Make no mistake, Brett Favre is coming back in 2004 with every intention of making a run to the Super Bowl.
That's been his mindset throughout his entire NFL career.
But after the Green Bay Packers' disappointing finish to the 2003 season -- letting a 14-point lead slip away in an overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles that knocked them out of the divisional playoffs -- it hasn't escaped Favre how close the Packers were to fulfilling their goals in their most recent season. Nor is he blind to the fact that at 34 years of age, he doesn't have many of those opportunities left.
"With each game I play, each season I play, everyone would agree with me, I'm running out of chances," Favre said Wednesday, at a press conference in Houston at which he was named the Snicker's Hungriest Player of the Year.
"This will be 14 years for me. I've been very fortunate. I've already won a Super Bowl. I know at different times during the (2003) season, the Super Bowl never crossed my mind. We wanted to have a winning record. I don't think anyone thought we could win our division.
"With all that in mind, it sort of started to fall into place for us. This year, with all that happened, we had a good opportunity (to get to the Super Bowl)."
And they let it slip away.
There were a handful of significant plays that contributed to the Packers' loss, but the final blow was Favre's interception in overtime that set up the Eagles' game-winning field goal.
Favre was so disappointed by the loss that he didn't speak to the media following the game, or before leaving Green Bay for his family's offseason home in Mississippi.
Wednesday, speaking publicly for the first time since then, Favre said that the magnitude of the missed opportunity was part of the reason why.
"I felt like at the time I didn't have a lot of good things to say," Favre said. "I didn't have a lot to say, period. Anyone in my position, if it means enough to you, could understand where I was coming from.
"There was a point in that game where I thought, 'This is it.' That's what's so tough about it. Sometimes you know you're out of it ... Sometimes you're prepared for that. But up until they kicked that field goal, I expected to beat them. It was a shock to me as probably it was to a lot of people."
Following the game, Favre said he was the first one out of the locker room and on the team bus. It was there that it hit him how close the Packers were to making it to the NFC championship game for the first time since the Super Bowl season of 1997.
"Who knows if we'll get that opportunity again?" Favre said. "You're never guaranteed about next year. People ask what you think of next season, you have to seize the opportunities when they're in front of you. I thought we had an opportunity and it didn't work out.
"We had a better opportunity this year once we got into the playoffs than last year and our record was better last year. After 13, 14 years, you don't have too many opportunities left."
As for the ball that Favre threw for Javon Walker that was intercepted by Brain Dawkins, Favre said he hasn't watched a replay of the game, but doesn't need to.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," Favre said. "Do I wish I had it back? Sure. Do I wish I had a lot of passes back? Yes.
"They had the perfect blitz for the play that we called. To say there was a miscommunication between Javon and I would be an understatement. He wasn't wrong, and in some ways I wasn't wrong.
"I've thrown that pass numerous times where he jumps up and catches it in traffic. I knew I had to get rid of it. You say throw it away or something like that, but in three seconds you don't have much time to make a decision.
"I made a decision and I'll live with it."