The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave

By Lloyd Vance
Updated: July 14, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — I tried to stay on the sidelines regarding the topic of Brett Favre’s potential comeback, because I wanted to believe the old graybeard when he retired in March 2008.

I even waxed poetically about how much Favre meant to the NFL and to me as someone that had met him in the past. Plus I went on several radio shows saying, “There is no way Favre comes back”.

Well it maybe humble pie for yours truly, as acccording to fellow PFWA member and famous coffee swiller Peter King of, Favre does indeed want to play football in 2008 and is already getting in shape.

King’s piece says that Favre’s agent Bus Cook, is expected to send a letter to the Green Bay Packers stating that this year’s Madden cover boy wants off the National Football League’s reserve/retired list.

At that point, it will be decision time for the Packers, either reinstate the quarterback thus adding a $12.8 million dollar hit to their cap, trade him causing additional cap trauma, or outright release him.

We all know that Favre played one forgettable season in Atlanta before landing in Titletown, so it is almost sacrilege to think of the future Hall of Fame player in anything other than Green and Gold.

But if Favre continues to push the Packers, the unthinkable may just happen. Packers GM Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy in the past sat idlely as No. 4 tried to figure out his future year after year, but in the 2008 they said “Enough”.

With Thompson showing Favre the way to the door, the legendary quarterback did the right thing and supposedly walked away from the game in March. After Favre’s announcement, former 2005 first round selection Aaron Rodgers was handed the keys to the franchise plus the Packers drafted Louisville’s Brian Brohm (2nd round) and LSU’s Matt Flynn (7th round) to move on without Favre.

You would think that Favre would be content with his three MVP’s, a Super Bowl Title and numerous NFL records including: most career NFL touchdown passes (442), most career NFL passing yards (61,655), most career pass completions (5,377), most career passing attempts (8,758), most career NFL interceptions thrown (288), his “iron man” most consecutive starts quarterback streak (253 and you can make it 275 if you include the playoffs), and most career victories as a starting quarterback (160).

Unfortunately like former boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis — both came back with terrible results — the stubborn Favre still craves the spotlight.

Only Favre knows know why (Last Pass Intercepted, Ego, the Madden cover, or just plain spite), but he still thinks that there is still some fight left in his 38-year old body.

I do not envy the Packers in this situation as they will be the “Bad Guy” no matter how they handle the Favre mess. If No. 4 does hit the free agent market, I am already hearing quarterback strapped teams the Vikings, Redskins, Chiefs, Bears, and Panthers are lining up to bring in the 16-year veteran.

I can only hope that Favre comes to his senses and leaves the game on his terms before he shamelessly slinks away like too many former greats – See Babe Ruth playing for the Boston Braves, Ali vs. Holmes, Louis vs. Marciano or in football terms Johnny Unitas playing for the Chargers, Reggie White in a Panthers uniform, or Broadway Joe Namath creaking along for the LA Rams.