Sports Illustrated's Peter King falls out of love with Brett Favre.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King falls out of love with Brett Favre.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King falls out of love with Brett Favre.

The stadium scene.
Aug. 18 2009 5:36 PM

The Favre and I

Sports Illustrated's Peter King falls out of love with his favorite source.

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Brett thinks about unretiring, April 4, 2008: Brett Favre, startled this morning to see the enormity of a report on a morning sports show that he might play football again, said he is not considering coming out of retirement. … Most days he eats breakfast at home with wife Deanna and daughter Breleigh, drives Breleigh to school and spends the day working on his property, mowing and edging and clearing land. "Deanna says I'm married to my property,'' he said., July 7, 2008: [H]is arm has felt pain-free and strong. That, plus the fact he hasn't found anything else to do in retirement other than the chores on his 465 acres in Hattiesburg, is making him think he wants to play football again.

Sports Illustrated, Aug. 4, 2008: Tortured is too strong a word to describe what Favre, leaning against the polished marble counter in his spacious kitchen, and his wife, sitting, often shaking her head, were going through on Saturday night. But agonized isn't far off. "I don't know what I'll do," said a weary Favre, running a hand over his customary six-day stubble.

Brett unretires, Aug. 7, 2008: As he walked down the tunnel in Cleveland Browns Stadium Thursday evening, seconds before meeting his new team, Brett Favre looked beat. Could you blame him? Twenty hours earlier, he'd made a life-altering decision, welcoming a trade to the New York Jets. … And now, after a one-hour flight to Cleveland—in khaki shorts and gray T-shirt, the whites of his eyes pink from fatigue—Favre paused a few steps from the entrance to his new life. "I'm worn out,'' he said. "Just worn out.''


Brett thinks about retiring again, Jan. 3, 2009: Speaking to Brett Favre Friday night from Mississippi, I got the distinct impression that he was going to retire from football, this time for good.

Brett retires again, Feb. 11, 2009: "Yeah.'' That's the text message I got back this morning from Brett Favre after I sent him one that said, simply: "Can I confirm the report that you're retiring for good?'' … Could he change his mind? Sure. Will he? I sincerely doubt it, even if his arm starts feeling right again., Feb. 16, 2009: I've saved the four-minute voice-message from him on my cell phone the day he quit, and when I've played it for people, I've asked, "Does that sound like a guy who was retiring with a lot of doubt in his mind?'' And everyone says no.

Brett thinks about unretiring again, May 4, 2009: I don't know what he's going to do. But I, like some of you, am suspicious. There's no good reason to ask for his release from the Jets unless it's to leave open the option to play again. … I know you're sick of this story. We all are. But my gut feeling is Favre never completely got this Vikings fixation out of his system.

Brett decides to stay retired:, July 28, 2009: I give up. … So now I've been wrong three times. I thought he was retired last year and he played for the Jets. I thought he was retired this year, and I said he'll come back to play for the Vikings unless his arm is a problem. His arm wasn't. And he still isn't going to play. That's why I give up. Don't ask me anymore what I think about Favre, whether I think he's going to play or whether I think he's going to mow the grass for the rest of his life. I don't know because I honestly don't think he knows., Aug. 4, 2009: [W]hen I was settling in to watch some practice tape … my cell rang. It was Favre, saying he just didn't trust his body to make it through 16 games, not given the way it felt after he worked it hard the past few weeks, getting it ready for the Vikings' grind. And he was pretty sure this was the end, but come midseason, if some team calls, who knows? Favre was down. He just sounded beat, like he had nothing left to give, and a little depressed. "I'm sure I'll regret it down the road," he said.

Brett unretires again:, Aug. 18, 2009: Favre's the wishy-washiest player in memory—and the Vikings are his enablers. It's ridiculous.