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“To be or not to be; that is the question.” – Hamlet
“To retire or not to retire; that is the question.” – Brett Favre
For the third consecutive year, Old Man Favre is at it again. Two years ago, he retired from the Packers after they didn’t want to put up with this from him. Last year, he did the same thing with the Jets. Now, it’s Minnesota’s turn. Tuesday, text messages went around declaring Brett Favre’s intention to retire. Now, on Wednesday, Favre said that he said no such thing. Now the indication is that Favre will return, assuming his ankle is okay to play on. That’s why he’s playing high school football in Mississippi again.
Favre said that amidst reports that the Vikings were giving him a $7 million raise from last season, with $20 million in salary ($16 million guaranteed) plus another $4 million in incentives. According to Favre’s agent Bus Cook,
“As far as Brett is concerned, in spite of reports to the contrary, Brett’s situation has nothing to do with his contract, but everything to do with his health and ability to contribute to that team and play at a level that he has been accustomed to playing over the years.”
SportsCenter’s discussions of the moods around the league suggest that Favre should continue to work on his ankle (he has a checkup with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham next week) and return to the Vikings during Week 3 of the Preseason, and their poll shows that 64% of us regular folk (and majorities in D.C, all 50 states, and the world [including 100% of Hawaiins]) think Favre will be back in time for the season as well.
Clearly, Favre needs to feel healthy to play, and his ankle may not be as good as it is now that Grandpa is 40, but he’ll be back. First of all, as we’ve seen, Favre loves to play, but he’s to cowardly (in mind and body) to use his ankle in workouts at training camp with the team. He wants to only play in games, and not do the work the rest of his teammates have to do.
In previous years, few thought Favre would play again, so he didn’t have to make such a big deal of the situation personally. This year, everyone started thinking he would play again. With that, too many people would also expect him to show up at training camp and actually do work. And of course, Favre doesn’t want to do it. Not even any special program for his health situation worked out with Vikings’ management.
Therefore, Favre had to reiterate retirement intentions so he wouldn’t have to “decide” anything immediately. Now, no more training camp for Favre. And after last year, Favre saw how he has more power over the Vikings than even the team’s owners. Now, Favre realizes he can string the Vikings along even more with that power, and he doesn’t even have to show up for the Preseason, and can just play in games that count.
So Favre is (proably) really stringing us all along, and his ankle will definitely be ready in time for the season, if it isn’t really feeling good already. So he’ll keep the retirement rumors going, then “suddenly” feel better, change his mind, and return in time for the season. Who in their right mind would turn down $24 million?
It’s a good thing Favre is rich, because his contract runs out after this upcoming season. After that happens, he’ll be forced into the retirement, because neither the Falcons, nor the Packers, nor the Jets, nor the Vikings, nor anyone else will want to put up with Favre Watch: 2011.