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Reflecting on Favre Watch and why I will miss the drama

It used to be that I railed against Favre Watch.

I fought the machine and let it get the best of me. But now that another year of it is over -- at least the "Will he or won't he report?" part of it -- I actually think I'm going to miss it.

Favre Watch might never come back and, no matter what you think of Brett Favre and his offseason shenanigans, the league won't be the same without him once he does eventually decide to hang up his cleats.

Hannah Foslien / Associated Press
After months of deliberating and keeping quiet, Brett Favre has finally decided to rejoin the Vikings.
Favre Watch 2010
Date What happened
Jan. 24 Suffers left ankle injury in NFC Championship loss to Saints; speculation on his future begins almost instantaneously.
May 21 Undergoes arthroscopic ankle surgery by Dr. James Andrews (a clear sign he plans to come back, right?)
July 19 Brad Childress visits Favre in Hattiesburg, Miss., presumably to begin the convincing process.
Aug. 3 Reports: Favre informs Vikings, via text message, he will not return; players confirm texts; Favre denies sending them.
Aug. 12 Visits Dr. Andrews in Florida in what is perhaps another sign he intends to return.
Aug. 17 Vikings send Steve Hutchinson, Jared Allen and Ryan Longwell to Hattiesburg; Favre boards a plane for the Twin Cities.
Aug. 18 Favre is back at practice with the Vikings, bringing Favre Watch 2010 to its dramatic conclusion.

This year, I don't even blame Favre for much of what went on. Sure, he waffled some and even issued conflicting statements on the same day once. But it's not like he held a press conference and then changed his mind, and the specter of his ankle surgery would complicate anyone's timetable.

Making an earlier decision may have helped the Vikings some, but the reality is that they gleefully and willingly went along for the ride. In their heart of hearts, everyone in Minnesota knew that the team was screwed if Favre retired, whether he did it in March or September.

A lot of this drama was out of Favre's hands, with second- and third-hand accounts of text messages, some people losing context of how little what Favre says (much less texts) in early August really means, and erroneous reports persisting about him releasing a retirement statement.

Does Brett still revel in all of this faux drama? Not a doubt in my mind. But it's not always of his own creation.

I'm cool with these whacky offseasons of twists and turns, and anyone who has really been paying attention the past few years saw this year's version for what it was the entire time. Everything pointed to Favre's return when the team broke camp, and that's what happened. The ankle injury could complicate when exactly he gets on the field and how much he plays in the preseason, but Favre loves football and loves winning too much to have walked away from the situation unless he was absolutely forced out.

Viva la Favre Watch! Hope this wasn't the last one.

Trade talk

Now that everyone has played a preseason game, and teams start to get a better focus on their rosters -- where they have holes; where they have more depth than needed -- trade talks begin to heat up.

» I would not be surprised if the Vikings move Sage Rosenfels with the Favre drama now complete.

» The Ravens remain in the market for a legit third or fourth corner, having exhausted the free-agent ranks, and figure they might have to deal RB Willis McGahee to complete a deal. Receiver Mark Clayton and one of their many quality depth linebackers would have some trade appeal, as well, if they can find the right partner. They won't all be dealt, but somebody playing at least one of those positions is likely to go.

» I wonder if a team like Buffalo or Indianapolis tries to pry QB Tyler Thigpen out of Miami. With Pat White's development so in question, the Dolphins might not be much willing to do deal him, and it would take more than the fifth-round pick they sent to Kansas City a year ago to get him. As for the Colts, they clearly could use another backup behind Peyton Manning. Curtis Painter looked awful over the weekend against the 49ers.

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