The Sad: It's the NFC Championship Game, tied 28–28 at the end of regulation. The Saints win the coin toss and march to a winning field goal. The game's over. Favre has a cry with his family. They stay and drive back to Hattiesburg without him. Favre heads to Minneapolis with his teammates. The adrenaline has worn off, and his body screams. He used to be a Vicodin and vodka addict, but now there's nothing stronger than Advil in him. The flight drags on. He stands up. He sits down. He tries to catch his breath. The plane lands, there's a bus to Vikings headquarters, and then an eight-minute drive back to an empty house.
He pulls into the garage of his rented home. There's nothing to greet him except two stinky trash cans. The future Hall of Famer begins pushing the cans down the icy driveway. He begins to slide. His legs lock up. He's got no strength left. He just holds on, hoping he doesn't topple over onto the ice, crack his head open, and freeze to death.
"I got to the bottom, took a deep breath, and slowly slid back up."
He tries to explain the meaning of the story. "I know people say they'd kill to trade places with me now just to throw one touchdown pass," he says in a soft voice. "But the same people might see me limping around at 55. They're going to say, 'Man, that's pathetic. I don't want to have anything to do with that.'?"
Favre stops talking and his eyes get a little glassy. He shrugs his shoulders and throws his palms upward. "Playing another year probably isn't going to make a difference; the damage has already been done."