I grew up thinking Brett Favre was awesome. Even being a Cowboy fan when living in Dallas, it was hard to ignore the man’s greatness. He played the game like a little boy. It was like watching a pick up game at recess on the grandest scale. When Favre got his Super Bowl victory, even though I have never been to Wisconsin, one of the five or six states in the union I have not been to, I was happy for him.
I felt for Favre when his father passed. I felt for him and his family’s Katrina tragedies. It seems like there has always been something going on with Favre. I even felt for him and his painkiller addiction, only because this was a guy who would get crushed by a D-lineman outweighing him by 75 pounds only to have Favre jump up and pat the guy on his head. It pumped him up. I’d take painkillers too if that happened to me. I guess what I am saying is I always felt like I had Brett’s back.
Last summer we all had to deal with the story that completely defined the failure of 24 hour news, and worse, why sports should stick to highlights and documentaries. The Brett Farve Saga was evidence of a horrible grey area between news and sports that was too investigatory to be sports and not newsworthy enough to be news.
Rachel Nichols (who is 36 years old) was on permanent assignment in Green Bay and/or Mississippi. Ten times a day I listened to her constantly say “E-S-P-N” all weird and then have an internal debate over whether this woman is attractive. Like, if she wasn’t talking about sports, would I give a @#%#. All day, this poor girl is trying to find any reportable nugget about Brett Favre and if he was coming back. We got all the stories so quickly that it become redundant immediately. Even a hostage standoff or international crisis eventually bottoms out in terms of anything new to report. Five minutes into Nichols’ diatribe I knew the handful of teams interested in #4, that he wanted to stick it to the Packers, how the Packers felt about Favre, how Favre felt about the Packers and what his career stats were over images of him doing crazy ass Brett Favre shit like carrying his receivers on his shoulders.
So Favre signs and goes to the Jets. It seems like he doesn’t want to be there. It seems like he’s the old man who got a job at the movie theatre ripping tickets. He’s around new young people and isn’t getting to know them. Now we’re being forced to watch extended highlights of Favre in preseason games. This, to me, is like watching a porn star masturbate. For a minute, it is novelty, but really we are here for the main event.
So we all got excited when Brett lead the Jets to an 8-3 start. We all cringed when they tanked and missed the playoffs. It was a gut-check moment. If there were any doubts from five years of the quarterback debating publically to retire or not, this was the end. His bicep was literally hanging on by a thread. He wanted to walk away. He wanted to be with his family. He was comfortable leaving. His family was happy. He didn’t want to go through the surgery and painful recovery. This was his way out. All might be forgotten. This time, the third or fourth time, we watched the ESPN highlight goodbye Brett reel, we knew it was the truth. Goodbye Number Four. Thanks for the moxie.
REEEEEEMIIIIIIIIIIIIIX. It’s on again. ESPNews is freaking out and we’re getting little pop ups telling us Brad Childress is meeting with Brett over the weekend. It’s a freakout. Everyone is thinking Brett has to come back and play in the NFC North. He’s been dying to stick it to the Packers. More dirty laundry. The thing about dirty laundry is, it stinks. This stinks. It is the bastardization of a childhood hero to many. Brett, it would seem, does not know how to ride off into the sunset. Brett Favre apparently wants to be a Minnesota Viking.
I just want to go back to the Sandy Koufax days. Were you hang up your cleats and go out a memory. It’s hard. I feel bad for all the kids who grew up in Green Bay praying for Favre to be healthy and wearing his jersey all those years in sub-zero weather. They wanted so badly to just hang his jersey at Lambeau and celebrate him for eternity. They wanted to tell their kids about Favre the Gunslinger the way our fathers tell us about Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts.
I am tired of the media circus and it has barely started. Instead of watching the summer unfold via Rachel Nichols daily burps of nothingness, let me just sum up what happens for you real quick:
- Favre and Childress meet. Nothing specific is discussed. Favre says something vague like “I’m not planning on returning to football.” Childress says something like “Any time you can sit down and talk to a player of Brett’s caliber, you do it.”
- Two or three teams that will never be truly interested will surface. Their coaches will deny interest in Favre.
- Favre will hire a personal coach and start practicing. He will say he is just “keeping in shape.”
- His arm injury will be dissected and there will be numerous features on what will be the effect on his throwing power.
- Rumors intensify. Backup up QBs Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels will start getting interviews were they must juggle “appearing confident” with “not pissing off a Hall of Famer.”
- Brett will be “close” to signing with the Vikings, but nothing will be official.
- There will be lots of interviews with Packers fans who are “torn” between supporting their hero and hating their rival.
- There will be lots of interviews with Vikings fans who are “torn” between supporting their team and hating their quarterback.
- Favre will sign. There will be a nonstop feed of reminders that the Packers and Vikings play on MNF this year.
- Favre will be rusty but we will see lots of clips of his preseason games.
- A Los Angeles blogger will save his Favre retirement post and repost it next season changing the name “Vikings” to wherever Favre pretends to retire then signs with.
In short, Brett please stop. Just stop ruining your good name. Let me remember you not as a schizophrenic guy who doesn’t know when to let it go, like Paul Newman in every Paul Newman film post gray-hair. Just go out on a gust of snowy wind into the Lambeau night.
Where you belong.