It starts on a positive note — maybe some classic gun-slinging moments, a little singing of "Pants on the Ground" and some classic close-ups of his three-day beard — before shifting to a dramatic turn. This time, it was an NFC championship game performance in which he got beaten and battered before throwing the worst pick of his life. That is followed with the "Will he or won't he?" drama, and everyone hangs on his every word, trying to make sense of his cryptic messages. It invariably moves one way or another — he either decides to come back or decides to retire.
Now here comes the spoiler alert: The movie always ends the same way. Brett Favre plays football in the NFL.
Why would this time be any different? Why do text messages that say "This is it" mean he's gone? Why, if the man's head coach isn't even on board, is everybody buying it?
"I'm not aware of any of those reports. … I'm not a big hearsay person," Brad Childress told reporters on Tuesday. "I've got to hear it from the horse's mouth."
(Many football fans will tell you that Favre is actually more of a donkey than a horse, but that's besides the point.)
Jared Allen even told reporters that "until it's official, I'll believe it when I see it."
In a way, it's similar to the people who paid to see Titanic every day in the late '90s. They knew the ship was going down at the two-hour mark, but they just loved watching the drama that took place beforehand. For some people, it was addicting, and the same can be said about the Favre obsession.
Despite the lack of any confirmation, ESPN reverted back to "All Favre, All the Time" mode, Twitter's top trending topic was "Brett Favre" and everyone started saying things like "I can't believe this is finally it." None of it makes any sense.
Let's travel way back in time to a date that most people can't seem to remember. It was Dec. 31, 2006, and the opening of The Associated Press' game recap was written as follows:
"CHICAGO — If, indeed, this was his last game, Brett Favre went out in style."
Favre was given a standing ovation at his rival's home stadium, and he said, "If this is the last game, I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome." He also cried on television and said he just didn't know his future.
Spoiler alert: He played the next season.
Fast-forward to March of 2008. After throwing a game-ending pick in the NFC championship game against the Giants, Favre bawled his eyes out at a news conference, officially announcing his retirement from football. Just a few months later, ESPN started using "Favre" alongside categories like "MLB" and "NFL" on its news ticker, with up-to-the-second updates about everything Favre thought, said, heard and ate. By August, he was a member of the New York Jets.
And in December, he threw a crushing interception to officially end the Jets' season (see a trend developing there?).
Then came the offseason, with more retirement questions. He had some surgery, got in some exciting workouts with high school players in Mississippi and just couldn't decide what he was going to do next. Then he signed with the Vikings after all the strenuous work of training camp had been completed.
Despite all of that history, it's somehow news on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010, that Brett Favre might be retiring.
The worst part of all is that Favre could easily clarify what he meant in his text messages — if he wanted to. He could easily tell old buddy Ed Werder that he is definitely retiring or definitely returning. He could hold a news conference, and the writers and TV crews would come flocking as fast as they could, and he could cry and talk about retirement again. He could have put an end to this silly sideshow — but that's only if he wanted to.
At this point, it's fairly obvious that Favre is a fan of the spotlight. There's a certain part of him that just loves attention, no matter in what form it comes. Yet there's also a part of him that makes him a damn good football player, and that's why everybody cares about him and his shenanigans.
The fact is, though, that his teammates and coach don't believe him, but the American public and news media seem to believe it. People must really love watching this movie, because we all know how it ends.
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