Here we go again. Brett Favre’s “will he, won’t he” dance with pro football has cycled back to a (perhaps) final decision not to retire, according to USA Today. The long-time quarterback for Green Bay made the move to the Vikings last season and, after much speculation, the 41-year-old native of Mississippi has decided to stay on another season. According to the Vikings’ official website, Favre has started in 285 consecutive games, holding an NFL record. He was named MVP three years in a row from ’95-’97, and has played since 1991, starting with the Atlanta Falcons.
Long associated with the Green Bay Packers, having played for the team nearly every year since 1992, he made the move to the New York Jets in 2008 for a single season. He was selected to the most Pro Bowl berths by a quarterback ever for the NFL, 11 Pro Bowls in all, according to the Vikings’ website.
Favre practiced Wednesday for the first time this season. Sporting News suggests his 20th season will likely be his last, and, though his passing arm is in good shape, there is the specter of an ankle problem. It’s had three cleanout procedures, one in May.
Having made the decision, Favre held a press conference stating, as reported by Sporting News: “This team is a very good football team. The chances here are much greater than other places.”
However, Favre has made his decision to stay on or retire something of a yearly event. As ESPN reported in July 2009, after three months of painful consideration, Favre decided he would definitely retire. He’d cited the ankle as well as knee injuries, plus long recovery times as his justification for staying out of the game at that time. He was turning down a one-year, $10 million contract, and had turned down the Vikings more than once.
Earlier that year, according to ESPN, he had “retired” from the New York Jets, citing age and injuries.
“It’s about me not being able to play at the level I’m accustomed to,” he told EPSN, saying that was his only reason for stepping away at that time.
Bitter Green Bay fans who booed Favre during his return with the Vikings will likely recall that, in 2008, he was “mentally tired,” reports ESPN, and that he had retired for the first time after making his annual decision on whether to retire or not — including a strange television interview in Chicago which he nearly walked off of in 2006, only to return. In Wisconsin, it had become something of a winter tradition.
The question remains: Will this season really be the last? In Wisconsin, they may well be thinking, “we’ll believe it when we see it.”
Vikings.com, “#4 Brett Favre”
Sean Leahy, “10 questions about how Brett Favre will fare with Minnesota Vikings in 2010” USA Today
Dennis Dillon, “Vikings camp report: Favre return boosts outlook” Sporting news
Vinnie Iyer, Alisha Hord, “Brett Favre: I came back for the team” Sporting News
Ed Werder, “Favre opts to remain retired” ESPN.com
Ed Werder and Chris Mortensen, “Favre tells Jets he’s retiring” ESPN.com
ESPN.com, “‘Mentally tired’ Favre tells Packers his playing career is over”