"You think maybe they thought you meant it this time?" I say. "I mean -- about retiring?"
"Aw, hell, no," he says, spitting tobacco. "I say somethin' like that every year. I been sayin' that crap since '03. Nobody ever really believes it. Hell, one year I even held a press conference. Cried and everythin'. But my boys know the truth. My boys'll be along. They need me." A single drop of sweat falls off my nose. I try to catch it on my tongue.
"Who, exactly, are we talking about?"
"My boys! My Viking teammates! Jared and Hutch and Longs! They'll probably do somethin' hilarious. Like come in a Hooters bus or somethin'. They'll beg me to come back and I'll finally laugh and give in. Then we'll chug a few brewskis on the way to the jet. It just waits there for us. Zygi don't mind. He wants me back."
I look back at the house. His dog is under the porch. His wife, Deanna, stands at the upstairs window. I look at her. She just shrugs.
"Um, Brett? Zygi just traded for Donovan McNabb."
"Sure, as my backup."