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Did Brett Favre Tip His "Retirement" Hand To Collectors?

Thursday, 10 Jul 2008 | 11:54 AM ET

For a guy that was one of the most popular players to ever play in the NFL, and certainly among the most collectible, you'd think retirement tribute items would be flowing right now.

You know, Brett Favre photos on beautiful plaques and signed jerseys with his lifetime statistics sewn into them.

But aside from a Sports Illustrated tribute and some homemade T-shirts, there's nothing out there. Why?

Well, a source tells me that the NFL Players Association informed licensees that it was Favre’s wish not to have any items say the words “retirement” on it. A NFL Players Association marketing representative could not be reached for comment.

The only thing remotely close to a final career item we found was Merrick Mint’s six-coin 24-karat gold state quarter set that has Favre’s complete stats through the 2007-08 season on one of its coins. That set, however, is a carefully worded “Career Statehood Quarter Set.”

Favre Coin Set
Favre Coin Set

When Favre announced his tearful retirement on March 5, he said that he was done playing. But he wasn’t apparently that clear to the merchandise makers.

Given the recent word that Favre might be ready to un-retire, it certainly makes you wonder.

Many memorabilia experts were confused that Favre’s people weren’t immediately licensing tribute items, as almost every big-time athlete has programs set up so that items hit shelves weeks after their final game is played.

“We held off on doing any retirement items,” said Rick Radtke, owner of Radtke Sports, Favre’s largest autograph distributor. “Given what might be happening, that could have been a good thing.”

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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