Maybe it's because I've watched Al Pacino in "Scarface" and Johnny Depp in "Blow" a couple of times too many, but there's this picture that kept coming to mind on Tuesday afternoon:
Brett Favre is the last guy to walk into the private jet. He goes alone to the back, where there's a solid-metal carrying case sitting on a table. Favre pops it open and thumbs through the bundles of bills.
Then, he shuts the case, nods toward the attendant and says, "Tell the pilot we can go now."
The Brett Favre boogie has played out with nearly the identical steps and on the exact timeline as in '09. And the delaying tactics gained the same result for the Hattiesburg Hustler: more millions from Zygi Wilf.
The popular theory has been that Favre has created these dramas with the Vikings in order to avoid spending a couple of weeks in Mankato. That's part of it, surely, but it's also instructive to remember this:
In mid-June of 2009, there was a column in the Star Tribune that stated the Vikings planned to offer Favre a contract that would be low in guaranteed money and with large incentives based on performance.
Two months later, the Vikings were anxious enough to have Favre to guarantee $12 million for 2009, and make another $13 million available in 2010.
That sounded as if it was all a 40-year-old quarterback could desire as a financial reward, but then Favre had the most efficient season of his historic career.
So, he waited again -- this time using minor ankle surgery as an excuse -- and then early in the Mankato bivouac sent the famous texts to Vikings players (and non-players) suggesting he was going to retire.
The Vikings weren't new at this. They were aware of the proper response to convince Favre to play again -- mo' money.
The best information remains what was reported in the Star Tribune earlier this month: The Vikings will increase Favre's guarantee for 2010 to $16 million, with incentives that could add $4 million.
It would be preposterous to expect the same brilliance from Favre in the season ahead. He's not going to throw 33 touchdowns with seven interceptions.
The positive news for Vikings loyalists is that Favre doesn't have to be great again. Very good will be good enough, with the team that has been assembled around him.
There are a couple of caveats in that statement. Percy Harvin's missed time must be based on his grandmother's death and migraines, as advertised, and not something that could cost him more time during the regular season. Sidney Rice must shake off the sore hip and return as a sensational receiver.
They are included in Favre's fabulous five weapons, a list that goes like this: 1-Adrian Peterson. 2-Rice. 3-Harvin. 4-Visanthe Shiancoe. 5-Bernard Berrian.
No team in football can top that first line of runners and receivers. And they will be operating behind an offensive front that will be functional, and better than that when second-year tackle Phil Loadholt starts beating on people.
The defensive line has superstars in Kevin Williams and Jared Allen, standouts in Pat Williams and Ray Edwards, and four more guys who belong in the league.
And while numerous offensive standouts have had missed time, the Vikings have been getting positive news on defense -- namely, that middle linebacker E.J. Henderson and right cornerback Cedric Griffin are well ahead of schedule in recovery from serious injuries.
They also might have found a new defensive monster in cornerback Chris Cook, their earliest pick in this year's draft. By all accounts, he was terrific in Mankato, and terrific again vs. the woeful Rams on Saturday night.
There's a joke going around the NFL and it has continued to gain popularity: Green Bay is the team to beat in the NFC North and is even the conference favorite.
Isn't that a knee-slapper?
Aaron Rodgers, mobile though he is, has a much higher risk of being injured behind the Packers' porous offensive line than does Favre shuffling around with the Vikings.
And after money and another chance at glory, there was no better reason for Favre to return than to get two more chances at his former team's putrid pass defense.
Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500ESPN. firstname.lastname@example.org