“Something’s Bound to Happen”

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Seriously, is Brett Favre retired? A week or two Andy promised that I’d be making a case here that Brett Favre is really not retired and intends to come back. I never did it. We’d had a conversation in which I took a bunch of data points and strung them together as a hypothesis that Favre was actually coming back. There was a little something there, but really I was joking. He spoke with conviction at his press conference and in a couple of subsequent comments he seemed comfortable with his decision.

In an interview with Peter King earlier this month, Favre said that he was happy being away from football and was not considering a comeback. But when pressed, he said: “I suppose anything could happen.” That prompted King to write: “The reason that quote is not in the lead of this story is because it’s an honest reflection of a man who won’t try to predict the future. Ninety-nine percent of what he said in a 20-minute conversation was very much about football being in the rearview mirror. And he certainly would not want the Packers or any other team to line up, hoping he’d change his mind in August and come in to save a sorry quarterback situation.” I think that was sound journalistic judgment. That comment didn’t reflect the tone of the broader conversation. But might it be the most important thing to have come out of their chat? Maybe. King also wrote that he was 98 percent sure Favre would stay retired after his press conference and only 93 percent certain after their phone call. I’m guessing this was tongue-in-cheek, but the reality is that King had a 20-minute conversation with Favre, almost all of it about Favre being comfortable with his decision to retire, and King came away less convinced than he had been twenty minutes earlier.

So what are we to make of Favre’s comments on Letterman last night. He did not sound like someone who wanted to stay retired. Here’s the exchange:

DL: “So, you have retired? You have not retired?”

BF: (Pause) “I have retired. Watch TV a lot don’t you?” (Laughter)

DL: “Somebody told me that that form, the retirement form, had not been signed and mailed in. Is there a retirement form that needs to be signed and mailed in?”

BF: “That’s what I’ve heard.”

DL: “Have you signed it and mailed it in?”

BF: “No, I haven’t signed it.”

DL: “Well, there you go…Your honor!”

BF: “I think the only reason to sign that form is so I get a severance check or something. So it’s actually in my benefit, I guess.”

DL: “You’re only 38 for goodness sakes.”

BF: “I know.”

DL: “And each day — we’re getting close to mini-camps. You start feeling a little something?”

BF: “You know what, not with minicamps.”

DL: “Okay, forget minicamps. Did I say minicamps? Forget minicamps.”

BF: “I wasn’t excited about it last year. I think when training, I will — something’s bound to happen.”

DL: “Now what does that mean? Something’s bound to happen. As you get close to training camp, something’s bound to happen. What does that mean?”

BF: “I don’t know. Did I just say that?”

DL: “You just said something’s bound to happen. So, that makes me think you’re not retired.”

BF: “Butteflies or — I don’t know, something’s bound to happen.”

DL: “Let me put it to you this way, and I don’t want to be silly about this, but I guess it’s too late for that. If there could be adjustments made for your training summer schedule regiment, would that be of interest to you?”

BF: (Pause) “Ummm, can you get that worked…”

DL: “Yes. Yes I can. I can take care of that.”

Letterman then asked whether Randy Moss had anything to do with Favre’s decision (Favre said no) and who the Packers quarterback would be (Favre, haltingly, said “Aaron Rodgers, I think, is the guy. I think he’ll do well.)

Maybe Favre is purposely being vague to be funny. And maybe I’m reading too much into his comments because I spend my working life trying to decipher the words of politicians. But everything from his appearance last night suggests that he’s deliberately leaving the door open to a return. Just as he did when Peter King’s level of metaphysical certitude slipped from 98 percent to 93 percent. I wonder what it’s at now?

Here’s the JS Online blog with additional highlights. And see the video below:

UPDATE: BratsNBeerGuy thinks Favre was kidding. Profootballtalk.com is closer to my take.

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7 Responses to ““Something’s Bound to Happen””

  1. Joe Says:

    The context of his, “something is bound to happen” statement was what will happen to him emotionally and physically as season approaches. It was in response to the “You start feeling a little something?” question about when season gets near. His facial reaction to Letterman’s reaction also makes it clear that he was not expecting that it would be understood as relating to a come back.

    It was not a comment about coming back, had nothing to do with coming back and he is not coming back.

  2. sfhayes Says:

    Can’t agree with you on this one, Joe. It was much more ambiguous than that — Profootballtalk.com, NFL Network, and others saw it as Favre leaving the door open to a comeback. Bottom line: He had the opportunity to knock down any speculation about a comeback and, as he has done before, he instead chose to fuel it. Not once in response to Letterman’s numerous questions did he say something unequivocal (other than his opening “I have retired.” He could have said: “I’m not coming back, Dave. I have no idea where this is coming from. It was a great decision and I’m happy with it. It’s over.” Instead, he gave us more language suggesting he was open to a comeback. As I pointed out, he told Peter King, “I suppose anything could happen.” He also told Al Jones directly that he’d be open to coming back if Aaron Rodgers came back. And last night, when Letterman asked him to clarify his “something’s bound to happen” and rule out a comeback, Favre didn’t do it. I’m not necessarily saying he’s planning a comeback, just that he seems to be purposely leaving the door open.

    In any case, I posted the entire transcript and the video so people could come to their own conclusions.

  3. Bill Walsh Says:

    I’m going to split the Joe-Steve difference here, to begin with.

    I think his initial “something’s bound to happen” was a slip of the tongue, but the fact he consistently didn’t backtrack and say something like, “Well, I’m bound to feel something, but trust me, I’ll be on the golf course or my riding mower when I do.” left a very distinct impression of ambiguity. He didn’t want to lie and say he wasn’t considering coming back, but he didn’t want to come out and state that he is, either.

    Which is a long way of saying, I think Steve’s right about his playing coy.

  4. MC Says:

    My two cents: I think Brett is A) Legitimately undecided (to a degree, although not enough to REALLY want to come back) and B) I’m almost certain that he enjoys toying with the media. I am sure he and Bus Cook crack up on the day after appearances like this when the media and blogosphere go into overdrive analyzing the bullshit.

    It is a drag for Aaron Rodgers, unless Favre is letting him in on the joke with phone calls saying something like: “Aaron — I”m TOTALLY retired. When you see me fucking with the media, DO NOT read anything into it, ever. OK? Peace out.”

  5. MC Says:

    And one addendum to my previous post:

    What if Favre really dislikes Aaron Rodgers? And what if Favre really resents Ted Thompson for drafting Rodgers, thereby gradually nudging Favre out the door?

    If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Brett is enjoying a little cat and mouse game at the psychological expense of Rodgers.

    Just a theory. We’ve been told for a couple years now that Favre and Rodgers aren’t “tight.” There may be more to that than some of us realize.

  6. Cate Says:

    I don’t have any insight into Favre’s psyche or what he meant to say or wanted to say or really said or didn’t say, but I do know that I love Brett Favre as much as any other Wisconsinite but if he comes back after this whole retirement schtick I am NOT going to be happy.

  7. Some Armchair Psychoanalysis « packergeeks Says:

    [...] I should probably leave this to Andy, but one thing struck me as I went back and re-read our first post after Brett Favre’s interview with David Letterman.  And it’s consistent with his [...]

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