What retirement? Favre coming back with Vikings

Brett Favre, Mark Wilf, Zygi Wilf
New Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, center, holds up a jersey as he his flanked by team president Mark Wilf, left, and team owner Zygi Wilf during a news conference at the team's NFL football training facility, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009 in Eden Prairie, Minn.
AP Photo/Hannah Foslien

Quarterback Brett Favre is back out of retirement and getting ready for his first game as a Minnesota Viking.

Just three weeks after Vikings officials said Favre was not interested in getting back into the NFL, the superstar quarterback arrived in the Twin Cities on a private jet bearing the Vikings logo. A couple of hours later, Favre was suited up as a Viking and practicing along side his formal archrivals.

Some Vikings fans are pumped with purple pride and hope Favre can bring their team to the Super Bowl. They're also hoping Packer fans will be green with envy.

During a much anticipated and well-attended late afternoon news conference, Favre explained that health concerns were behind his decision not to join the Minnesota Vikings a few weeks ago.

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Favre said during successful surgery earlier this year to repair a tendon in his shoulder, doctors discovered he had a torn rotator cuff. Favre said he was worried he was too beat up to get back into the NFL.

"That scared me," he said. "Being a quarterback or a pitcher, 39, just coming off of surgery for something totally different, I was, to say reluctant once again would be an understatement. I just kept on thinking that I didn't want to go through what I went through last year."

Last year, after a promising start with the New York Jets, Favre fell apart.

Brett Favre. Brad Childress
Quarterback Brett Favre, left, and Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress drive off after Favre arrived at Holman Field in downtown St. Paul on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2009. Favre is expected to sign with the team today.
Craig Lassig/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Favre said doctors told him that his rotator cuff tear was an old injury and that he's been playing with it for some time.

Favre said they told him he could keep playing with the tear, but if he had surgery to fix it he couldn't play this year and maybe not next year.

Standing at a podium in the field house of the Vikings' Eden Prairie training facility, Favre said when Vikings Coach Brad Childress called him Monday to offer him another shot at joining the team, he decided to go for it.

"I felt like if they were willing to take that chance, then I was too," he said.

Favre at Vikings training
Quarterback Brett Favre prepares to practice with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, as he signed a contract to join the team. Terms were not disclosed.
MPR Photo/Mark Zdechlik

From the moment news broke that Favre was on his way to Minnesota, fans began turning out to watch the story unfold for themselves.

Just a few were on hand as a private jet delivered Favre to the St. Paul airport.

By the time Farve made it to the Vikings Eden Prairie training facility, fans were lined up along the road outside the main entrance. A helicopter buzzed overhead as local police kept reporters and fans at bay.

Among the onlookers was 20-year-old Jake Parenteau. He says he took a long lunch break in hopes of seeing Favre.

"I'll quit work for this," he said.

Favre and Childress
In this Nov. 11, 2007, file photo Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre talks to Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress after the two teams played a game in Green Bay, Wis. Favre is in Minnesota today to meet with the Vikings, and is expected to sign a contract with the team today.
AP Photo/Morry Gash, File

Parenteau says he caught a glimpse of the superstar quarterback making his way into Winter Park. Parenteau customized his white t-shirt with a black marker by writing Favre's name on it.

He's confident that, with Favre, the Vikings will make it to the Super Bowl this season.

"Because he's future Hall of Famer. Who wouldn't want him here, he's Brett Favre," Parenteau said. "And of course getting to play the Packers, it's going to make every Wisconsin fan go crazy."

The Vikings would not disclose details of their deal with Favre. It is reportedly a one-year contract worth between $10 million and $ 12 million.

Shortly after arriving, Favre was on the field wearing a number 4 red quarterback jersey and a purple Vikings helmet. Several of his new teammates greeted him with handshakes. Fans could be heard from behind the fences celebrating Farve's arrival.

While some die-hard Vikings fans seem convinced he'll be a great addition to the team, it remains to be seen how Favre will fit into the Vikings organization. Offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson was one of the first to greet Favre on the practice field. Hutchinson is known for his leadership role on the team and he did not seem irritated that Farve chose to sign on so late, missing training camp.

"I don't know, I would guess he's got the quarterback position pretty much down pat, so I don't how much training camp he needs, personally. But as far as he knows he has to play catch-up now to kind of mesh with the offense and he started out down that road today."

If most Vikings supporters and players are happy to welcome Favre, it's likely an all together different story for cheeseheads.

"It's definitely a sad day for Packer fans," said blogger Rick Stratton. "I think most people are in some ways shocked but surprised that he changed his mind once again and decided to skip training camp and join our most bitter rival."

But Favre says true Packer fans will not hold his decision to put on a Vikings uniform against him. Favre also made it clear his decision to cross the river has nothing to do with revenge.

"You can't take away the 16 years I had in Green Bay," Favre said. "It was unbelievable. It was great and that will be forever cherished by me and the guys I played with and you know they've moved on. I've moved on. I think it's great for football."