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Favre, like horror film , never dies

Brett Favre is like a bad habit — he just won't go away.

Like the indestructible madman Jason in "Friday the 13th" (and its 10 or 11 subsequent sequels) or Michael Myers in "Halloween," Favre just keeps coming back. He refuses to quit. He just won't let his NFL career die. All he needs now is a white hockey mask, an ax and a chainsaw (oops, wrong horror flick).

It seems like the veteran quarterback, a three-time league MVP with the Green Bay Packers, has retired almost as many times as Evander Holyfield.

Actually, it's only been twice — or was it three times? — but like the town drunk and a liquor store, the guy just can't stay away.

Now, after one roller-coaster season with the N.Y. Jets and offseason surgery on his throwing arm, which prompted Favre's second retirement, he's back again — this time with the Minnesota Vikings, who lured him onto the field one more time with a two-year, $25 million offer.

For the second straight summer, Favre's return turned into a media circus. Thanks to ESPN, we were bludgeoned with daily updates about the man, the myth, the legend that is Brett Favre.

Many of us finally threw our hands into the air and said, "Puh-lease, for the love of Vince Lombardi, just go away and stay away."

Some folks accuse him of being an egomaniac who craves the limelight and can't let go. Others insist it's a sad, sad case of a once-great athlete who keeps hanging on to lost glory.

Whatever it is, good or bad, right or wrong, refreshed or worn out, he's back — again.

After just three days of practice, Favre played in Friday night's preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He took seven snaps and completed just 1-of-4 passes for 4 yards. Still, he received a standing ovation when he came onto the field in the Metrodome, where Vikings' fans despised him for 16 seasons as a member of the hated, rival Packers.

It was kind of like watching Karl Malone play for the L.A. Lakers.

Or, as Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune said, seeing Favre in that purple jersey looked "as odd as Prince in plaid."

Some fans, though, are delighted to see Favre back behind center again, regardless of what uniform he might be wearing.

Craig Saxton, a North Ogden resident and longtime Green Bay fan, resented the way the Packers mishandled Favre's departure last year.

"They don't have the right to keep a person from pursuing his livelihood," Saxton said. "I'm still a Packers fan, but I'm a Brett Favre fan first, until he retires."

Finally and forever.

"You never want your heroes to go away, and he's one of my heroes," Saxton said. "All he wants to do is play football, and if he's good enough to play and wants to play, and somebody wants him to play, why shouldn't he play?" Saxton likens Favre to Malone — two big, overgrown kids who love to play the game and love the competition.

"I'll still cheer for the Packers, unless they're playing the Vikings," Saxton said. "Minnesota has a legitimate shot of going to the Super Bowl. The piece they were missing was Favre.

"There is no way Favre is going to tarnish his legacy in the eyes of the people who admire him. The only thing he can do now is to add to that legacy."

There is one drawback to Favre's return, though, even for Saxton.

"The only reason I'm irritated is I have to keep going out and buying new gear," he said with a laugh.

e-mail: rhollis@desnews.com