Favre returns to football, reports to Vikings camp

Exactly one year to the day after Favre Watch 2009 ended, Favre Watch 2010 bit the dust with the announcement that one Brett Lorenzo Favre reported to Minnesota Vikings training camp. This was the result of a "Great Escape"-style maneuver from three Vikings teammates to extricate Favre from the horrors of the indulgent and relaxing life at his Hattiesburg, Miss., compound and return him to the joys of training camp. Or something like that.

After taking Air Viking One back to Eden Prairie, Minn., Favre practiced with the team on Wednesday, showing few effects of the ankle injury he suffered in the 2009 NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints.

"It was very tough, obviously," Favre said of the decision to return at his post-practice press conference. "I could make a case for both playing and not playing. I think that ultimately, much has been made about the three guys coming down. It was really about the team. Believe me, when I left New Orleans, a big part of me was ... it's hard to make people understand -- I've played 19 years, was fortunate enough in 1996 to be on a winning Super Bowl team, and I was fairly young at the time. You just kinda think, ‘What's the big deal? We'll be back, and there's always next year.' The toll that it takes -- and everyone wants to talk about the physical toll in that [New Orleans] game, but the mental toll was harder to deal with."

[Photos: Favre arrives at camp]

"This team is a very good football team. The chances here are much greater than in other places. There are a lot of teams that can say they have a legitimate chance -- this is one of those teams. So, from my standpoint, it has always made it easier. But, you know, answering the bell again ... my wife says that I always look at things negatively more than I should. The ‘what-ifs' -- what happens if it doesn't ... I'd love to win the Super Bowl. But what happens if you don't? That was the tough part.

"Physically, it's hard to believe that I can say this every year, but I can't complain. There's nothing on me 100 percent, but there wasn't anything on me 100 percent last year or the year before. The surgeries have made me a little better. I've played in 309 straight games, and I can't complain."

[Related: The story of the Brett Favre recruiting trip]

That was Favre's opening statement -- we'll be back with more from the press conference and with initial reactions to this not-so-surprising news through the day. And for those of you who would rather drop something heavy on your foot than read anything more about Favre -- we understand completely, and we promise some other cool stuff along the way.

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