Recent ESPY Award winner and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is sounding off on his return to the NFL or possible retirement – again, this time to ESPN’s Hannah Storm. How exhausting for us.
As the training camp that he hates gets closer and closer, the I-want-to-play-but-I’m-not-sure-yet interviews with Vikings’ Favre are popping up everywhere, from ESPN to Men’s Journal to Southern Mississippi’s Sun Herald. It’s not unlike last year, or the year before that, or the year before that.
The only difference is that this year, Favre can blame his indecision on an injury if he needs to. His ankle was crushed by the New Orleans Saints in last year’s NFC Championship game, which the Vikings lost in a spectacular fashion. No thanks to Favre, either – he was the one who threw the game-destroying interception that put the Vikings and Saints into sudden-death overtime.
Since then, according to various reports from all over the United States and maybe even the globe, Favre has been publicly waffling about coming back to the Vikings, but privately having elective surgery to repair his damaged ankle and working out for hours each day to get the ankle back into shape. I assume that’s not just for fun. It doesn’t sound fun.
So now, possibly getting wind that the fans and general public are not buying the whole “I’m not sure I want to come back” thing, Favre has decided to play his trump card: the ankle injury. I mean, he’s a savvy guy with the fans and the public – he’s been pulling these stunts for what, four years now? Favre and the rest of his camp can tell when we’re not buying it.
And when we’re not buying it, Favre’s not as interesting to the media, and then the media gives him less attention. It’s a simple equation, and Favre realized he needed another variable in it to whet everyone’s appetite again. To get himself back in the spotlight, Favre needed something to make us believe that his return as the Vikings quarterback is not a foregone conclusion.
So, to quote ESPN’s Hannah Storm, “What is the question now?”
Favre told Storm at the ESPY Awards that he wants to return – he’s just not sure if his surgically repaired ankle will hold up. Favre told her, “I had hoped it would have been a little bit better at this point, ” and, “When you wake up in the morning and your feet hurt it kind of makes the rest of your body hurt [note from me: boo].” And, “It’s not desire…I would love to play and be the best I can possibly be…physically, I want to know if I can play and make those type of plays. I don’t know if I can ever answer that.”
Give me a break. He doesn’t know if he can ever answer that? I’m sure he’ll find his answer the week before preseason games start.
It’s like this, in my opinion: the media show aside, Favre can’t possibly go out with his last big play of his career as that brutal interception – especially after the Cinderella season he had last year. It would be better if he came back with the Vikings this year and had only an okay season, or got injured mid-season and left, or the Vikings didn’t make the playoffs. That would be psychologically easier to Favre to take, I would think, than the feeling of enormous failure that had to have resulted from that one bad throw.
I mean, maybe I’m wrong; I’m just going off how I would feel if I were Favre, and I’m only human. But not only is Favre also human, he – maybe more than any other athlete in history – really cares what other people think. What anybody and everybody thinks. And if he knows he’s left us with that memory (and let’s be honest – he has), he’s going to do whatever it takes to leave us with something (anything) else.
Injured ankle or not, Brett Favre, you can’t fool me: I think you’re coming back. So let’s get on with it already.