First off, let me emphasize how much of a conspiracy theorist I am not. I am the furthest thing from the wacked-out burned-out psycho-hippie that is convinced that the Lincoln assassination and the Hindenberg were connected.
But conspiracy theories sure are fun, aren't they? I mean, nothing beats giving endless amounts of time and effort in order to come up with some bizzare idea that's just crazy enough to be true. After all, the whole "9/11 was an inside job" thing is still popular across the internets.
But I'm here to talk about something much more serious: the Brett Favre Saga (I feel this has gone on long enough to deserve capitalization when talking to other sports followers). The BFS has gone on since March, but one could argue that its conception was years ago, when Favre retirement talk first began. I won't recap the whole thing; the other message threads on this site alone handle that task admirably.
But (there's always a but!), what if this is all according to some sort of master plan? What if this Saga was premeditaded to reach some overarching goal? What if Brett Favre, Ted Thompson, and the Packers organization is putting on a big show to gain an advantage? What if Brett's whole unretirement is a ploy?
First, let's get a few things straightened out. Brett Favre is loved by Packer Nation. No matter how far this thing goes, the vast majority of us will still revere him, and rightly so. Brett Favre also loves the Packer Nation. Face it, despite his 'down-to-earth-ness', the man has a sizeable ego, and there's nothing like throngs of adoring fans to massage said ego. Not to mention the fact that the franchise gave him his first shot at a starting job and essentially made it possible for him to be the Brett Favre we know and love.
Now that we've gone over the love, let's go across the spectrum: who does Packer Nation hate? The automatic answer is the Chicago Bears. While they are the longest-standing rival, the last fifteen or so years have been so favorable to the Pack and so unfavorable to the Bears that the rivalry has lost a little something. Having one HOF QB while the other team goes through 27,841 possible starters can do that.
But the real answer to the question? The Minnesota Vikings. Even with Brett, the Vikings were one of the few teams to give the Packers a run for their money. The Metrodome is one of the most reviled stadiums in all of sports, Randy Moss put on an extra-special show for the GB fans, the overall douchebaggery of Vikings fans, all of these things accumulate to an overall hatred of everything Minnesota.
And Favre, as a member of that rivalry, feels some of that hatred. Not as much as us fans, for sure. But he gets a little extra pleasure out of beating the Vikings. It might not even be conscious. But when you're a part of something for so long, you're inevitably going to be affected by it.
Another important factor is Minnesota's general non-suckitude as a team except at quarterback. Only a handful of teams would trade their QB situation for that of the Purple and...whatever else the Vikings call their other color. Even Chicago would rather let Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton duke it out for the starting spot than hand the keys to Tavaris Jackson.
So let's explore this for a little bit. Favre is God in Cheeseland. The hated rivals from the north would love to have a QB like Favre. But they know there's no way for them to get him.
Or is there?
Let's say that Favre's retirement in March was final. The guy was done; he didn't want to go through the grind of a season even though he could still play. No comeback talk, no release so he could go somewhere else, no nothing: he was finished. Later, someone in the Packers organization notices the looming threat that is the Minnesota Vikings and wonders "How could we find a way to weaken this team?" Then, a craaaaazy idea is born.
What if we stage a Brett Favre comeback drama to try to lure the Vikings into a trap that will cost them draft picks?
Yes, it's crazy, but it fits. Favre retires, but then he wants to come back. Green Bay has already moved on, so Brett has nowhere to go. But he still wants to play, going so far as to request his release from the team. Naturally, a team with QB issues like Minnesota will be interested. Especially when the offensive coordinator of the team happens to be a personal friend of Favre. Some conversations are made, some phone calls are placed, and all of a sudden, the Packers find out that the Vikings could be *gasp* illegally pursuing the services of one Brett Favre!
Why else would Favre still be using a phone provided to him by the Green Bay Packers? He's a smart guy, he knows the rules and he knows how he could get caught breaking them. Plus, he can act, as I'm sure everyone has seen his breathtaking performance in "There's Something About Mary". Maybe...just maybe...
But what's the payoff of all this? Only Ted Thompson's favorite currency: draft picks. If the league finds Minnesota guilty of tampering, they are forced to forfeit a draft pick or two. And correct me if I'm wrong, but don't those picks go to the team that filed the grievance, in this case the Packers? Even if they don't, Minnesota still loses them, and therefore loses a chance to establish depth on their team, which therefore weakens the team as a whole and could give Green Bay just a bit of an edge.
Obviously this is a bit far-fetched, as it would take an enormous amount of cooperation between Favre and the organization, not to mention an incredible act of douchebaggery on Favre's part by both betraying a close friend and using his status to decieve the public. Also throw in the enormous amount of incompetence required by the Vikings for this to work.
But, hey, crazier things have happened...right?