Brett Favre had a visit from a few of his Vikings teammates on Monday night while he was still deciding whether he would return to the NFL for a 20th season. The three players -- Steve Hutchinson, Jared Allen and Ryan Longwell -- told him he didn't need to play like he did last year but they still wanted him to return.
You guys know Hutch but it's like talking to a wall. He's not taking no for an answer. He kind of strikes fear in you. I can't even tell you but I said to him this is going nowhere. At one point, I was stating my case and Jared said, 'You know, I hear everything they're saying and I'm with you. Now, I'm a little selfish and for selfish reasons we'd like to have you back.'
His teammates told him that he didn't owe them anything but, because of the team they've put together (and, frankly, because he waited until the last minute to decide), he felt he owed it to the organization to return.
It doesn't help when I'm driving home in Hattiesburg, a month after football, and there's billboards popping up saying how much we love you and we want you back. Who would've ever thought that would happen? People are making trips to Hattiesburg and it was sincere stuff. The things I was hearing and the letters I was reading, the billboards I was passing....I just felt like I owe it to this organization to give it one more try. I have no idea how it will pan out but I can promise you I will give my best.
As for the decision process itself, Favre has come under fire (once again) for turning this into a circus-like environment. However, he doesn't expect anyone to understand what he went through.
I can't expect anyone outside of this group to understand it or agree it. People are going to break it down and say this is wrong, or right, or inspirational. Everyone will have their take on it. But I think it's a tribute to the guys.
Check out Daily Norseman for more on Brett Favre's return.