Viewing the 2009 NFL preseason through the rearview mirror, it is clear that Favre planned all along to play last season despite his announced retirement and relentless waffling. Head coach Brad Childress was making trips to Hattiesburg, Miss., with a pretty strong inclination that Favre would be joining the team after sidestepping training camp. So the fact that they didn't pursue another legitimate quarterback to push Tavaris Jackson turned out to be a sensible non-move.
This season, however, Childress has had little reason to believe that Favre's antics would lead to anything less than a late preseason return to get him ready for Week 1 in the nick of time. He had a surgery this year, just like last year; he was throwing with high schoolers this year, just like last year - and the list goes on.
So for Favre to apparently be retiring for real this year (and I'm still not sold that it's final) puts the Vikings in a precarious position. Behind Favre on the depth chart is Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, neither of which has proven capable of taking a team deep into the playoffs. I don't care how well Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice and Visanthe Shiancoe play; without a top 10, or even a top 20 quarterback, the Vikings are going nowhere. This doesn't bother me from a fan perspective because it will clearly benefit my favorite team, the Eagles (since they're both in the NFC), but from a character perspective, what Favre has done this year is worse than any past offseason shunning.
The Packers had Aaron Rodgers, the Jets drafted Mark Sanchez and the Vikings have, well, not much. They would almost be better off running a wildcat all season with Peterson and Chester Taylor than trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. The biggest positive that will come from this is that we didn't find out via a one-hour special on ESPN.