- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009

What - no more Brett Favre? Just like that, in a New York Jets minute, he’s gone? Really gone? Or just gone? Wink, wink.

Gone just long enough to miss training camp. Gone just long enough to miss the drudgery, repetition and tedium of training camp. Gone for at least a couple of months.

Be honest. You miss him already. You miss the soap opera. You miss the shots of his two-day-old stubble. How does he do that anyway - maintain his stubble at precisely two days old?

You miss his passes to Mississippi high school players. You miss the parsing of his comments and the comments of those around him. You miss all of it - the big, fat distraction of it all.

And you know how football teams hate distractions, with the exception of the Vikings.

But now Favre is retired, and he means it this time. Really, really means it. Except, you never know. Who can predict the future with any great degree of accuracy?

As Favre told SI.com: “I truly, truly believe it’s over. But if someone calls Nov. 1, who knows?”

A team mired with a .500 record but with a chance to make a push in the second half of the season will call Favre.

And then this beautiful spectacle will commence anew. Favre is the old quarterback who never dies. He doesn’t even fade away.

That groveling you now hear is coming from Brad Childress, the Vikings coach who is having to reacquaint himself with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, the two previously scorned quarterbacks.

Childress is saying now that he is “more than content” with Jackson and Rosenfels. He also is saying that he has a palm-tree-lined property to sell in Minnesota.

Childress is done with Favre. Let’s be clear on that. Favre can have another change of heart today - and anything is possible with him - and Childress will resist the bait. He has a job to do, and that job is to make either Jackson or Rosenfels a vaguely competent quarterback.

And don’t you worry about their psyches. These guys are fine. They are better than fine. They are ready to lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl.

And Childress says he has no interest in pursuing Michael Vick because of, again, his comfort with Jackson and Rosenfels.

Last week, Jackson and Rosenfels might as well have been in the Witness Protection Program considering how far off the radar they were. Now you have the feeling that Childress believes he will be choosing either Joe Montana or John Elway.

Besides the Vikings, the other big loser in all this is ESPN. How is the network going to fill the 18 hours of airtime that it devoted to Favre each day?

Maybe the network’s fallback position is a reality show. Favre goes hunting. Favre does yard work. Favre plays touch football with a group of friends. Favre answers text messages from prospective teammates.

As it turns out, it was not the surgically repaired arm that held Favre back. It was his soon-to-be-40-year-old body. The arm feels great. It is the rest of his body that is a mess.

Yet the arm is all we heard about the last month from ESPN’s stable of medically trained analysts in the studio. They would evaluate Favre’s throwing arm from afar and pronounce it in various stages of recovery.

ESPN was so obsessed with Favre that it nearly forgot to mention that what happens in Las Vegas does not always stay in Las Vegas if you are Ben Roethlisberger and the object of a civil lawsuit.

Better late than possibly miss Favre make another pass to a high school player.

Or add another twist to this never-ending saga.

That is the thing - it is not over yet.

Favre is merely waiting on part-time work.

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