Devil's Advocate: The Real Reason Brett Favre Said "Enough"

Aaron KeelSenior Analyst IIIMarch 5, 2008

When the news broke that Brett Favre has retired after an illustrious 17-year career, my first thought was that his body had finally given out on him.

Now, sadly, as I write this article I wish that was the case.

Because the truth is that Favre didn’t just retire.

He quit on his team and his fans.

I never thought I would ever put the words "quit" and "Favre" negatively in the same thought considering this is the man who started 253 games straight, 275 if you include the playoffs.

The man who, when most of us wouldn’t even dream of going to work, went out and played a game for the ages on Monday Night Football, just one day after his father passed away.

Yet, I still have to stick with my previous assertion.

Favre gave up.

And the reasons I believe that come from the man himself.

When explaining his decision Favre gave mental fatigue as one of his main reasons for leaving.  

That I could buy considering not only how long he has played, but also all the things he has endured off the field from his father’s passing to his wife’s cancer diagnosis.

But the one thing that caught my attention was his assertion that the expectations going into this season were high and that anything less than a Super Bowl would be a huge disappointment.

That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Is this the same Brett Favre who said last season that he was coming back because of the talent he saw on the Packers?

Where was the talk then about how much of a disappointment missing the Super Bowl would be?

Exactly; there wasn’t any.

But then again, that was before the Packers went 13-3 and were a game away from playing for the Lombardi Trophy.

And therein lays the real reason Favre decided to leave the game.


You heard me correctly: One of the most fearless men in the history of the NFL let a fear of failure get the best of him in the end.

How else can you explain his decision to retire now?

With practically everyone returning from that 13-3 Packers team, Green Bay had to be considered a top contender for the championship this year with Favre.

Having once again established himself as an elite QB this past season, Favre had the perfect opportunity this season to go out in a way so few greats do.

On top.

For some one as competitive as Favre, this seemed like the kind of challenge everyone expected him to come back to tackle.

Instead, Brett has left the city of Green Bay high and dry with their hopes of seeing the return of the trophy named after the father of the team put on hiatus.

For now there is nothing left to do but wonder.

Packers fans and ownership are left wondering if Aaron Rodgers can be the man in Green Bay.

Rodgers has to be wondering how in the world he could ever replace a legend.

The rest of us are wondering where Favre ranks in the the pantheon of the all-time greats.

But, most importantly, Brett Favre himself will always be left to ponder two of the worst words that exist not only in sports, but in life itself.

What if?