NFL: Favre signs with Vikings
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. ó Brett Favre’s latest retirement lasted all of three weeks.
The three-time MVP has done an about-face for the second time in as many years and will play for the Vikings this season.
If the wait for Favre’s decision seemed neverending, it was resolved Tuesday in a few short hours: the 39-year-old Favre jumped on a team plane in Mississippi and was picked up at the St. Paul airport by coach Brad Childress himself. The two drove to the team’s practice facility, where Favre waved to hundreds of cheering fans.
No less than 90 minutes later, Favre was on the field in his familiar No. 4 jersey with purple shorts and a purple helmet, a vision that has had Packers fans cringing about for months. He shook hands with a few of his new teammates and quickly began throwing as fans peeked through the security fence to catch a glimpse of the superstar.
Shortly after practice began, the Vikings confirmed the agreement that seemed so inevitable all summer, only to be held up on July 28 when the man who holds every major NFL career passing record told Childress he wasn’t ready to play, citing a lack of confidence in his beat-up body to hold up over an entire season.
Childress and Favre were expected to discuss the change of heart at a news conference later Tuesday.
Childress a few weeks ago said he had not planned to pursue Favre after he said he was staying retired. And yet here comes Favre, once reviled by a Vikings fan base that hustled to welcome him to town.
“I don’t have any problem rooting for one of the greatest quarterbacks ever,” said Phil Setala, a 23-year-old from Minneapolis who was at practice proudly wearing a purple No. 4 jersey.
Even the governor chimed in.
“It’s going to be good for the team. It’s going to be good for the state. It’s going to be exciting,” a giddy Gov. Tim Pawlenty said after a speech.
Last month, Favre explained his decision by saying he had to be “careful not to commit for the wrong reasons.”
“I’m 39 with a lot of sacks to my name,” he said.
He has a lot of interceptions to his name, too, more than any other quarterback in NFL history. The last time Favre appeared in the playoffs ó a bitter loss at Lambeau Field by the Packers to the Giants in the NFC Championship game following the 2007 season ó he put up one of his worst performances in recent memory.
Now the question becomes how Favre will fit in with a team that’s already done with the grind of training camp, not to mention how his health will hold up so soon after he questioned it. Favre had arthroscopic surgery to fix his throwing shoulder in May.