By Steve Czaban Special to Published Mar 05, 2008 at 5:05 AM Photography: Allen Fredrickson

As of this writing, Brett Favre's retirement is unofficially just five hours old.

He's kidding, right?

I mean, I am hoping that by the time this article gets finished, edited, posted and read on that I will be getting e-mails by the hundreds saying: "Hey dope! It was just a false report!" Or perhaps: "Update the column, dude. Favre reconsidered on Wednesday and is coming back for one more season!"

If something like the above has happened, then go ahead, stop reading. My mission of jinxing my own column by writing the obit so quickly will have been accomplished.

However, if it stands, how can anybody make sense of it?

He's really leaving? NOW????? For God's sake, why?!

The very team that he said two years ago was one of the "most talented" in the league has finally gelled into a genuine force. The very weapons that he so desperately sought in the passing game are now arrayed at his disposal.

And the crushing way that he ended last season -- with a lazy Sunday morning flag football game interception -- is certainly no way to leave a legendary 17-year career.

As ridiculous as it sounds to actually say, it is his career.

"If I felt like coming back the only way for me to be successful would be to win a Super Bowl. To go to the Super Bowl and lose, would almost be worse than anything else. Anything less than a Super Bowl win would be unsuccessful," Favre said in a voice mail message to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "I know it shouldn't feel unsuccessful, but the only way to come back and make that be the right decision would be to come back and win a Super Bowl. And honestly, the odds of that, they're tough."

I am going to resist the urge to pounce on this line of thinking, because -- Hellloooooo! -- Brett Favre doesn't owe anything to anybody. Still, the illogical inconsistency of his thinking now is heartbreaking, to say the least.

For years like 2005 and 2006, when he notched successive career highs in interceptions (29) and career lows in touchdowns (18), walking away then made even more sense that it does now. The Super Bowl then was a cruel joke. Now, its close enough you can taste it.

Plus, the simple math of being the last team standing out of 32 has not changed. That is indeed why the Lombardi Trophy seems so damn shiny when you hold it.

"Chances are we won't, so why bother?"

Did Brett Favre really just say that, without actually saying it?

I also suppose it would be crass right now to bring up the whole thing about the passing records, right? Should I just skip that? Is it remotely fair to correlate the bagging of those last few marks with a sense of "Mission Accomplished?"

Never mind. Retract that, your honor.

The only great Hall of Fame quarterback of Favre's era who left with something presumably still in the tank was John Elway. Everybody else left against their will. Troy Aikman and Steve Young were ready to risk their future ability to assemble a coherent sentence in order to keep going. Luckily, smart people in their circle convinced them otherwise. Dan Marino was shellacked in his final game, 62-7, a playoff affair that exposed his shot knees and decaying arm.

Brett Favre has plenty in the tank physically. If he's mentally shot, then so be it.

Once the eyes of Packers Nation dry up and thoughts inevitably turn to the great unknown -- life A.F. or "After Favre" -- there should be no shame in proceeding with plans to play in and win the Super Bowl next February.

This team was good enough on just about all fronts last year to get it done. Favre was a huge part of it, of course. But one man, even a legend, does not make a team. The trophy case has room for another Lombardi in Titletown. You guys opened some space, and dusted the shelf for it last year, just in case.

If it comes less than one year after Favre decided that the mission was hopeless, so be it. He owes you nothing. And starting today, you owe him no pity if his judgment of what makes a football season worth pursuing turns out to be shockingly incorrect.

Steve Czaban Special to

Steve is a native Washingtonian and has worked in sports talk radio for the last 11 years. He worked at WTEM in 1993 anchoring Team Tickers before he took a full time job with national radio network One-on-One Sports.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Steve has worked for WFNZ in Charlotte where his afternoon show was named "Best Radio Show." Steve continues to serve as a sports personality for WLZR in Milwaukee and does fill-in hosting for Fox Sports Radio.