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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Steve Hutchinson recalls details of 2010 trip to Mississippi for Brett Favre

By Andrew Krammer

When Brett Favre is officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, choosing between tales of a 20-year career will be like picking between his 508 touchdown passes.

One of Favre’s well-known stories with the Vikings came in August 2010, when a few players brought him out of semi-retirement one last time. Following a heartbreaking defeat in the NFC Championship to New Orleans, and with an ankle injury seemingly forcing Favre into retirement, the story goes former Vikings coach Brad Childress sent three players, guard Steve Hutchinson, defensive end Jared Allen and kicker Ryan Longwell, on a surprise visit to Favre in Mississippi. Eventually, Favre boarded the team plane back to Minnesota for what would be his last NFL season.

On Monday’s Mackey & Judd, Hutchinson shared some amusing detail about the trip, including how the recruiting party came to be, one tactic used to stay under the radar and why conversation had to wait until the morning after they’d arrived.

The trip was Childress’ idea, though Hutchinson says he tweaked his original plan.

“It’s funny like, we went down there and spent the night and it was some big, covert deal,” Hutchinson said on 1500 ESPN. “Childress kind of called me into his office after practice and said, ‘Hey, what do you think you and I fly down and go get Brett?’ And I said, ‘I got a better idea. How about you stay here and send Jared, because Jared makes him laugh, and Ryan Longwell, because he loves Ryan and they have such a past together, and I’ll go too. The three of us.’”

As Zulgad recalled, reporters were informed the three players were working in a separate part of the facility when they weren’t seen at practice that day. They’d also used subterfuge in the travel plans. The jig was up by the time they’d arrived back in Minnesota, where local television helicopters followed Longwell’s SUV back to the Vikings’ training facilities.

“So we go down there. The pilot had a flight plan going into New Orleans that we were going to change mid-flight,” Hutchinson said. “So anybody following Zygi’s tail number wouldn’t see it flew to Hattiesburg. It was this big thing. It worked. I mean, we got down there…I guess about the time you guys were figuring out we weren’t at practice, that’s kind of when we were in the car ride back to the plane to get into the plane to fly back to Minneapolis. And by that time, obviously, there was the helicopter and the whole charade there. It was pretty funny, we were laughing the whole time. We got him back. But we basically kidnapped him.”

At the time, Allen said they weren’t looking to convince Favre, just getting a final answer. Though Hutchinson said Favre seemed settled on retirement before their surprise visit. A report from August 2010 said they’d arrived ‘too late’ that day to have a conversation, so they stayed overnight. Hutchinson revealed Favre, then 40 years old, was surprisingly early to bed.

“I think he would’ve been fine saying ‘No, I’m done,’” Hutchinson said. “For whatever reason, he just knew or whatever…We get there, now of course his whole family knew we were coming, he was the only one who didn’t know. So we get there at like 9:30, 10 ‘o clock at night by the time we get to his house. And it was this big surprise thing. I’m not kidding when I say, he was like ‘Oh, it’s so great to see you guys.’ Fifteen minutes later, ‘Where’s Brett?’ ‘He went to bed.’ Seriously. We’re sitting on the couch. Deanna’s like ‘I think he went to bed.’

“Oh this is going to be tough. Like we thought we were going to walk in and he’d be like ‘Yeah, let’s go win one for the Gipper.’ But, no. Next day we were talking. We started thinking, if he doesn’t come back, people are going to start finding out we were down here regardless. And what does it look like for the organization? And the confidence we have in the other quarterbacks? It was just going to be a media circus that way, so. It’s true, he did not want to come back at first. And finally. And when he did, typical Brett fashion. ‘Ah, all right. Let’s go.’ Like you just talked a kid into, like, throwing rocks off a bridge or something.”

The post Steve Hutchinson recalls details of 2010 trip to Mississippi for Brett Favre appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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