The Groundhog Day-like saga that is Brett Favre has once again been spoon-fed to the football fans of the world.
After one year with the New York Jets, Brett Favre is reportedly going to retire.
And that’s what’s really unfortunate about the whole situation.
This isn’t how it was supposed to be. This was supposed to be a time of celebrating Brett’s career. Instead, we question him.
This was supposed to be the time we discussed how since the early 90’s, Favre’s “old school” style blessed the NFL on every Sunday—and I mean every Sunday. Football’s “Iron Man” was that happy mixture of giddy school kid and workhorse. If a fan attached “laser rocket arm” to Peyton Manning, then they simply hadn’t seen Brett Favre play live. He had a cannon—just ask any player that had to catch his passes.
Yet, all that’s wedged in the back of our brains is the drama with the Packers, the accusations of tampering, the talks with the Vikings, and that No. 4 painted on the back of a Jets jersey.
But this was supposed to be a time where we reflected on a career packed with 464 touchdowns, over 65,000 yards and an overall quarterback rating of 85.4.
Instead, our NFL life with Brett Favre has become as unpredictable as the weather. When we expected a day of clear skies where the future Hall of Famer could walk off into the sunset, we instead were presented with a forecast of “party cloudy with a chance of retirement”.
This season was meant to be a year where Brett could give it another go, attempting to lead a Green Bay franchise back to the Super Bowl—after being so close the season before. Then, the drama ensued. But it didn’t matter, because Brett would still wear green and instead lead the New York Jets back to a magical playoff run. Only…after a red-hot 8-3 start, the Jets later crumbled.
And Brett did too. Finally, age caught up to him, as a painful shoulder injury plagued Favre during the final weeks. While not enough to keep him out of the lineup, the injury was still enough to lead Favre to a world of ineffectiveness—and, gasp… criticism.
So because of this and more, Brett Favre retires today, and it certainly feels like just another story in sports. It feels like a speed bump that was the width of a pencil, or a minor leaguer that spent a decade playing, only to never make it to the major leagues.
The story of Favre leaves the sports world to argue back and forth as to whether Brett has tarnished his legacy (after this rollercoaster of a year). And it also leaves so many people to question if he really is retiring.
And that’s the humdrum conclusion that was placed in front of us, one that’s still a bitter
pill to swallow since it’s involving one of the best quarterbacks to ever set foot on a football field.
This is it for Brett Favre, and I truly believe that. He won’t come back. This will be his final decision on football. He won’t make the same mistake twice.
As for Brett’s legacy, while it may seem cloudy now, it won’t later. The stats are there. The Super Bowl title is there. That same happy kid on the field will always be there. That big grin, the playful nature, the snowballs flying, the jawing with Warren Sapp, the picking-up-and-carrying receivers on his back—it’s all Brett in a nutshell. He’ll miss it, but he’ll know when to quit—this time.
And while this non-story-like ending may feel tarnished now, it won’t in time. That Jets shade of green will shift back to its Packer tint.
Say “cheese”, Brett. It’s been a mighty good run, and it’s time to find that sunset.