I was riding in the car down the interstate to a lunch meeting when I saw on my iPhone that Brett Favre is signing with the Vikings. I immediately posted one simple line on my Facebook status:
Does anyone have a worse case of separation anxiety than Favre?
Brett Favre has been playing in the NFL since before there were iPhones, before there was Facebook, and almost before there were cars or interstates. I remember typing up my first analysis of Favre on a typewriter in a high-school typing class back in 1991. Seriously.
Favre has had a long and storied career. Now the story is that he refuses to let that career be over.
And because he refuses to admit that he's done, he will have to be shown dramatically and painfully that he is. The NFL is cruel that way - it shines the spotlight on your aging body and puts the microscope on the way you're breaking down.
Favre could have avoided the painful drama, were he willing to hang up his own cleats. Now, someone will take those cleats from him. There is no other path for him. He won't allow it.
Favre has chosen to keep playing, which is his right. It is not his right to play - only to choose. The league will choose when he is done. And that will happen soon.
It may have already happened, really. Notice how Favre's performance completely collapsed in the final third of the season last year. It could be even uglier this year.
Favre's legacy is established, and 20 years from now (if Favre is once and for all retired by that point) he'll be remembered as an all-time great. But over the next five years, his repeated will-he-or-won't-he routine will linger over his accomplishments or statistics. It has to be this way, because Favre can't say goodbye.
So we'll watch Favre, and we'll talk about how he isn't close to what he once was, and maybe we'll remember how he played in Green Bay.
And we'll go on our iPhones and our Facebook accounts and all sorts of things that weren't around when Favre first started and complain about how he won't give up the ghost.
Instead of leaving us wanting more, Favre is leaving us wanting less.
And so while he has separation anxiety, the rest of us don't anymore.
You can read all of our coverage of Favre's back and forth this offseason, plus look at how Favre as a Viking compares to other NFL strange sights, how the Favre rumors all offseason compare to other rumors, and how Favre compares to other prima donnas. The links are live now on http://www.footballrelativity.com.