According to several reports, Brett Favre is feeling much better physically after a long soak in the warm waters of media love.
"He's feeling as good as he has since the last time he faked a retirement in order to hear everyone say how great he is," said Favre's agent, Bus Cook. "So, I guess as good as the last four or five summers."
After reports surfaced that Favre was retiring due to wear and tear on his body, he began an intensive rehabilitational regimen of watching ESPN and the NFL Network. He later switched to CNN and the internet, and then checked his cell phone for text messages.
"Right when he turned the TV on, he started feeling better," said Favre's wife, Deanna. "Some people are helped by physical rehab or acupuncture, but Brett has always responded best to people kissing his ass. There's nothing he loves better than hearing how much worse a team will be without him, or some NFL media guys running down his career records."
Even after hours in front of the television, Favre wasn't feeling quite good enough to return for another season. It wasn't until he checked his text messages that he made his final decision.
"Texting to Brett is like an immediate shot of adrenaline into his ego," said Cook. "He can send some texts out to teammates, coaches, friends or especially friendly media members and immediately get back short affirmations like: 'Ur the best! The NFL needs u!'
Favre now believes he is about 90-percent, but hopes to be 100-percent by the start of the season.
"He doesn't get to 100-percent until he has a huge press conference," said Deanna. "He says the heat of the TV lights loosens up his joints. But, yeah, it's really just because he's an egomaniac."
Brett Favre may be stepping away from the NFL due to a wide array of injuries he sustained over 19 years in the NFL.
Here is a complete list of what ails him.
With Brett Favre planning to retire, Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress has flown to Fran Tarkenton's home in Georgia in hopes of convincing the former Vikings star to come back for one more season behind center.
"He's been away for a few years, but he's really not that much older than Brett," Childress said of the 70-year-old Tarkenton. "I hope to sell Fran on this being the team that can get him his elusive Super Bowl ring."
Tarkenton holds every Vikings passer rating and led Minnesota to three Super Bowls, losing all three the last in 1977 when Favre was only 7 years old. But the former All-Pro reportedly has been working out with high school players.
"That's true," said Tarkenton. "I sometimes throw passes to my grandsons who are in high school. They're nice boys."
"Grandpa throws a football way better than all of the other grandfathers," said Danny Tarkenton, Fran's 15-year-old grandson. "I think it would be cool if he played for the Vikings. Then maybe he would make a lot of money and give me more than five bucks in my birthday cards."
Childress says he plans to make his pitch to Tarkenton this afternoon.
"I'll wait until he's up from his nap," said Childress, "when he's feeling fresh and vibrant and young. That's how I convinced Brett the first time."
The Tarkenton option has received strong support from Vikings players.
"I have never heard of him. Has he played football before?" asked Adrian Peterson. "Even if not, there's a strong chance he's better than Tarvaris and Sage."
In a ruling that will change the way NFL games are played, the league has approved a new, modified sudden death proposal. The proposal, which will take effect for 2010 season, stipulates that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre should get the ball at least once in overtime.
The ruling eliminates the nightmare scenario of an overtime game ending without the beloved QB having a chance to score.
“It’s something that we’ve been discussing for a long time,” said Competition Committee co-chair Rich McCay. “Far too many overtime games have been decided without Brett Favre ever getting the ball, and that’s unacceptable. People pay to see Favre play football, not sit on the sidelines while some nobody is kicking a 42-yard-field goal to ‘win’ the game, or while quarterbacks from other teams are playing.”
McCay said that last season’s Vikings-Saints playoff game, in which the Saints won in overtime after winning the coin flip, factored heavily into the decision.
“That game was a disaster. No game should end like that,” said McCay, "with Brett Favre standing there on the sidelines, useless, while the Saints are marching down the field to glory! Hello? What’s wrong with that picture? That should have been Brett in there. We all know that. The Saints know that. With this new rule, the big guy will at least get a chance with the ball, which is all he usually needs.”
Under the new format, if a team other than Brett Favre’s team wins the overtime coin flip, they can proceed down the field in the normal manner and attempt to score. If they do, Favre’s team will be given the ball one more time.
In games in which Favre is not playing, conventional overtime rules will apply. Or, if the schedule permits, team officials may dispatch a private jet to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to speak to Favre in hopes of convincing him to play for them in overtime.
“The new overtime format won't affect every game, every year,” said Titans coach Jeff Fisher. “But it does affect the most important ones: the ones Brett Favre plays in. Seeing him with the ball in OT is one of the biggest thrills in sports. And frankly, if my team is playing Brett’s team and we go into overtime and he doesn’t even get a chance to work his magic, I don’t evenwantto win that game.”
Surprisingly, every team in the league voted in favor of the measure, with several owners insisting that giving Favre an extra chance in OT was no big deal.
