Brett Favre has one more game he might play in, but it looks doubtful at this point it will happen. But with the lost 2010 season for the Vikings and the events that transpired, it's safe to say most of what happened this year happened because Favre was on the team.
Favre has become an almost cartoonish figure in his ability to grab headlines, change games and affect the course of the Vikings season.
Most stories emanating from Minnesota were Favre-generated, whether by design, fate, or just plain luck; Favre was the story in Minnesota this year.
Here's one look at what might have happened to Minnesota in 2010 had Favre just decided to stay retired.
Whatever may have transpired this season as far as wins and losses, the Favre element ramped up the drama, especially when it became public the two didn't really like each other and that Childress had considered benching him.
Childress may very well have been looking for work anyway come January, but any decision would've waited until January.
As evidenced by the picture, there are four quarterbacks who are trying to prepare themselves for the season instead of three.
Brad Childress went into training camp looking for a starter out of Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels with Joe Webb as the third-string quarterback.
Once Favre entered the picture, most preseason planning would've had to have been scrapped and begun again.
Therefore, the Vikings started the season with Favre, who wasn't really ready to play yet, and since Jackson lost out on reps, he no longer was prepared either.
Sage Rosenfels now is the backup in New York, but had he stayed in Minnesota to either back up Tarvaris Jackson or wrestle the starting job from him, the Vikings season probably would've looked a lot different.
We're not saying it would've looked better, or any worse; it just would've looked different.
Tarvaris Jackson would've probably gotten the starting job out of the gate since all indications were leaning that way prior to Favre returning.
Don't know how long he would've kept the job, but he probably would've gotten at least two or three starts before subpar play might have forced a change.
However, it's important to remember that if the Vikings thought Jackson was the quarterback of the future, they wouldn't have tried to get Favre to come back. There's a reason Green Bay said "Adios!" to Favre a few years ago, and his name is Aaron Rodgers.
One of the main reasons Randy Moss was brought back to Minnesota was because it was thought Moss and Favre would work well together.
In the absence of Sidney Rice, Favre would have a veteran receiver to throw to, and Moss would respect Favre because he has a Super Bowl ring.
If the starting quarterback is Jackson, Rosenfels or even Joe Webb, the Vikings probably don't make that deal.
Without Favre the last two games, the Vikings defense seems to be playing looser and with a little more aggression. Why that is would take an analysis longer than this piece, but it's worth speculating that without Favre, expectations are lowered, and the defense isn't under so much pressure.
Favre quickly became as much of a problem on the team as anything else due to his eroding physical skills, injuries and poor decision-making that resulted from several factors.
The defense naturally felt more pressure to try to make game-changing plays rather than just go out and stop the other team. If your quarterback is throwing a lot of interceptions, your defense starts getting a little tired and angry.
Once the season actually started, the Brett Favre drama would've finally gone away, hopefully for good, but there's no guarantee that if the Vikings got off to a 1-3 start the drumbeat wouldn't have started to get Favre back out of retirement.
In fact, if Favre's age hasn't so blatantly caught up with him this year, that might've been the scenario next year, the Vikings waiting until the end of September to bring Favre back figuring he'd be healthy enough to play for a 12-game season.
Leslie Frazier gets talked about in certain circles of the NFL, but the public at large wasn't all that aware of him until Brad Childress was fired.
If Childress stays, then Frazier remains in the background, noticed only by those who pay close attention to the defensive aspects of the game or are big enough football geeks to just know who Frazier is and what he does.
Going back to an earlier point, Tarvaris Jackson is not the future of the Vikings franchise, and he has been injury-prone when he's in the game, so it's safe to assume Jackson would've gone down at some point.
It's also safe to assume Sage Rosenfels has been a career backup for a reason, so that means at some point this season, most likely earlier than last week, Joe Webb would've gotten his first rookie start, and it probably would've been just as good as anything we've seen the last two weeks.
Webb was in the process of being converted to a wide receiver, but fate spoke out, and Webb just might have a future at this quarterback thing.
Let's talk reality here. The only reason the Jenn Sterger story became a "story" and got as big as it did was because Brett Favre was coming to New York to play the Jets.
The only impetus to drag a story that already had been published and ignored back from the dead was to try to create a distraction and give an edge to the Jets. It worked, and now Favre is $50,000 lighter in the wallet.
That probably means absolutely nothing to Favre right now.