So here's what we know for sure about the ongoing Brett Favre saga, just to recap:
- Via text message, Favre informed at least a few people with the Vikings that he wasn't coming back, or was at least leaning towards not coming back. This is what the original reports said, this is what Visanthe Shiancoe confirmed - this seems to be the truth.
- The team, knowing Favre's propensity to be on the fence, isn't ready to move on yet. Whether they're planning to offer him more money, or just give him enough space to change his mind, they believe that this is not at all a cut-and-dried decision.
- Favre's family has denied that he has made his final decision, and with no statement from either the man himself, his agent Bus Cook, or anyone close to him, nothing can be said to have been decided.
- Even if a definitive statement is made, it's Brett Favre - no door is ever truly closed.
More interesting, I think, is this question: Why now? A few possible reasons:
- Favre actually, genuinely believed that this was it. But if this was true, then why not make an announcement? Why not release a statement and let everybody move on with the "When will he un-retire this time?" speculation?
- Favre is a shameless attention hog who wanted to hear from the media, the fans, the organization, and his teammates just how much they all wanted him back. This is just too sad to discuss, so let's move on.
- Favre and his agent realized that the Vikings are absolutely over a barrel if Favre doesn't come back, and while $13 million for next year is good, $19 million - or some similar number - would be even better. And so the ol' gunslinger put all his chips in the center of the table, knowing that he held every last one of the cards.
- Conspiracy theory: This story was invented in a late-night secret meeting between the Star Tribune's Mark Craig, ESPN's Ed Werder, and the management company of LeBron James. The Strib gets a website-crashing story, ESPN gets something to fill eighteen hours of network time, and everybody forgets what an (expletive) James is, for awhile.
- The most likely, I suppose: the ankle's not ready to go, and Favre either really thinks he can't play, or is trying to buy more time to heal.
We'll see what tomorrow brings. But I'm not sure it could be much wilder than today.