Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Favre: Still waffling after all these years

During a previous chapter in my life, today would have been busier than anyone could imagine.

From 1997-2001, I worked for The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., as the New Orleans Saints/NFL beat writer. The Saints were my main responsibility. But Brett Favre was responsibility 1a since The Sun Herald was Brett's hometown paper and had covered him since high school.

Back to today. The Saints are in training camp, coming off their first Super Bowl win. Favre is pondering retirement. Get the picture?

I offer no first-person insights to No. 4 today, but I can offer some perspective. The AP reported today that Favre had informed the Vikings that he wasn't returning. Other news outlets, Fox, ESPN and others, have reported that Favre sent text messages to friends saying his body isn't ready for him to play this season.

My former colleague and still friend, Al Jones, has known Favre for decades. Al still writes for The Sun Herald and posted this story to their website today that Favre's family says no decision has been made one way or the other.

I lean toward that being true. We all know that Favre is a classic waffler and giving up football is the hardest thing he's been through. (And that says a lot, considering the sudden death of his father, his wife's battle with breast cancer and his own demons -- Vicodin and alcohol.)

Back when Favre retired the first time from the Packers, I contributed to a book The Sun Herald put together on his career from youth football to the NFL. As part that, several reporters who dealt personally with him were asked to give their opinions of him.

I wrote that Favre was real, recalling a conversation I had with him on his property near Hattiesburg, Miss., one May day. He was sitting on a tractor, having just moved some trees that a tornado had felled earlier in the week. I challenge anyone to name another millionaire who would do such work himself on a sweltering, humid south Mississippi day.

I still believe he's the genuine item, even today after all this retirement, unretirement business. Football is all Favre has known. Giving it up would mean he has to take a hard look at himself and redefine who he is so he can enjoy the rest of his life.

And, for the record, I still think he'll throw a pass for the Minnesota Vikings this season.


  1. If hisbody will take it, go Brett
    Nice article. Keep it up guys.
    Wolfie '61

  2. I think you've hit it on the head Steve. He has no idea what to do with himself outside of football. Pretty sure he doesn't see himself as one of the studio talking heads. So, he just keeps playing. Other people have tried to talk him into giving it up over the years, and he tried to listen. But he just couldn't do it.