UPDATE (8/19/2009): Well, so much for that idea...
What About Brett?
Now that Brett Favre has asked for and received his unconditional release from the Jets, all the speculation seems to be about the likelihood that he'll sign on with the Minnesota Vikings. Supposedly Brett is so angry with Green Bay Packers' General Manager Ted Thompson that he'll do anything to get revenge, even to the extent of joining the Packers' bitter rival. He wants to prove that Thompson done him wrong by not begging him to keep playing in 2008, and then not begging him to come back in 2008 after he'd retired.
It's a good theory, and it could easily turn out to be true. But I have a different idea which I'll toss out.
I think Brett Favre wants to be in a position to return to the Packers in the (not improbable) event that quaterback Aaron Rodgers is injured. That's why he demanded his unconditional release from the Jets.
The biggest question mark about Aaron Rodgers is his durability. He had serious problems in 2007, and even though he played all the games in 2008 he was hampered by a shoulder injury for many of them. It would not be at all surprising if something were to happen to him in 2009. And the Packers' backup quarterbacks are first-year players who did nothing to distinguish themselves in 2008. If they had to take over for Rodgers for any significant length of time, the 2009 season would be a disaster.
Think about it. Going to the Vikings would require Brett to spend a lot of time in training camp and summer workouts, learning a new system and watching tons of tape and familiarizing himself with the Vikings players. He hates that kind of grunge work. He just went through it a year ago with the Jets, and I doubt that he's looking forward to doing it a second time.
Wouldn't it be so much better to wait for Rodgers to suffer a major injury, perhaps about mid-season when the Packers were leading the division with a 6-2 record, and then come charging to the rescue like a knight on his white horse? The Packers fans would cheer their hero and welcome him home with open arms and forget about the previous year's messy divorce which tarnished his reputation and legacy. Ted Thompson would have to get down on his knees and apologize to Brett and plead for his return (which I think Ted would do, because he has fewer ego problems and just wants a winning team).
Best of all, Brett would face no learning curve. He already knows the plays and the terminology and the players and the coaches, which haven't changed since he left. He knows where Donald Driver and Greg Jennings are going to be when he throws the ball. Brett could walk on the field and pick up right where he left off. Maybe he'd be a little rusty at first, but he'd also be fresh for the second half of the season.
What a storybook ending, if Brett Favre were to save the season and return the Packers to the Superbowl and then win a victory there. What a great last hurrah!
That would erase the memory of his overtime interception which kept the Packers out of the 2007 Superbowl. That would cement his reputation as one of the greatest quarterbacks who ever played the game. That would earn him undying adoration from all Green Bay Packers fans. That would avoid all the enmity which would result from his defection to the evil Vikings.
And that would be Brett's best possible "I told you so" to Ted Thompson.