Brett Favre still has a way with words.
Nearly two years since Favre was persuaded into playing a second season with the Vikings – his return to Winter Park tracked by helicopters and blanketed with ultra-sensationalized coverage -- Favre took time recently to reflect on that 2010 chaos and the 6-10 season that followed.
Just a warning: some of what the legendary quarterback had to say probably isn’t going to sit well with Vikings’ fans.
Yes, Favre’s first season in Minnesota was magical. Remember that last-second 32-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Greg Lewis in Week 3? Remember those 12 regular-season victories and the playoff thrashing of Dallas? Remember how close the Vikings were to reaching Super Bowl XLIV before a handful of unfortunate twists resulted in a 31-28 NFC title game loss to the Saints?
Well, as magical as the Vikings’ 2009 run was, 2010 provided a boatload of frustrations. Those 10 losses. The 19 interceptions Favre threw. His 69.9 quarterback rating. The failed return of Randy Moss. The firing of coach Brad Childress. The roof collapse at Mall of America Field. And the nasty hit Favre took on the icy turf at TCF Bank Stadium that effectively ended his career.
In some ways, Favre confesses, he saw such struggles coming. In a one-on-one sitdown down with Deion Sanders that aired this week on the NFL Network, Favre offered a candid if somewhat bothersome explanation on why he felt compelled to play for the Vikings in 2010.
“First of all,” Favre said, “the money was too good. The money was too good. And I hate to say it’s about money. I felt the money was a lot. But the guys, I kind of felt like even though I knew it was going to be next to impossible [to duplicate the 2009 success] – I wouldn’t tell them [that]. Sidney [Rice], Jared [Allen], [Steve] Hutchinson and Adrian [Peterson], they were like, ‘Unfinished business.’ I just knew that it probably was finished.”
Favre recalled the visit he received at his Mississippi home in the middle of the preseason when Allen, Hutchinson and kicker Ryan Longwell showed up in Hattiesburg, to persuade him to make another run.
One of the first thoughts to run through Favre’s mind?
“I knew this wasn’t going to end well,” he told Sanders.
“No one ever talked about this is going to be hard to duplicate,” Favre said. “But I think we all [were thinking it].”
And so before anyone knew it, a 2010 season that was supposed to provide an energized encore to 2009’s thrill ride, sent the Vikings on a stumble from which they have still yet to right themselves.
Asked by Sanders if he has now found closure on his 20-year career, Favre nodded.
“Yeah,” he said. “I probably knew when I got off the plane [in 2010]. I didn’t have to play a down. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t give my all. It just wasn’t to be, and I think I knew that. I really know it now.”