Stages of Grief: Finally Accepting Brett Favre's Retirement

Tim SeemanAnalyst IMarch 7, 2008

On Tuesday, I was in disbelief.

On Wednesday, I tried talking myself into believing he would come back.

On Thursday, I cried, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

But after the tears came the happiness.

Brett Favre himself explained this feeling at a press conference.  He said, "...through every loss and every bad play, it made the plays like the first play in the overtime game against Denver so much sweeter."

His retirement isn't just a loss or a bad play for other Wisconsinites my age and younger.  It's the loss.

Like Brett said though, the pain of loss makes the exhilaration of victory so much better.

For many the excitement came not only with Favre’s touchdowns, but also when he exchanged high fives with the referees.  It came when he threw a snowball at his wide receiver and when he left his offensive lineman wincing from a butt slap.

This was the essence of Brett Favre.  While the touchdowns and yards and wins were great, those aren't the reasons we love him so much.

It started when he openly admitted to an addiction to painkillers in 1995.  The best way to relate to the public, it seems, is to lose people who claim to specialize in public relations.

Whether this is what he meant to do or not, the move earned Favre the respect of Packer fans and traditional sportswriters.  As a result, he understands the relationship between the superstar and the fans like no other athlete does.

"When I laughed and when my family laughed, they laughed.  When I cried, they cried.  When I cheered, they cheered.  When I threw an interception, well, you know," he explained at his press conference.

I feel that I need to show the same understanding of Brett Favre's retirement that he showed toward my fan-hood for the past 16 years.

I understand that instead of traveling across the country every week from August to December, he'll get to spend time with his teenage daughters before they leave home.

I understand that instead of having to answer to vulturous reporters every Sunday afternoon, he'll have to answer only to himself, his wife, and his Mississippi estate.

Most importantly, I understand that right now being with his daughters and his wife every day of the week is far more important than being with me on Sundays.

And I'm finally happy, knowing that he's going to enjoy doing nothing—until he finds himself wanting to pursue another challenge.