Favre in 2008 is a slideshow & sideshow

As we let the news settle in that Brett Favre, QB of the New York Jets, has made the Pro Bowl for the umpteenth time (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)in his career and take side bets if he’ll schlep to Hawaii with Deana and the family, let’s remember what it took to get him to this place.

Winter

Favre, still a member of the Green Bay Packers, slinks home to Mississippi after a cruel loss in the NFC Championship game on the home field of Lambeau. He threw an interception in overtime that paved the way for the New York Giants to go to the Super Bowl.

Speculation begins about his future in Green Bay.
The Packers press him for a decision to avoid the previous year’s strung-out process. Aaron Rodgers keeps mum on it all and waits to learn his fate as the new starter on the Packers or the perpetual backup.

Favre calls a press conference and mesmerizes the public with a tearful and seemingly clear statement: I am retiring of my own volition.

Speculation begins anew that he is not clear on that statement. He has conversations almost immediately including with the Packersa bout returning. The team’s concern is that he isn’t 100% certain, just as he wasn’t prior to the announcement.

The Packers are relieved, name Rodgers their starter and set about planning for their first draft without having to keep Favre in mind, except they do. Brett is having retirement remorse.

Spring

Favre, the Packers and sports media begin a months’-long soap opera about whether the Packers gave Favre the signal that they wanted him gone and if he jumped too soon.

The contractual side of the story gets ugly as the Packers refuse to consider Favre’s return. If he doesn’t file retirement papers the team owns his rights and refuses to consider releasing him which would net them nothing in return, especially if he goes to a rival.

Favre takes the bait and starts taunting the team with going to a division rival but…he can”t say for certain if he wants to play at all. He still might retire but he doesn’t understand why he wouldn’t be welcomed back to Green Bay.

The war of wills continues as Packers fans are split down the middle on the loyalty front. Half believe he should come back, half don’t.

Summer

Favre shows up in Green Bay via private jet, as training camp is in progress, won’t take questions about his future and realizes there isn’t much sentiment left for him in Wisconsin. The impasse over him wanting a release and not being accommodated with one gets deeper.

He goes on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren to tell his sad tale of woe. Still can’t understand why the Packers won’t release him from his contract if they don’t want him to start for them any longer.

The commissioner gets involved and asks both sides to enter counseling. The Packers show their good faith by saying he’ll be benched and hold a clipboard for Rodgers if he wants to stay in Green Bay. Favre threatens to go to Minnesota and beat the Packers brains in. This is why they needed counseling.

Favre signs reinstatement papers but doesn’t file them.

The Packers get down and dirty and claim he is a malcontent who just wants it all his way. Immediately, the team hires a PR specialist who used to work at the White House but some say it’s too late.

Reinstatement papers are filed and commissioner expresses sadness as he accepts the inevitable.

Packers and Favre’s agent get down to business to try to break the impasse of where his rights get traded.

Minnesota Vikings look like jerks for having had conversations with Favre supposedly about fishing and hunting, not about coming to their team.

The sweepstakes begin in the NFL. Jon Gruden pisses off his QB by considering Favre joining him. The Packers have offered Brett an alternative to playing for them or anyone: a ten year marketing agreement with unspecified responsibilities but a pay check of $25 million in total.

And that is a first offer.

Favre who a month prior wasn’t interested in New York signs with the Jets, gets welcomed by the Mayor of New York and Jets fans dance in the streets. EA is forced to provide download image of Favre in Jets’ uni after their game went to press with him in Packers’ colors.

Fall

Favre starts slow, gets on a roll, settles back down to earth and proceeds to take the moribund team to the brink of the playoffs and gets voted into the Pro Bowl.

Future?

What’s in store for this offseason? Why wait for that? Favre is already starting the cycle of drama again as he told the media in New York that these last few games might be his last. Don’t act surprised. It’s got to be this way for him and unfortunately for fans of the team he plays for.

Happy New Year, everyone.

See the slideshow pertaining to this article at Paula’s Examiner column.

Tired of the same old sports page? Then check out Paula Duffy’s insightful (and often humorous) take on the sports day at her Examiner.com page! The popular co-host for Sports Journey Radio is also a contributor to the Huffington Post and founder of the sports learning site Incidental Contact. In her spare time, Duffy practices law in Los Angeles. But don’t hold that against her.

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