So long No. 4. Again. Wait....
In case you haven't heard (which you could have only avoided by not turning on your TV or Computer), Brett Favre plans on retiring for the third time.
Skeptical as I can often be, I tended to not believe the old man because of his past and the apparent need to be at the center of attention during this time of the year.
This time, however, I believe we will never see No. 4 take the field again.
Why? His current situation is too good for him to simply retire out of lack of opportunity to chase his second ring. The Vikings were one bad decision by Favre from making it to the Super Bowl—the competitor inside has to be killing him over this decision.
They still have the best running back in the NFC, possibly the whole league, in Adrian Peterson. Not to mention they still have a top ten defense with one of the more feared players in the league in Jared Allen.
Apparently all the reasons to come back and fight for one more year were not enough to combat the body breaking down (even though many still believe he can play at a high level, including myself).
So if this is permanent, how does it affect the NFC race, which appeared to be wide open even before news broke of the retirement.
First and foremost, the Green Bay Packers' race to the NFC North title just got easier on the defensive side of things. Unfortunately for them, they still have to figure out how to block Jared Allen.
That being said, the Packers are the clear favorite to win the NFC North title, and will most likely top the list of NFC Favorite next to the Cowboys, Saints, and Falcons.
Speaking of the Cowboys, they are enjoying the retirement of Favre given how he dismantled their defense in the NFC Divisional Round last season.
The defense stole the show by holding the Cowboys to three points while sacking Romo six times, but Favre threw for 234 yards and four touchdowns in the contest.
Obviously, Favre retiring has a huge impact on where the Vikings go from here in an attempt to build on last season's success.
Can Tavaris Jackson lead the Vikings past the Cowboys and Saints, or even the Giants, Redskins, Falcons, and Eagles for that matter?
The regular season will be able to tell that, since the Vikings play each one of those teams sans the Falcons.
Is Vikings defense good enough to overshadow the difference between Favre and Jackson?
Sometimes a defense is good enough to get by without the play of a great quarterback. The 2000 Ravens had Trent Dilfer under center, who despite being a great analyst, was never a great quarterback.
Favre saying good-bye to the game he so obviously loved raises many questions for not only the Vikings, but the NFC as well.
I can't wait to watch them unfold.