Favre wants 'storybook ending' to prolific 20-year career

Brett Favre, at the midpoint of a disappointing season by his standards, isn't giving up on the Minnesota Vikings' playoff chances just yet.

Favre is hoping for "a storybook ending," not only for the Vikings, but for his epic career that he vows will end with Minnesota's final snap of the 2010 season.

Favre, who spoke with NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci in a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday on "NFL GameDay Morning," said that while he doesn't regret returning for his 20th NFL campaign, he has no plans to come back for a 21st.

"Are you coming back in 2011?" asked Mariucci, who was Favre's quarterbacks coach in Green Bay from 1992 to 1995.

"No," Favre said.

If the notorious flip-flopping Favre is to be believed this time, he is running out of time to take the Vikings to the Super Bowl -- and he knows it. He cites the Vikings' next two games -- on the road against the Chicago Bears, then at home against his former team, the Packers -- as make-or-break confrontations for a three-win team that has yet to find its rhythm.

"You lose 'em, it's over," Favre said. "Mathematically, I don't know what will happen, but, I mean, it's over."

Asked if he's still focused on making the playoffs, Favre acknowledged, "That's still my goal."

How about the Super Bowl? "Eh," Favre replied. "I mean ... we have to get small steps right now."

In a season that has allowed nothing more than small steps -- many of them backward -- for a quarterback and a team that seemed charmed in 2009, some question if Favre harbors regrets about returning to Minnesota.

"It's been asked a bunch. And it would be easy for me to say, 'Yeah. You know, I was hoping to come back and be 8-0 at this point,'" Favre said. "Sure, I was hoping that. Did I think we would be 3-5? No.

"When I decided to come back, I knew it had to be all in or not. That's just the way I work," Favre said. "And (I) had to take the good with the bad. Bad with the good."

Favre's decision to re-join the Vikings meant another season under the microscope for him, his teammates and coach Brad Childress, who became a punching bag for criticism while the team unraveled. Outsiders have hinted at a crumbling relationship between Favre and Childress, but the quarterback told Mariucci the tenor between the two is unchanged.

"(It's) about the same," Favre said. "I mean a lot has been made of it. ... I think it's been blown out of proportion. Brad's a good guy. ... It's a good relationship. I mean, I have no problems with Brad."

Favre's pedestrian numbers -- nine touchdown passes, 13 interceptions and a 75.7 rating in eight starts -- tell the difference between this year's team and the 2009 outfit, which roared to a 7-1 start, during which the quarterback threw for 16 TDs with just three picks. Last season, he forged a connection with deep threat Sidney Rice. This season, Rice's absence following offseason hip surgery has left Favre and Minnesota's passing game out of sync.

When Childress tried to address his team's flailing passing attack by trading with the New England Patriots for All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss on Oct. 6, Favre and the Vikings appeared dangerous again -- at least on paper.

Moss hauled in 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns in four games with the Favre, but the Vikings went 1-3 during that stretch. The team waived Moss on Nov. 1, a move that left Vikings fans breathless -- and Favre, once again, without a home-run hitter.

"We were probably as surprised or shocked as we were when we found out he was coming in," Favre said. "But the bottom line is that (we) were 1-3 with him. That's not his fault, one way or the other. But I guess it wasn't the spark that we thought it would be."

With Moss gone, Favre threw for a career-high 446 yards in last Sunday's 27-24 overtime victory over the Arizona Cardinals, and some Vikings said afterward they saw a difference in the quarterback's demeanor.

"I mean, I throw for the most yards in my career the week after Randy's gone. Go figure," Favre said. "We just proved this past week that we can do some good things with the guys we have. You just have to have that opportunity."

Favre also addressed allegations that he sent racy messages and photos to Jenn Sterger, who worked for the New York Jets in 2008 when he was that team's quarterback. Favre, who met with NFL Security on Oct. 19, said the investigation -- and the circus enveloping it -- isn't a distraction.

"(It's) not that difficult," Favre said. "Our season has been a struggle. As I've said before, let the league do their due diligence, and, you know, in the end, that'll sort itself out."

Favre told Mariucci he doesn't have any news on the state of the investigation since his meeting with the league.

"To be honest with you, Steve, I mean, I haven't heard a word," he said.

Favre, not one to take his legacy lightly, spoke with hope about the possibility of another late-season run -- something spectacular enough to wash away the nightmarish feel of this final chapter.

"This could be a storybook ending, or it could be a year to forget," he said. "... I hope that it's, you know, a storybook ending. I mean, there's still time to change that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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