Brett Favre returns: 'As well as I played, it wasn't enough'
This is running transcript of Favre's press conference. Quotes are not in their entirety. Favre is a classic rambler -- and my fingers are typing as quickly as they can.
Brett Favre eliminated any shred of doubt that may have lingered: he has rejoined the Minnesota Vikings for his 20th season in the NFL.
"As well as I played last year, it wasn't enough," said Favre, who is coming off one of the best seasons of his career, in a press conference in Eden Prairie, Minn.
"Believe me, when I left New Orleans [after the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship game], a big part of me was -- I don't want to say done, [but] the toll that it takes...everyone wants to talk about the physical toll ... but the mental toll is what's really hard to deal with."
After getting so close to a Super Bowl berth and with a visit from Vikings teammates Steve Hutchinson, Jared Allen and Ryan Longwell earlier this week, Favre made up his mind to play again.
"A lot of teams can say thy have a legitimate chance and this is one of those teams. But answering the bell ... my wife always says I look at things [more] negatively than I should but what happens if I can't answer the bell? ... Physically ... it's hard to believe I say this every year but I can't complain. There's nothing on me that's 100 percent. I've played 390 straight games. I can't complain."
Favre underwent surgery on his ankle in May and his slow recovery fed his indecision about whether to play again. Saying repeatedly, "I can't complain" and reminding reporters that he's an almost 41-year-old grandfather, Favre called his ankle injury "chronic" and said that walking isn't the problem. "It's playing football." His arm, though, "is great."
Although reports from three weeks ago had Favre texting teammates that he'd retire. the arrival of the three Vikings was not the pivotal moment. It was the buildup of messages Favre was receiving, including a billboard fans bought in his Hattiesburg, Miss., hometown.
"Even though I don't owe them something, maybe I should just try to get it one more try," Favre said of his thought process. "It doesn't help when I'm driving home in Hattiesburg and there's billboards popping up saying we love you and we want you back.
"The things I was hearing, the things I was reading, the billboards I was passing...I owe it to this organization to give it one more try. I have no idea how it will pan out, but I''ll give it my best. ... I can't give any guarantees. The way I played last year, I set the bar high. I didn't do myself any favors."
Naturally, Favre was asked about his plans for next year. "Twenty years and I'm done. This is the last year of my contract."
Of course, next season there may well be a lockout and, with some time to rest ... nah, he wouldn't change his mind.
August 18, 2010; 2:46 PM ET
Categories: Brett Favre , NFL
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