Ahhh, summer. Hot dogs are on the grill, the pool is cleaner than it has been for months, and boardshorts and bikinis are flying off the racks. The temperature is rising, and lemonade is flowing.

It seems like summer's early days always have a hazy sameness to them, year in and year out.

That hazy summer sameness also applies to the slow-sports-news-period's staunchest ink-generator, Brett Favre.

Will he or won't he?

The soap opera, despite several wrap parties, is still broadcasting the type of jilted-lover drama that would make any self-respecting "Young and the Restless" fan drool.

Will the career of Favre, the scorned future Hall-of-Famer who started from 1992 to 2007 for the Green Bay Packers, come back to life, after another near-death experience?

And what cheez-laden daytime TV script could top the idea of the QB (after a quick fling with a more glamorous town and its' Jets) moving on to the Packers' worst enemy?

"90210" and "Gossip Girl," eat your hearts out.

Yes, it could be said this has been over-covered by a media starved for stories about the gridiron. Yes, NFL off-season news is far too often limited to DUIs and whatever illegalities Denver Broncos' wideout Brandon Marshall decides to involve himself in.

The man-on-the-street, analysts and athletes alike all claim to be weary of the Favre circus, simply wanting it to be over.

Sorry. No dice, kiddies — I'm not buying it.

A quick perusal of three major sports news Web sites carrying the summary of Favre's reluctance to say yes or no to his return on Tuesday's "Joe Buck Live" on HBO (we got an "Um … maybe") reveals something different.

In an unsurprising twist that's so anticlimactic it would make a veteran soap-watcher flinch, the space below the stories are fairly bristling with readers' discussion posts.

Whether they're pro-Favre or anti-drama, a lot of people are keeping track of this story.

Why do we care?

Well, the guy's got prime space reserved in Canton, and whether you like him or not, he's earned it. He broke records, he won a Super Bowl, he played with heart.

And in this writer's mind, that heart is at the core of the continuing interest.

If nothing else, Brett Favre LOVES football. He loves the atmosphere, the competitive spirit, the fans, what it all means. That's passion.

Passion, something soap opera actors attempt to simulate with only a modicum of success, is overflowing from the 41-year-old. He's got so much passion that he can't let it go, despite the fact that he must hear the public outcry for a resolution.

He's got such love for the game, he might be staying in a relationship with it for too long, without realizing it.

Watching Brett Favre's dalliance with a return to the NFL is like watching a love affair between two friends you've known for years. They've both given you a lot of laughs and cheered you on many occasions (Vikings fans, ignore this sentence). And so, when their relationship begins to decline, it's tough on you.

You listen to the complaints from both sides for a while. You give your advice.

"It's over, just move on," you say.

But it's impossible for you to move away, to shut yourself off from one or the other, despite their inability to see the writing on the wall.

Some people simply follow their heart, and their brain simply falls in line.

Brett Favre is this type of man, and that heart, the one that might be getting him into trouble, possibly even damaging his legacy, will not listen to what pundits and stadium-goers say.

If his body is ready to play for the Vikings, I'm betting he'll be on that field come the first Sunday of the season.

And although most soap stars eschew Day-Glo purple and yellow outfits, Favre will wear his with the same type of passionate pride he always has.

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