BOURBONAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears, like the rest of us, will believe Brett Favre is retired when he doesn't take the field on opening day.
"No until then," Bears linebacker Lance Briggs said. "When that happens, then I might belive he isn't playing."
Word leaked out in typical Favre fashion Tuesday -- hey, he can keep himself in the news for a while -- when it was reported that Favre told teammates and the Vikings coaches that he was planning to retire.
This tired, played-out story is vintage Favre. The word this time is that he doesn't feel his body will hold up, that an ankle he hurt in the NFC Championship Game loss to the New Orleans Saints hasn't responded.
Want to bet he changes his mind after the Vikings break camp?
Favre has once again proved his selfishness. Why didn't he do a better job rehabbing his ankle? Why wasn't the surgery sooner? Why didn't he let the Vikings know sooner?
The man is all about Favre.
If this were another player, that player would be getting torched. Instead we have a four-letter network that fawns over his every move like a schoolgirl who sees one of those teen idols from a vampire movie.
Nobody says a word. More precisely: The word.
I asked a couple of Bears players off the record if they felt they could handle having a player do what Favre has done on their team.
That would be like criticizing the President it seems. You just don't do it -- except in private.
I bet you there is plenty of anti-Favre talk inside locker rooms all over this league, even in Minnesota. Good luck getting anybody to say it.
If Favre is indeed retired, it leaves the Vikings in a quandary at quarterback. Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels are the guys. That means the Vikings will go from Super contender to hopeful wild-card team.
How's that season opener look now at New Orleans? Think NBC would want that game is they knew Favre wasn't playing?
Then again, maybe he will be there. After all, he's the flip-flop king. And we know how he loves keeping his name in the news.
If he is retired, why not just come out and say it? Have a press conference -- again. Have tears roll down his face. Talk about the emptiness of leaving.
But just leave.
You aren't bigger than the game, although some of his former teammates will tell you Favre acted at times as if he was.
If he's gone, the Packers will be the favorite to win the NFC North, with the Bears becoming more a factor.
"We just have to worry about us, no matter who's playing quarterback for the other team," Briggs said. "It's not our concern."
Hey, Lance. Wait a second. Brett wants to make sure it's all of our concern.
Just wait until the next texts leak out that he's feeling better.
Can hardly wait.