Brett Favre (Andy King/AP)
Brett Favre has said it before, but he said it again Wednesday: He is retiring after the season. With a losing record and growing list of injuries, it’s getting easier to believe him every time he says it.
Brett Favre said he has no plans to call an audible with his on-again, off-again retirement this offseason.
The 41-year-old quarterback reiterated Wednesday that he’s done playing football after the 2010 season.
“I’m done. I’m done,” he said quickly and definitively when asked about his thoughts for next year.
Of course, Favre has been through this in previous years and come back, but this year feels different. He’s thrown more interceptions than touchdowns, lost more games than he’s won, and his body has been beaten up.
“I’m done,” he repeated. “As I said when I came back, we’re here to win a Super Bowl. We had big expectations. It hasn’t gone the way we’d hoped up to this point. But, again, my career speaks for itself. I’ve had a great career. I don’t know how the remaining games will unfold, but that’s it.”
The Vikings’ Super Bowl aspirations have been all but snuffed out with a 4-7 record and in third place in the NFC North. There is little chance for Favre to lead these Vikings out of the abyss and into playoff contention over the remaining five weeks of the season. Only three 4-7 since 1990 have made the playoffs (all in the AFC, for whatever that’s worth).
With six teams from each conference getting into the playoffs, the Vikings are in 11th place. Making matters worse for them is that they are at least three games behind eight teams. Even Lloyd Christmas of “Dumb and Dumber” would be smart enough to figure out there isn’t much of a chance for Favre to dance into the playoffs this year.
“I was fortunate enough to be on a team that won a Super Bowl. That was a long time ago,” Favre said, referring to the 1996 Packers team that won Super Bowl XXXI. “So there’s nothing left to prove, or from a goal standpoint to accomplish.
“The one that every guy I’ve talked to who’s retired will say, it’s not so much the games that you miss but the fellowship with the guys in the locker room, things you’d never think of.”
Favre, of course, has started 296 consecutive games and worked his way through as many injuries this year as he ever has. There was the ankle that had bone spurs and scar tissue removed from it in late May and required a series of lubricating injections early in the season. That same ankle suffered a stress fracture on Oct. 24 in Green Bay, at the same time incurring an avulsion fracture in his heel. There was elbow tendinitis in October that caused him to get a cortisone injection. There was a blow to the chin that knocked him out of the Oct. 31 game in New England. There was a deeply bruised calf and more soreness in his throwing shoulder, which was surgically repaired in May 2009.
“Physically, I don’t feel like I did when I was 25. I don’t feel a whole lot different from last year, but every year, as you could imagine, gets tougher and tougher,” Favre said. “Recovery time is a lot longer. And in football you don’t have four weeks between games. At some point you’ve got to give your body a break as well.
“I came back and have given it my best. Hopefully we can finish this thing on a high not and that’s it.”
Favre was held out of another practice on Wednesday while he also dealt with an illness that has followed him for more than a week.
He said his decision on retirement wouldn’t be any different even if the Vikings had a better record this year, but given his competitive nature and his self-admitted waffling on retirement, it’s natural to wonder if that’s necessarily true.
One thing he’s been steadfast in saying: Coaching, at least on a full-time basis, is not in his future. Too much – you guessed it – commitment.
“If I coached, I wouldn’t want to be on a set schedule. I enjoy helping high school kids and being able to come and go as I please,” he said. “These guys, college and pros, they’re here until midnight. I have no idea what they’re doing. Players leave at 3:30, 4 o’clock. You could draw up the greatest plays in the world, but if the knucklehead doesn’t know how to run them … if you’re playing a computer game against the other coaches at 12 o’clock at night, that would be kind of neat. But I’d rather to be home.”
Asked if television was an option to keep him near the game, he said that wasn’t a goal of his, and then joked that he might have to ask some tough questions if he interviewed reporters.
With the sorry state of the Vikings’ playoff chances, Favre is content pointing to his past that will likely lead to his enshrinement into the Hall of Fame in five years … if he follows through this time and retires.
“For me, everything that I could possibly accomplish, I’ve accomplished, which is amazing,” he said.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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