We had to wait until August this time, but an event that has almost become a timeless summer tradition has finally happened.
Once again Brett Favre, quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, has for the third straight year announced he’s retiring from professional football.
Every year, his announcements have become more subtle. In 2008, he held a televised press conference to state his intentions of leaving the league, as well as his team of 16 years, the Green Bay Packers.
In 2009, he notified his new team, the New York Jets, that he was retiring again through a simple statement.
Now, in 2010, he has apparently decided yet again that it’s time to hang his helmet and pads up. This time, the only evidence of this is a simple text message to his current teammates with the Minnesota Vikings, which only cryptically reads, “This is it.”
Supposedly, a statement from Favre is expected on Tuesday, which will formally announce his retirement from the NFL….again.
Every year that the fanfare around his retirement decreases, the believability of it all increases.
Yet here we are again, four years after 2006, when Favre began openly contemplating retirement, still in a uniform, and still slinging a football around the gridiron.
And once more, we’re about to bear witness to another retirement, and potentially, another media fiasco.
Somehow, it’s almost as surreal as the first time he retired. That could be, because the 2009-2010 season was statistically one of the best in Favre’s 19 season career.
It could also be, because of how eerily similar this all is to his first retirement two years ago. Both came after incredible statistical seasons. Both came after seasons where he led his team to the NFC Championship game.
And in both championship games, his last play ended up being a thrown interception which sealed the fate of his football team.
Both times it seemed an inevitability that he would return to football, if not because he had proved he could play at a high level the previous season, then so he could avenge that final throw, that one costly mistake.
But just like in 2008, he’s surprising us all by announcing that, after a season where he threw for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdown passes, and completed 68.4 percent of his passes, he’s gone from the NFL.
Injuries may have played a part in his decision. The ankle he injured in the championship game against the New Orleans Saints , and surgery on earlier this year hasn’t yet completely healed.
It would be little ironic if the man who currently holds the NFL record with 295 consecutive NFL games started was bounced into retirement by an injury.
Then again, that would mean he would actually have to stay retired.
Remember, history has a way of repeating itself. Sure, Favre’s permanent retirement will happen eventually—he can’t play to fifty like he insinuated a few weeks ago—but will this third announcement really be the charm?
Is this really, truly the end of Brett Favre's career?
Even Vikings head coach Brad Childress remains open to No. 4 coming back.
"I'm not a big hearsay person," Childress said to the media. "I've got to hear it from the horse's mouth."
Tuesday, we’re all supposed to here it from Favre’s mouth. Like the previous times though, we can’t really be certain until week one of the NFL season.
If the 40-year-old quarterback is still home in Mississippi, and the only passes he’s completing are to high school students, then we can officially call him retired.
So don’t be fooled by any of this. Despite whatever commotion the media creates from this, and no matter how emotional and genuine Brett Favre’s statement may be Tuesday, we can’t really be certain that his NFL career is legitimately over.
When Tarvaris Jackson ,or takes the first snap under center in the September 9th season opener against the Saints, then we can believe Favre is finally a “former” NFL quarterback.
There's that old saying, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." We've all been fooled twice, don't be duped a third time.
Remember, he has 37 days to change his mind.