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Bizarre allegations against Favre could complicate his decision

On Monday, Vikings players began to receive text messages from quarterback Brett Favre regarding his intent to retire.

As it turns out, the messages they received could have been a lot worse.

The folks at Deadspin report that Jenn Sterger, who worked in 2008 as an in-house sideline reporter for the Jets and who currently is a member of the cast of The Daily Line on Versus, claims that she received text messages from a certain Brett Lorenzo Favre featuring pictures of, um, Little Lorenzo.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard a story like this, thanks to Sean Salisbury. But Salisbury was largely irrelevant at the time. As to Favre, this disclosure possibly could influence his decision regarding whether or not he’ll play in 2010.

Though there’s no evidence that Favre was engaged in the kind of sordid escapades that brought down Tiger Woods’ marriage, forced him to cough up $750 million to his ex-wife, and wreaked enough havoc on his life to render him a near-mortal on the golf course, Woods’ misadventures began with a story in the National Enquirer, which was the catalyst for the Thanksgiving night 9-iron to the Escalade, which got the whole thing rolling.

In this case, Favre will surely deny texting improper pictures to a former coworker, just as he has denied texting his intentions to retire to current coworkers. Heck, there’s a chance that no one in the media will be able to muster the nerve to even ask him about these new claims.

But there’s someone who will ask Brett a question or two about it. She may ask him many questions or two about it. Favre’s wife will want to know chapter-and-verse details about what he did or didn’t say and what he texted or didn’t text and who in the hell else he may have been involved with in this or other ways.

There’s even a chance that Mrs. Favre will contact Ms. Sterger and request the opportunity to personally peruse the pictures, which Sterger has not yet provided to Deadspin.

The extent to which Favre withstands that barrage could go a long way toward determining whether the Favre family will decide that another season of football is in their best interests. It’s possible that Favre in the end will decide that he needs to spend the next five months, and maybe longer, out of the spotlight.

Then there’s the question of whether the Deadspin story will trigger a Tiger-style parade of other Jenn Stergers, making similar allegations or worse. Regardless of whether anyone else is out there, the TMZs of the world surely are already looking for them.

And so, in the end, Favre’s career possibly could be derailed not by his biceps tendon or his ankle or any other part of his body -- except for one of the body parts that he never has used on the football field.