On Monday morning, the news broke that Brett Favre has once again filed his retirement papers with the NFL. In the interest of expediency, and to help tired sportswriters on this national holiday, Shutdown Corner offers the following "fill-in-the-blank" story template. After hitting up the Yahoo! search engines and discovering how much the old Favre retirement papers stories look like the new ones, we feel it's in everybody's best interest to do it this way from now on.
We know you've heard it before, but Brett Favre appears to be (dead serious in his resolve/throwing darts at a board about/laughing his butt off at how goofy the media is about his) staying retired.
(A source close to Favre/The guy who runs Favre's deer stand/Deanna's lawyers) told (a mass of drooling, dazed reporters/a hysterical Steve Maruicci/John Madden, as he gazed upon his life-sized Favre statue made of pimento cheese) has filed his official retirement papers with the league.
It is thought that the final straw in Favre's decision to retire was (his back-breaking playoff interception against the New York Giants/his back-breaking playoff interception against the New Orleans Saints/the fact that the NFL wouldn't expand the new playoff overtime rules to make any Favre postseason interception illegal), and that there's no turning back for the (future Hall of Famer/future Favre Jeans pitchman/future horrible football broadcaster) this time.
After retiring from the Packers to wind up with the Jets, and retiring from the Jets to go to the Vikings, and retiring from the Vikings to go to the ... um, Vikings, Favre will have to understand that observers won't take his most recent claims seriously -- after all, he filed retirement papers in 2009 as well. As it was then, it may be that the only way to bring him back into the league would be that (his unparalleled thirst for competition cannot be slaked/he needs more settlement money/Mississippi may be changing its community property laws).
Favre has no money on the books; he signed a one-year contract with the (Minnesota Vikings/Saskatchewan Roughriders/Dillon Panthers) for the 2010 season after keeping the NFL world (alive with a sense of mystery/angry with a sense of inevitability/avoiding all NFL news programs from the NFL draft to the preseason) with the ("Will-he-stay-or will he go"/"See-me-feel-me-touch-me-heal-me"/"Dropkick-me-Jesus-through-the-goalposts-of-life") nature of his postseason unpredictability.
So filing retirement papers would take no money off the books for his previous team, nor is it an absolute end to a career that has mixed greatness and absurdity at truly historic levels. He could pull that paper and leave us all hanging if he so chooses.
When asked about the public reaction to his flip-flopping, Favre had this to say: ("I dunno why y'all don't believe me this time. I'm done unless I'm not"/Uhhh ... see ya at the compound in three months, boys!"/"Why is Ed Werder slumped over like that?").
Whether you believe him or not, Favre's stellar play, rouge-ish behavior on and off the field, and constant need for media attention has made him one of this generation's most compelling sports characters, and we may never see his like again once he does finally hang ‘em up.
Whenever THAT may be.