faked it and came back, and no one would have ever known. I knew I could not have been committed at that time.

"Could I have forced them to wait 'til July before I gave a commitment? Sure. Like I said to Ted, 'You're right, you didn't hold a gun to my head wanting an answer.' But they wanted an answer. I felt like, from a team standpoint, the best thing was to give them an honest answer at that time. If I retired three days before camp, that would have been pretty low-class. This scenario, going back after I retired, might be low-class too, but I was honest and forthright with them.''

There should be no doubt now that the scenario, as Favre has orchestrated it, has been disastrous. It has been a terrible distraction, surely, for young Aaron Rodgers, Favre's backup for the last three seasons. As Rodgers is officially named the starter, he has to hear questions about a guy that isn't even there anymore, and who callously made an appeal to step in and take the job that was now rightfully his, as if he were a guy that kept a young couple waiting for years as he oscillated between keeping and selling property, finally sold it - then demanded the new tenants leave because he wanted to move back in. Brett - you sold the house, brother!

Now he's in a situation in which the only teams really bidding for his services - the Jets and Buccaneers - don't seem appealing to him. King thinks he knows why:
The best thing either team could do is send a GM or owner, or both, to Mississippi today or tomorrow to fact-find with Favre. He doesn't know either team well. I know the teams don't want to be seen as groveling around Favre and begging him to come because of the impression it would leave about their incumbent quarterbacks, but Favre's in a sensitive spot right now. He's human. He'd like to be loved a little bit right now, or at least gather some information so if he had to make a decision about whether to accept a trade he'd know more than he knows now.

I understand how the business works, but a visit? There's something about that idea that just makes me nauseous.

Personally, I'm beginning to think Don Banks is right:
As the days have continued to click by in the never-ending Brett Favre un-retirement saga, I've been getting the increasingly stronger hunch that the eventual outcome is going to be that Favre plays for no one in 2008. As in, stays retired. As in, never mind. As in, the mother of all much ado about nothings when everything is said and done. Thanks for coming, and keep in touch.

There may even be something poetic to come out of this mess:
He got here because he seems incapable of thinking anything out longer than 15 minutes into the future. As one NFL defensive coordinator told me this week: "He's not a guy who's ever been very reflective. He just reacts to what's in front of him. That's exactly the way he played quarterback, and that's how he's handling this. He makes it all up as he goes. Watching this story unfold is like watching him play. It's that same free-wheeling nature that he played with. He just thinks he'll figure it out on the fly, like always.''

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