You really didn't expect that Brett Favre would just show up to Vikings headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN without some sort of sideshow, did you?
On Tuesday morning, the internet lit up like a pinball machine with the speculation that Favre would not return for a 20th season and thus would retire for the third time in 2-1/2 years. Amazingly, a fair amount of my fellow Vikings rubes feel this is really the end. One minor flaw, though: We have yet to hear anything from Favre himself, so who knows how all the retirment rumors came about. But I have a feeling Favre doesn't mind the speculation. After all, if it bothered him in the least, he could end all the quibbling with one felt swoop of his signature on NFL retirement papers.
In late July of last year, Favre opted to stay retired because he felt he couldn't physically play at a level that was acceptable. But a few weeks later Favre was being chauffeured (courtesy of coach Brad Childress) to Vikings headquarters to sign a two-year contract. My suspicion is Favre's concern about his physical well being was being overblown in an effort to provide an alibi for potentially shoddy play during the regular season.
So do I think Favre is now exaggerating the condition of his surgically repaired ankle? Not really. But like last year, he seems to be seeking reassurance that the Vikings coaching staff really wants him to give it a go. Again, I'm certain Favre doesn't mind it when an organization fawns all over him, something the Green Bay Packers refused to do in the Summer of 2008.
Despite not being able to walk away the past few years, Favre may actually retire this time. As a result, this may infuriate a fair amount of the Vikings faithful. But it would be wise not to direct that anger towards Favre himself. You see it was the Vikings brain trust who pinned their hopes on Favre returning for the 2010 season despite never receiving one reassurance from the QB himself. In the mean time, Donovan McNabb was very much available in a trade had the Vikings decided to go that route. It would have cost them nothing to cut Favre loose since he had no guaranteed money owed him.
Just remember that if/when we see Tarvaris Jackson under center come September.