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Updated: August 17th, 2010 12:49am
Pelissero: Mum's the word as Favre Watch hits full throttle

Pelissero: Mum's the word as Favre Watch hits full throttle

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by Tom Pelissero

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre's teammates aren't talking about Brett Favre anymore.

Not about whether Favre might rejoin the Minnesota Vikings this week.

"Hey, man, who knows, man?" tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "I ain't commenting on none of that."

Not about whether Favre needs to rejoin the Vikings no later than next week.

"You know what? That's right now for Coach and them to talk about," end Jared Allen said. "I'm done talking about it, and I'm just getting on with my camp here."

The message players have heard from higher powers is clear: as a media topic, Favre has entered the don't ask, don't tell zone.

Behind closed doors, there's not a more important issue to resolve.

Behind closed doors, the Vikings know it would be a huge blow if Favre doesn't return -- something Shiancoe admitted two weeks ago.

They also know they're quickly approaching the point at which they believe Favre needs to make up his mind -- something Allen told ESPN last week.

"I don't want to drag it out and wait until Week 1," Allen said then. "Brett's a great guy, he's a great teammate, he's a great quarterback, but I think (an answer is needed) by the third preseason game."

In essence, Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of the stunning about-face that got Favre on board in time to play two series in last year's second exhibition.

That game falls a day later this year, on Sunday night at San Francisco. Then, it's a short week before the relatively important third preseason game at home against Seattle on Aug. 28 -- only 12 days before the Sept. 9 opener at New Orleans.

Yet not a peep has been heard from Mississippi in the four days since Favre had his troublesome left ankle checked out. It's been two full weeks since he was heard from at all, and he didn't work out at Oak Grove High School on Monday morning.

Pick your theory -- Favre's mad about media coverage of the text message saga, or the word on his ankle (good or bad) wasn't what he hoped, or he just flat-out doesn't know what the hell he wants to do -- but it's worth remembering there was radio silence until the morning he showed up last Aug. 18, too.

That's why it really shouldn't surprise any attuned observer if Favre decides to show up on Tuesday, or next Tuesday, or the week after that, or even -- gasp -- sometime around that favorably placed bye in Week 4.

This is just another typically atypical August for Favre, the only 40-year-old in America whose sheer indecision can make a 20-minute disappearance by his boss turn into a buzz-worthy event for assembled reporters.

Vikings coach Brad Childress isn't talking much about Favre anymore either. Between sprints in and out of the team's Winter Park headquarters on Monday, Childress faced two questions about his quarterback and offered the same response: "Not recent contact."

Honest question: how many times can one grown man text another grown man to ask about his feelings before it becomes a little, you know, uncomfortable?

Maybe the wheels secretly are in motion for Favre to join the team this week or next. All appearances suggest the Vikings again have been lobbying, enticing and sweating out the lynchpin to their Super Bowl hopes only weeks before the season begins.

The joke is that the only way Favre can end this madness is by showing up.

Because even if he says he's retiring (again), this is Brett Favre, the Vikings already have refused to take "no" for an answer once this month, and there's every reason to think they'd keep an open mind regardless of whatever deadlines have been set.

Favre showed last season he can get by with minimal preseason work. And while there's no easing into the season against a couple of doormats this time, Favre now has a year in Childress' scheme and a year working with the rest of the Vikings' offensive starters.

Who knows? Perhaps shaving a few regular-season games off the docket and avoiding a repeat of January's beating in New Orleans is exactly what Favre needs to ready himself, mentally and physically, for another title push.

Silence and all, the odds still seem good Favre will arrive sooner than that. Maybe even before you wake up to read this column.

Just remember, if the answer is no (again), the bye sets up a 15-day window before a nationally televised Monday night date on Oct. 11 against one of Favre's old teams: the New York Jets.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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