Favre's Return Refreshing: A Familiar Face In the NFL

Steve JamesContributor IAugust 19, 2010

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - AUGUST 18: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre addresses the media at a press conference after the first morning practice since returning to Vikings Winter Park on August 18, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Favre injured his ankle last year and had been reportedly considering retiring after one season with the Vikings.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Brett Favre is making his annual "return" once again this season, and virtually no one is surprised or is the least bit excited.

The Green Bay legend turned rival returned to practice with his teammates Wednesday, declaring this season as his last in the NFL and stating that he owes it to the Vikings to give it one more shot after ending the season last year in a devastating interception.

Flashback to 2008: Favre announces his retirement in an emotional, nostalgic press conference and then later decides that he (surprise!) wants to return to the game that he loves. All things sports-related had full Brett Favre coverage; writers, athletes, and casual fans fed on Favre news like it was their last meal. The drama continued when the following year he joined the division rival Minnesota Vikings in a bit of news that had nearly just as much of a following.

But this year, Brett, hardly anyone cares. Except for me.

Whether you love him, hate him, or respect him as a quarterback but shun him for his beauty-queen dramatics, Brett Favre has been a staple in this league for as long as people of my generation can remember. Number four is as synonymous with football as 23 is with basketball, and to see him go would be to part ways with an NFL generation that no one will forget.

Players like John Elway, Emmit Smith, and Dan Marino have been gone for so long that they give you a feel as though they were a part of ancient football lore. Ladainian Tomlinson has gone from the hottest halfback in the league to an old washed-up backup in just a ten year career.

Yet, Brett Favre is still Brett Favre, and interceptions or no interceptions, his mere presence will offer a sense of normality to a league that changes more rapidly than any major sport.

So when Favre makes his way to the field this year, revel in the aura of football's past that he brings with him because, blink once, and that kid down the street from your house will become the next Super Bowl champ, and Drew Brees will be another ghost in the vaults of sports history.