“Outstanding. Give him the ball,” said one owner, who asked not to be identified. “You know Brett: he’ll run out of the pocket, see a receiver triple-covered, think ‘I’m Brett Favre,’ and then hurl it across his body into coverage. If anyone should be against this rule, it should be Brett. It’s just going to make him look bad.”
It was the ending that everyone hoped for. Brett Favre, playing at age 40, in perhaps his greatest season, with the Super Bowl on the line, just seconds left on the clock threw the ball directly into the hands of an opposing defensive back.
"Thank you, sweet Jesus!" you yelled. Or maybe it wasn't you. It's hard to remember in all the delirium. But someone yelled it. Because something incredibly awesome had just happened.
The play still seems as though it was a dream. Like something that could only happen in a movie. The perfect ending. Too wonderful to be real. But it was real. It did happen. And it's the reason hundreds of millions of people love sports.
"In these tough times, these are the things you cling to, the things that give us hope," said President Barack Obama. "We often seem so divided, but today we all have something to celebrate. Brett Favre's interception. That selfish prick. Intercepted on the last pass he threw of the season. For the third year in a row. So awesome. So so awesome."
"We all now know what heaven feels like," said Pope Benedict XVI. "For that brief moment, and the 20 to 30 minutes after when we were still giving each other high-fives, we understood the joy of what the afterlife will be. Heaven is an eternity of Brett Favre throwing stupid interceptions across the field. And streets of gold, too, probably. But definitely the interceptions."
With Favre's storybook season now at a close, one question remains: can he write another chapter? Another book?
"I still have the desire to play," said Favre. "And I think people still have the desire to see me fail. We'll see what happens. But I don't know if I can top this. This was pretty magical for everyone who's not Brett Favre."
Let's focus on the keys to the game for each team in Sunday's conference championship games.
3:05 p.m. ET
New York Jets at Indianapolis (-7.5)
>>> Colts key to the game: Limit the destructive influence of Donald
"Goddamit, Donald! What the hell are you thinking?"
"How could you not expect our left tackle to get beaten immediately by legendary Ravens linebacker umm it says here that No. 95 on Baltimore roster is Jarret Johnson. How could you not expect that?! It's Jarret Johnson! He's great! You've ruined the play, Donald. You've ruined EVERYTHING. If Marvin Harrison was still here, I'd have him shoot you right in your stupid face."
>>> Jets key to the game: Help Mark Sanchez
Yes, the Jets can't put the game in Mark Sanchez's hands. That's obvious. But he needs way more help than that. Let's start with his diet. Check out this article from the New York Post:
"10 things you didn't know about Mark Sanchez:"
"6. Eats at Taco Bell every chance he gets."
What the? Taco Bell?! Sanchez's great-grandparents moved to the United States from Mexico. He probably grew up around great, authentic Mexican food. And he likes to eat at Taco Bell???
This is not good. Not good at all.
Take a look at this Twitter post from John Calipari. Olive Garden?! Really? Olive Garden? An Italian guy digging Olive Garden.
We have a serious problem on our hands. Americans with Mexican heritage love Taco Bell. Americans with Italian heritage love Olive Garden.
Jeez. I'm more ethnic than these guys.
My pick: Indianapolis***
6:45 p.m. ET
Minnesota at New Orleans (-3.5)
>>> Saints key to the game: Get the ball to Reggie Bush
Bush finally exploded in New Orleans' divisional round win against the Cardinals. So the Vikings have had to come up with a game plan for how to stop him. So far it doesn't sound like the have much:
"We'll have a plan that doesn't involve us pooping our pants." Chris Kluwe, P, Vikings
Sooooo I guess that's a place to start. Be on guard, Bush. If the Vikings realize that they can still poop themselves, only after removing their pants, allowing the poop to fall onto the field, which will then cause you to slip and fall on their feces as you cut across the field, you are doomed. It's Football 101.
>>> Vikings key to the game: Try to be less loathsome
As though rooting for Brett Favre to fail wasn't enough, there's your stupid dome, your stupid Viking horn, your pederast coach and your douchebag defensive lineman. Then you inspired Prince to compose the worst song ever. Oh, wait. Breaking news. This just in. Prince's song somehow isn't the worst song ever. It's this one (h/t KSK):
Sweet Lord. In all of that FAIL, the worst part may be at the 1:00 mark. Oh. Wow! You hit Drew Brees after he got a pass off. That's the best clip you could pull from Madden, a game you have full control over? Yeah, this is a fan base used to failure.
One last thing. Despite all I said about the Vikings and their fans, please refrain from making personal attacks about the people in that video. They can't help the way they look. And they don't even look that bad. The lead singer doesn't even have man boobs. At least I don't think he does. Man boobs don't sit that high. I think those are collarbone tits. Very rare. Cherish them.
My pick: New Orleans