In a perfect world, there would be no tears and no news conference. Just a nice little note with a sincere "thank you" for all the wonderful years he has experienced in the National Football League. Then Brett Favre would finally mean it when he says goodbye - when he decides to disappear for good, not just the off-season. That way, he wouldn't be seen or heard from in Minnesota or anywhere else until his Hall of Fame induction - paving the way for Donovan McNabb's move to the Twin Cities, where he can reside in a place that will truly appreciate him.
But again, that's in a perfect world.
In the real world there isn't such a thing as perfection - because there is Favre, the man who just can't let go, the 40-year-old quarterback who threw 33 touchdowns last season and is dying for everyone to remember that stat and ignore the bone-headed interception he threw at the end of regulation in the NFC championship game, arguably costing his team a Super Bowl title.
The more the Vikings and coach Brad Childress are forced to sit and wait for him to announce whether he'll play or not next season, the more Favre gets to be the center of attention while the franchise remains in limbo.
Favre wouldn't be able to walk the streets if he tried this nonsense in Philadelphia. It's a situation that would never be tolerated. It's also one the classy McNabb would never attempt to put any franchise through - which further illustrates why the Eagles' star quarterback does not deserve the treatment he's receiving right now.
"I've said all along that I would like to win a Super Bowl and finish my career in Philadelphia," McNabb stated last week. The irony is that McNabb comes across as very believable, when it makes no sense for him to feel this way at all.
Think about it: You're a quarterback who's been around for 11 seasons, who's gone to five conference championship games and one Super Bowl. You've done so without a bevy of offensive weapons, especially a running game, for most of those years. In the process, you've passed for 32,783 yards. You're a six-time Pro Bowler, just 33 years old - and the Eagles are talking about letting you go.
So Kevin Kolb can start.
I'd laugh a lot longer if I could remove the stench from my nostrils.
Something smells, folks! There are numerous reports circulating around the NFL involving what could be a concerted effort to minimize McNabb's value. And when have we ever seen stories on a team's Web site alluding to trade rumors involving its star player? It's unheard of.
Perhaps all of this is happening so McNabb will be satisfied with the $11 million he's supposed to make this year and stop worrying about a new long-term deal when his contract expires next season. Maybe in spite of McNabb's resumé, someone wants him to consider retiring after hearing the ridiculous banter he's been subjected to.
The St. Louis Rams supposedly have no interest. The same could be said for the Arizona Cardinals - because they have Matt Leinart. McNabb is said to be not worth a high draft pick in Buffalo, or a long-term investment. Why? Because Ryan Fitzpatrick or Trent Edwards will do just fine.
Then there are the Denver Broncos, who are evidently just peachy with Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn. Alex Smith apparently has enough star potential in San Francisco, so McNabb isn't worth the 49ers' giving up one of their two first-round (13th and 16th) picks. And although both Cleveland and Seattle ultimately went out and grabbed Jake Delhomme (now I'm really laughing!) and Charlie Whitehurst, respectively, it was Kolb they were reportedly interested in, not McNabb.
Listening to all of this, true justice would entail McNabb's staying in Philadelphia, forcing the Eagles to reveal their real intention, and owning up to it for a change. This franchise has operated for years behind a type of iron curtain that would put the old KGB to shame, and now they suddenly want to act like C-Span.
We all know neither Kolb nor McNabb deserves having to endure such a circus. That should be put on the decision-makers - the same individuals who have been around since McNabb arrived, investing exorbitant dollars in their offensive line and still looking for a running game.
But since ensuring the Eagles pay for their own faux pas is a long shot, all we're left to hope for is McNabb's exodus to a quality team such as the Vikings, with a familiar coach in Childress, McNabb's former offensive coordinator.
Sadly, that depends on Favre ultimately walking away.
And we all know the chances of that happening, with the bright lights still shining on him.
Contact Stephen A. Smith
at 215-854-5846 or SASmith@phillynews.com.