"It's clear that this keeping everyone on the edge of their seat every year is paying dividends," Favre said, two days after another brilliant performance on Thanksgiving Day. "So I'm going to build it into my weekly routine."
Favre said that every Monday, he'll speak pessimistically about coming back for the Packers' next game, citing his age (he's 38) and family concerns. Tuesday is the players' day off. On Wednesdays, according to the plan, coach Mike McCarthy will tell the media that he REALLY hopes Favre suits up for "one more week." On Thursdays, Favre will hear pleas from upper management and his teammates not to retire. On Fridays, fans will be encouraged to e-mail the team and call sports talk radio, talking in almost suicidal tones about what life without Favre would be like. Finally, every Saturday, Favre says he'll announce that he's coming back for "another shot at a championship."
"Why fix what's not broken?" McCarthy said of Favre's plan. "The uncertainty over Brett's return has worked wonders for us in 2007," McCarthy said, referring to his team's unlikely 10-1 start. "So I can't wait to have that tension in the air every week, from now until, hopefully, Super Bowl XLII."
Favre's teammates were wide open to the new plan.
"I think it's great," said receiver Greg Jennings. "I can't wait for that pall to be cast over the team Monday morning, when Brett starts talking retirement. I miss that feeling."
"I know he's a big family man," said receiver Donald Driver, warming up for the weekly casting of doubts. "So I know that will play a big part as to whether he plays against the Cowboys," Driver added about the Packers' next game. "We need him, big time. But he needs to do what's right for Brett Favre."
Favre will continue to use the threat of retirement thru the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, to keep his team sharp
Favre kicked his new plan off by hinting to reporters as soon as the team plane landed from Detroit that he's played his last NFL game.
"That was the way I'd like to go out," he said of his four-TD pass performance on Thanksgiving, which included 20 straight completions at one point. "I mean, if I WERE going out, which, to be honest, I haven't decided yet."
When pressed, Favre added, "I'll let y'all know Monday. I'll have more to say then. Right now I just want to spend the rest of the weekend with my family, who I love, and who I'd love to spend more time with -- including on fall Sundays. But we'll see."
NFL analyst John Clayton of ESPN praised Favre for his comments.
"Perfectly executed," Clayton said of Favre's cryptic words. "It's classic Brett Favre. He displays his love for the game, but also tells us how much his family means to him. He really nailed it again -- as always."
When asked what he thought Favre's words meant, Clayton said, "I have to think that Brett may have played his last game. But then again, I'm not sure. Hard to tell. I guess we'll find out soon enough. That's what's so great about Brett Favre -- you never know if he's going to retire or not. Brilliant."McCarthy says he will plan for the Cowboys as if Favre will stay unretired.
"There's really no other way to do it," the coach said. "Until Brett tells me, for sure, that that's it, then he's my quarterback."
Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said, "If Brett Favre lines up behind center against us, then football fans the world over will not have seen the last of an icon. But is he's not there, then he's had a Hall of Fame career. I can say with all sincerity that it's been a joy to compete against him -- not to use the past tense. Damn! Why doesn't he just make up his dad-gummed mind?"