Wednesday might have seemed like the start of something big in Minnesota for some people. For Brett Favre, this is apparently the beginning of the end … if you believe a couple lines culled from a rambling, 34-minute press conference.
Favre sort of, kind of believes it.
"There's nothing left to prove. Had fun, and I can promise you this: Not that I have ever set out as a goal to play 20 years, it's 20 years and I'm done. This is the last year of my contract," Favre said.
It is the last year of a two-year, $25 million contract he signed last August when he joined the Vikings, but given Favre's propensity to, well, change his mind, it's understandable if people don't believe him. In fact, during a follow-up question, Favre poked fun at himself … and – surprise – left some wiggle and waffle room.
"Did I just say that? I do believe it now. I do," he said. "I'm going to fall apart sometime. I'd like to go out on top."
Favre may have already started falling apart. Before joining the Vikings last year, he had surgery to complete the tear of a partially torn biceps tendon. That was in May 2009. In May 2010, he had surgery to remove bone spurs and scar tissue, and he said a follow-up appointment last week showed that another, smaller bone spur had already started forming again. He said the ankle has needed surgery for three years.
Favre made it clear that he thinks no matter when he's truly ready to retire that he is going out on top. He said the same thing last year after the NFC Championship Game, despite those words coming less than an hour after throwing an interception that ended what looked like it might be the game-winning drive. And he said he would have been going out on top had he left the game after his 2008 season with the New York Jets, so clearly he's defining his eventual exit by what he accomplished throughout his career, not just most recently.
In fact, Favre said the revelation of his eventual exit would probably excite his family, whom he said can't take the agony of watching him play.
"Who knows what's going to happen anyway after this year with the lockout and all of that stuff? This team may get dismantled. It's just the nature of the game," he said. "I'll just give it one more try and when you leave, hold your head high. … I really feel like what we had last year was special and it's worth giving it one more try."
Childress, for one, said he does believe this is Favre's last year.
"I think it's because he likes even numbers. That's 20 (years in the league), a nice even 20. I know we have a little labor uncertainty here," Childress said.
Then again, when it comes to Favre and retirement, there's always uncertainty.
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