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What Would a New York Jets Super Bowl Appearance Say About Brett Favre?

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings runs off the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys 34-3 during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
Tim SeemanAnalyst IJanuary 22, 2010

No one saw this coming.

At the start of this season, it was pretty obvious that the success of Brett Favre and the success of the Green Bay Packers would stand diametrically opposed to one another. In order for one to succeed, the other had to fail. There was no way around it.

But there was no way to know that Favre's rest stop, his two-hour layover in New Jersey on his way to Minneapolis, would come back and potentially keep him from his ultimate goal: winning a championship.

Or is that his ultimate goal?

If you listen to what he says, it is. Revenge against the Packers had no bearing on his decision to return, he said. He just wanted to play football.

But if that was the case, why didn't he just stay and play for the Jets?

Sure, the end of the 2008 season was forgettable for Favre and the Jets, and it's easy to say in retrospect that the Jets have the same odds of making it to Super Bowl XLIV as the Vikings. But those Jets did finish with a winning record, a stout defense and a formidable running game. That's always been a winning formula in the NFL.

Apparently, Favre didn't think so. He retired again (or did the Jets run him out too?) and told Ed Werder without hesitation that he'd played his final NFL game. New York gave him his unconditional release and everyone thought that was that.

Until Brad Childress realized Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson weren't exactly setting the world on fire in training camp. What followed was one of the most embarrassing courtships I've ever seen. Think "guy in high school with a bad mustache asking that hot girl in English class to prom every day, knowing eventually she'd say yes just so he'd stop annoying her" embarrassing. That was the Childress approach to Favre. And it worked.

Finally, it seemed Favre had that championship-caliber defense and load-bearing running game he just wouldn't have had otherwise. Right.

With the Jets in the position they're in, it becomes pretty clear what Brett Favre's sole motivation has been. He didn't just want to show the Packers he could still lead a team to a Super Bowl. He could've done that just as well from East Rutherford.

No, what he wanted even more was the opportunity to throw it in Green Bay's face, which he only could've done from a purple throne with horns on his helmet.

But if the Jets beat the Colts and the Saints beat the Vikings, Favre will be remembered for giving up his best chance at winning the Super Bowl—his supposed goal—in order to show his old team what they were missing.

And unless Favre and the Vikings do win the championship, the Packers and their fans probably couldn't care less about what Favre does thanks to the stellar play of Aaron Rodgers.

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