Brett Favre has returned for his 20th NFL season, and he's not without his bumps and bruises entering this year.
His 2010 offseason has included recovering from massive (and also penalty worthy) hits from Saints defenders in the NFC Championship Game, an ankle surgery which, according to Favre "removed a cup full of stuff from his ankle."
He says he feels better, but is better good enough?
Favre, at ages 39 and 40, played the best football of his entire career, trumping his two Super Bowl appearance seasons.
Having thrown 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, Favre had to have been thinking, "Is this the year?"
Of course, he already has one ring from his days in Green Bay, but "the year" he might be referring to may be the championship season he's been chasing since 1996.
I tend to think of Favre like Icarus, the character from the classic Greek myth about a man who was imprisoned by King Minos on the island of Crete. In his attempt to escape, he took flight to the sky with a pair of wax wings constructed by his father, Daedalus.
Forewarned that his wings would melt if he pushed too close to the sun, Icarus proceeded to climb upward anyway.
As the story goes, Icarus and his wings of wax failed and he fell to his death, having flown too close to the forever-burning sun.
As for Favre, one could make a case that his wings of wax are both his aging body and his gunslinger mentality.
How long can Favre keep playing at such a high level this late in his career? His ankle and his low interception ratio helped him rejuvenate his fading career as he attempted to escape the mental prison of his past playoff failures and his tendency for turnovers.
Just as Icarus' wings of wax melted and he fell in the end, Favre's "ghost of interceptions past" caught up with him as he threw a fate-guided pass into the waiting hands of New Orleans cornerback Tracy Porter.
After multiple surgeries over the years (the warnings of Icarus' father to fly below the sun, but not too close to the sea), will Favre continue to push forward without regard for body or mind and suffer the same fate?
Icarus never flew again. He lay in the now named Icarian Sea, where he crash landed and perished.
Favre will undoubtedly push himself and his wings of wax to get as close to the sun as he can without suffering the same fate as his flawed Greek counterpart. Will he resist the temptation to push past his limits?