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Favre gets fitting exit scene

Going from out to questionable to starting to doubtful to out in the span of about nine hours is only slightly less miraculous than what happened to Lazarus.

But Brett Favre once had 30 inches removed from his intestine. He became the only person in league history to win three straight MVP awards. He started 297 straight games -- more than any player at any position in NFL history. He retired twice and came back twice.

Favre has been doing things no one thought possible for much of his life.

Not only did Favre not practice all week, he didn't even attend team meetings, according to a source. He had no idea what the game plan called for and was as unprepared to play as Qatar would be for the type of snowfall that hit the Twin Cities on Monday afternoon.

But as that snow was falling, Favre's injured shoulder began feeling better and it was announced he planned on testing it in the pregame warm-up. Turned out the shoulder was good to go.

For his perseverance, Favre was rewarded by getting his head slammed to the turf. Bears rookie Corey Wootton hadn't done anything in the NFL, but he may have put the finishing touch on one of the greatest careers of all time.

Wootton charged around left tackle Bryant McKinnie in the second quarter and wrapped his arms around Favre, pinning Favre's arms to his side. Then he drove him into the unforgiving turf -- the same turf that some of his teammates had complained was too hard to play on.

Favre stayed down for a while. Either he couldn't get up, or he wasn't sure it was a wise thing to do. It was announced Favre was doubtful to return with a head injury. Shortly after the third quarter, the Vikings announced Favre was out.

Ten years ago, Favre might have shaken off the cobwebs and staggered back onto the field. But this was Favre in the twilight of his career, not the same Favre who didn't know what the bench was for.

If this was the last we are to see of Favre, it was a fitting way for him to go out, making us think he is going to do one thing, then doing something else entirely. That's how he made his living and carved his legend all these years, isn't it?

On Monday, the 41-year-old let his teammates do most of the work for him. When Favre was in the game, the Vikings ran it 63 percent of the time. He threw only seven passes for 63 yards.

Favre threw a touchdown pass, but it didn't take much of his extraordinary talent. It was a simple quick screen to Percy Harvin, who caught the pass behind the line of scrimmage and took it 23 yards to the end zone.

It wouldn't be a Favre memory without an interception. Or two.

Favre got away with one in the first quarter. The Vikings got a mismatch with wide receiver Sidney Rice on Tim Jennings, and Favre went deep. He underthrew Rice and was picked off by Jennings. But the play was called back because Julius Peppers was offside.

Two plays later, Peppers made up for his mistake. Henry Melton got his hand on a low pass attempt by Favre, and Peppers intercepted the tipped pass on the Vikings' 14.

Favre couldn't do much to prevent the Vikings from getting pounded, or to prevent the Bears from clinching the NFC North division on their home turf. It's been that kind of season for Favre. You could say he played a year too long.

In what likely was a farewell tour, he saw his head coach get fired, he was accused of harassing former Jets game hostess Jenn Sterger and he never could get in the kind of rhythm he was in a year ago.

It would have been nice to see Favre go out last February in Miami with a Super Bowl victory. But seeing him go out in the swirl of drama that was Monday was more appropriate.

This was Brett Favre.

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