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It’s Groundhog Day! Again…

…or why you hate Brett Favre but deep down you know you’re following the story.

Much like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, you woke up Tuesday to the same old story that you wake up to every day/year.  Brett Favre is retiring.  This time it’s definite.  Well, maybe it’s definite this time.  It’s definitely a maybe.  And like the droning sounds of Sonny and Cher that blare through the alarm clock, I heard the same droning on talk radio Tuesday and Wednesday morning from every reporter, coach, player and analyst in the NFL.

So…without further delay, here’s my obligatory Brett Favre post.

I’m late to the party! (And lay off I was enjoying my two days at the beach)
The Brett Favre retirement party that is…if Brett is indeed retiring.
He definitely is this time!  Well, maybe.
Once again we’ve entered into the summer soap opera “As the Brett Turns.”

In case you didn’t hear and were truly living Groundhog Day, ESPN reported Wednesday that Brett Favre indicated to several teammates that he plans to retire.

Then, only 24 hours later, ESPN reported that Brett Favre will play if his ankle is healthy, also after reports that Favre took part in throwing drills at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg.

Casual sports fans loathe hearing his name.
Packers fans are disgruntled that he left and now plays for the Vikings.  Oh yeah, did I mention they hate each other.
Vikings fans are starting to doubt him at best and distrust him at worst.
Ed Werder camps outside his house.
Vegas is taking bets on him.

ESPN is infatuated with him, often reporting stories based on little information and going “all hands on deck” to cover his retirement/return.  Remember Brad Childress chauffeuring Favre from the airport?   ESPN was all over that.  And considering July/August is the most vacuous time in the pro-sports schedule, ESPN was dying for the Annual Brett Favre Retirement/Return story.

The NFL needs him.  Last year he was #1 in jersey sales.  This year, post draft, he is still #5 and sure to rise once the Tim Tebow hype wanes.    He was one game away from another Super Bowl.  One monumental interception away from the Super Bowl.  A Super Bowl, which would’ve featured Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, two of the greatest QBs of all time.  The New Orleans story was a sweet consolation prize for the NFL as it was able to showcase the Saints as the hope for a city that is still trying to (and may never) recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, as well as overcoming their own dubiousness as a franchise that went from “Ain’ts” to Saints.

The Vikings are desperate for him.  Do I need to remind you that Brad Childress picked up Brett Favre at the airport? Now there are reports that the Vikings are willing to pay more for a Brett Favre return.  He’s scheduled to make $13 million this year, but the Vikings are willing to increase that deal to $20 million ($16 million guaranteed, $4 incentives).  Why?  Brett Favre = revenue.  If you don’t believe me, check out the Minnesota Vikings average ticket prices without Brett Favre. That’s a $30 drop (per ticket) in two weeks!  Forget about Favre making the Vikings a playoff contender.  Without him, they’re losing millions in revenue.  $20 million is a bargain when you’ll make that back in 4 games worth of tickets, concessions, and memorabilia.  I’m surprised there isn’t a story out there that projects how many millions the Vikings would lose without Favre.  Not to mention that the Vikings are trying to get approval for a new stadium.

Lessons to learn from “As the Brett Turns”

1.  If you don’t like the coverage, change the channel and watch Shark Week.  A Brett Favre retirement/return may be tiresome news (considering we’re on our 1,637 episode of “As the Brett Turns”), but it’s still news.  This latest wave of Favre reports was set off when Favre reportedly texted “This is it” to several teammates.  An entire network moves on 3 words:  “This is it.”  Was he talking about the Michael Jackson documentary?  The Vikings’ season and finances hinge on his return.  The outcome of the NFC North and the NFC playoffs depend on his return.  If you think I’m crazy for saying that, check out how Favre’s retirement/return affects betting lines in Vegas.  Obviously, the Vikings and the NFL will move on without Favre, but until that time comes, the ESPN will continue to send Ed Werder to the “Waffle House” every off-season and every former and current coach, player, executive, sports anchor, and day-jobber with a twitter account will chime in on the retirement/return.

2.  Favre retirement/return stories are always entertaining.  Without these ridiculous sub-plots the NFL would be slightly more boring this season.  Only slightly because this season we have Dez Bryant refusing to carry pads, TOcho and the Bengals, Shanahan shutting out Haynesworth until he passes a routine running drill, Roethlisberger’s latest bar rendezvous, and McNabb’s return to Philadelphia as a Redskin.  Again I’ll remind you that Childress picked up Favre at the airport.  Can you imagine your new boss meeting you in a black SUV with a “Your Name” sign?  Bonus: every season we go through this is another season I get Frank Caliendo impersonations of John Madden and his man-crush on Brett Favre.  And don’t forget Wrangler commercials.

3.  It’s all about the money.   Don’t let the reporters or news stories fool you.  Never believe anyone when they say “it’s not  about the money.”  It’s always about the money. People who say “it’s not about the money” either a) already have plenty a ridiculous amount of money and don’t need more but will take it and are merely in denial or b) make a minimal amount of money but would take substantially more if offered to them and are hypocritical.   If it’s not about the money , the Vikings Brad Childress wouldn’t have picked Favre up at the airport last year.  If it’s not about the money, the Vikings wouldn’t be offering Favre an additional $7 million to return on top of his current $13 million.  If it’s not about the money, then ticket prices wouldn’t have dropped substantially when Favre announced his retirement.  And Favre is a magician.  He doesn’t need more money, but he texts “This is it” and *poof* he gets offered $7 million extra to return.  By the way, that’s a lot of Wrangler jeans.

4.  Favre is a flip-flopper/waffler like the rest of us.  Put yourself in his shoes.  You’re 40+ years old.  You’re middle name is Lorenzo.  You’ve played professional football for 19 years and possibly starting your 20th, i.e. ending your second decade in the NFL. You’ve made 285 consecutive starts.  You have the chance to return to a team that’s gift wrapped for you, including one of the best RBs in the league, a solid defense, and an offensive scheme that you could run with your eyes closed.  Your coach looks like Herman Stiles from Evening Shade.  You don’t have to attend OTAs or minicamp and you don’t have to be ready until the regular season.  You missed out on your 3rd Super Bowl by one play, you’re interception of course.  The Saints destroyed you, flattened you several times and you injured your ankle along with countless other body parts.  In short, you looked 40 years old if not older.  You want a chance at redemption but maybe your body can’t handle another run…or maybe it can.  Hell, I have a hard enough time choosing a movie to rent from Netflix, let alone a career decision like this.  I think its a no-brainer that he returns, but my middle name isn’t Lorenzo, and I don’t earn an extra $7 million by texting my friends.

5.  Brett Favre is one of the greatest QBs that ever lived.  Statistically, he’s in the top 10.  However, no QB  has ever been relevant this long.  And no QB has captivated (good and bad) the NFL, ESPN, and fans in the way Brett Favre has.  Entire off-seasons are devoted to reporting his retirement/return.  Casinos are taking prop bets on Favre returns.  When Vegas opens up bets based on whether you retire or go back to work, that’s when you move the dial.  If you send some of your friends a 3 word text and you’re company offers you $7 million extra, then you’re important.

Perhaps Brett Favre will see his shadow once again, and return to the NFL.
Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve seen the last of The Groundhog.

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Categories: Humor, Movies, NFL, Sports
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