It's hard to get a read on Favre even now. Some say he's the biggest egomaniac to ever play the game. Ask any Green Bay or Vikings beat writer and they will tell you about the four-minute answer Favre gave to a relatively specific question that 90 percent of players would have answered in about 15 seconds or so. When Favre speaks, he does so slowly and deliberately, almost as if he is double-checking what he says in his own mind before he says it, which makes the comment so polarizing.
Was he dogging Rodgers for taking three years to match Favre's career championship total? In the same answer, he made the clear claim that he believed in 2007 the young, inexperienced Packers were the most talented team he had ever played with. But that portion of the one continuous answer was diluted because it was such a long response, drifting from one thought to another. That's just Brett being Brett.
He was asked one question about the Vikings and his answer went in three directions without a follow-up. He was asked if he had any regrets about coming back. Taking a page from Frank Sinatra: Regrets? Brett's had a few (and not too few to mention).
"I won't lie to you, there have been times – not anymore – but there [were] times once [the 2010] season started, numerous times, that I thought I should have played, that it was a mistake," Favre began, via sportsradiointerviews.com. "The last couple of games which I didn't play in – and it had been years since I hadn't played and watched from the sidelines, better yet in street clothes. That was the first time I've ever done that. But it gave me a chance to really reflect and look around. I had a chance to really think and think in depth. To be honest, I didn't regret coming back at that point. There were times during the season prior to those games where I did."
Wait … what? Does Brett have regrets or not? It sounded like he had nothing but regrets, but as he kept talking he changed his mind in mid-sentence. He had no regrets, right? Brett wasn't done answering that question.
"I guess I did finally get to that point, and I can only assume that had I not gone back as we're sitting here today, maybe other people would wonder what if I had gone back? Would that team be different? I don't know how they would have ended up. They may have been the same without me, maybe a little better, maybe a little worse. I don't know."
Keep in mind that no secondary question had been asked, Brett just said he wanted to be sure that some anonymous "other people" would wonder if he still had more to give. Nobody seemed to question John Elway when he walked after winning a second straight Super Bowl. The gunslinger would have gone into the sunset as a hero who went out on his own terms.
After taking a breath (again, no follow-up question, merely a continuation of the same answer to the "Did you regret coming back in 2010?" question), Favre created and answered his own conundrum, making it clear that it wasn't so much "other people" that needed to be convinced there wasn't one more playoff run left in the gunslinger, but his own self-doubts.
"But there's the problem," Favre continued. "We don't know. If I needed an exclamation point on my career, [after the 2009 season] would have been a great time to walk away. I don't think anybody wouldn't have been able to say, ‘Hey, the guy's got something left in the tank, he probably could have played another year.' Well, we know now. If anything, this past year was the answer that I'd been looking for."
While the Favre interview will be remembered more for the perceived glove-slap he gave to Rodgers, for Vikings fans – and those of us who asked him a question that turned into a manifesto – it was like going home again.
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.