Brett Favre has had ample opportunity to set the record straight on his intentions, but it now is obvious he is coming back. The only thing left to answer is why everything was so secretive along the way.
Just when it seemed as though the whole Brett Favre
soap opera couldn't get any stranger, Wednesday's announcement that he will let the Vikings know by the day before training camp starts whether he'll return to NFL for a second time will only serve to polarize the feelings fans have toward him.
It has seemed fairly obvious that Favre was going to make a second post-retirement comeback for months. The reason given for the delay has been that Favre wants to be sure his throwing arm is 100 percent. His quotes Wednesday and the video footage of him throwing tight 40-yard spirals to high school kids in Mississippi only goes to further cement the idea that he will be wearing purple when the team reports to training camp.
The real question here is why? There are a lot of a why-type questions that need to be asked. All that's missing is an explanation.
Why did he ask the Jets for his release within days of the team moving up in the first round to draft Matt Sanchez? If he had no intention of returning, why would he go through the trouble of getting his release?
Why the shroud of silence surrounding his plans? A year ago at this time, Favre was talking to everyone ESPN had to offer to say he planned on making a return. This time, he was silent and got the media to jump on the speculation bandwagon. Some of the reports were accurate. Some were blatantly false. He could have resolved it with one interview stating his intentions. He never did that and the rumor-mongering began…and has continued.
Why would he have the surgery to repair his torn right biceps tendon if he didn't intend on coming back? Apparently if you're not a pro athlete, you can live with a partially torn biceps tendon. If he wasn't planning to come back, such surgery wouldn't be necessary. But, renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery in late May – sending the clear intent of Favre's plans.
Why would the Vikings impose a deadline prior to their final minicamp? This one never made any sense. Favre wasn't under contract when the Vikings held their last minicamp in June, so he couldn't have suited up and played anyway. He would have needed to sign a deal and, more importantly, pass a physical to get on the field. There's no way he could have done that just a couple of weeks removed from surgery.
Why be so secretive about meeting with Vikings officials? His silence and apparent lack of knowledge to the situation (or the existence of X-rays or the plan to have the surgery or the admission that he did have surgery) by agent Bus Cook left the media to try to crack the case. The result was that media members stalked Favre's home, the Hattiesburg airport and apparently Favre's favorite restaurants to try to get the scoop. Nobody did.
Why put down a $30,000 deposit on a condo in the Twin Cities if he wasn't planning on coming? This one seems too obvious to require an explanation. You don't throw away 30 grand unless you know you're coming to Minnesota. With the current housing market, one of Favre's people could have easily found a place for him and his family to stay during the season while he was at training camp.
Why delay the announcement of his return until the days leading up to training camp or possibly even the day before? As if alienating fans and teammates wasn't a concern already, delaying the decision until the final possible moment doesn't make any sense, especially given the near-universal belief that he will sign and play for the Vikings.
Why hang out with high school kids and throw passes for the cameras? Under ordinary circumstances, a 39-year-old hanging around with high schoolers would get the attention of the authorities, not the national sports media. If he wasn't coming back, he wouldn't be chucking deep passes to 17-year-old kids.
While we (and the Vikings players, coaches and front office-types) continue to wait, the question no longer appears to be if Favre will sign with the Vikings, but when. However, the larger issue that will need to be addressed with all of the delays is a simple question that can be asked at his first press conference – why?
It may take another couple of weeks, but it appears we are closer to getting an answer to that question.