Vikings quarterback Brett Favre is no longer a Viking, or an active NFL player. Favre filed for retirement and his official website immediately began looking for sales opportunities.
Here we go again.
is retired. Again. For perhaps the seventh time in his career … or at least the second. However, this time most people are taking the news seriously.
On Monday, Favre submitted his retirement papers with the league, part of the process needed to kick in player pension and post-career health benefits. It should be noted, however, that Favre filed the paperwork following the 2008 season with the Jets – convinced his career was over. But, that little facet of the story is what makes it so ridiculous.
When Favre announced his retirement following his one season with the Jets, in the days following the 2009 draft – where the Jets traded up to get QB Mark Sanchez
– Favre's agent asked for his official release, even though it came three months after Favre announced his retirement. It was granted, which paved the way for the Vikings to sign him, since the poison pill put in the trade language of the deal that sent Favre from the Packers to the Jets would then be eliminated.
Because Favre's contract has expired, the submission of retirement papers has little impact. Head coach Leslie Frazier said that he has no expectation that Favre will try to come back for another season and, if he does have a change of heart in August once again, the Vikings will have long since moved on.
Why should we take Brett seriously this time? For one, he's cashing in on it already. His official website is offering a poster of Favre in a Packers, Vikings and Jets jersey, looking like a high-tech tombstone. At the top is inscribed 1991-2011 (it could be contended that his career died in 2010). An 18x24 poster – quite small by poster standards – it comes in two options. The poster itself is $25, but to get it signed with best wishes from Brett, it's only $300. Actually, it's quite a value since the pre-order price has already been slashed by $100, according to the Favre Shop Store. The signed edition comes with "an Official Brett Favre certificate of authenticity, tamper-proof Brett Favre holograms and a photo from the signing" – is that last one necessary given that it already has a C.O.A. and tamper-proof holograms?
For fans interested in getting the lowest possible Limited Edition numbers (already thinking of re-sale value!), here is a link to the site
Special teams coach Brian Murphy, who has been kept in limbo since the end of the 2010 season, opted not to wait and see if he still had a job with the Vikings – an unlikely scenario given that he and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were told they could seek out other jobs. Murphy did just that, signing on with the Carolina Panthers and new coach Ron Rivera as their special teams coordinator.
For those Brad Childress fans out there, his job search continues. The Dolphins names Brian Daboll, formerly the quarterbacks coach of the Jets when Brett Favre was quarterback, as their new offensive coordinator. Childress had been a name mentioned during the interviewing process, so the NFL will have to wait for the re-introduction of Chilly's trademark "kick ass" offense.
Vikings Ben Leber, Jim Kleinsasser, Steve Hutchinson and John Sullivan were among the teammates and staff joining Adrian Peterson Monday for a charity fishing event to co-brand Peterson's All-Day Foundation with the Starkey Hearing Foundation. In an interview on FOX-9, Peterson was said to be so taken by the charity, which provides hearing aids for children in impoverished nations, that he may go along on a trip to Africa planned for this summer.
From the Favre Store comes more: it's unclear if this is a Pete Rose sort of thing, but the website is selling Favre's game-worn jersey from the Oct. 17, 2010 game with the Cowboys. The asking price is $12,000. However, an attempt made to purchase this treasure found that the item is "currently out of stock." How many more can be put in stock, unless Favre wore a half-dozen or more jerseys during that game. Hopefully, it (or is it they?) comes with the tamper-proof holograms.
The Favre store also purchased a ton of copies of the Sports Illustrated cover story entitled "Favre On Fire" after the Vikings beat the Cowboys. Brett will sign those with all the trimmings (COA, TPH and photo) for the paltry sum of $200. Shockingly, a 16x20 print of the SI cover runs $250. An 8x10 of Favre celebrating a touchdown pass in a Vikings uniform at Lambeau Field will run $200 ($250 if want a 16x20 of the same photo), which would come across as a slap to the face of Packer fans, but a treasure for that hard-to-buy-for Vikings fan on your annual gift list.
In a curious oddity, you can purchase a signed Favre official Wilson NFL football for $450 in the Vikings store, the Packers store and the Jets store as separate items. Yet, the balls all simply have Favre's signature and the number "4" below his name. They're all in the same box, since official NFL balls don't highlight a team name, so buyers should beware they aren't getting a Vikings Favre football. It's just a football.
For $175, you can get a signed photo of a young Favre with his helmet off after a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI against New England or a photo against the Vikings of him throwing his record-setting touchdown pass (No. 421) at the Metrodome.
Favre bobo Ed Werder got an e-mail response from Favre Monday saying the Packers are "by far" the best remaining team in the playoffs and that he's cheering for them beat the Bears. He made no comment on the Jets, who are also playing.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.