Mr. Middle Manager, It's Time For You, Not Brett Favre, to Retire!

Greg CaldwellContributor IApril 30, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 28: Brett Favre #4 of The New York Jets leaves the field after losing to The Miami Dolphins 24-17 after their game on December 28, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Imagine for a moment that your alarm clock goes off at the standard time, 6:30a.m.  You roll out of bed, grab your coffee, and head into the office.  As you're walking in, "Joe from Accounting" yells out, "Get outta here!  You're washed up!" 

You shake your head questioningly and come to the conclusion that Joe and his wife must have had an argument before he left for work this morning and he's taking it out on you. 

As you get to your cubicle, your boss walks up and says, "I think it's time for you to quit."  With a shocked look on your face, you say, "What?  Two years ago, I blew my numbers out of the water.  Over the past 17 years, I've brought 350 new customers to this company.  I know I haven't been as productive this year, but we've come out with a new product line that I've had to learn, and the economy has been lagging.  I can't control these things..."

Enter Brett Favre.  The man who has been the face of the Green Bay Packers since he took the helm as starting QB on Sept. 27, 1992. 

Arguably, the face of the NFL for just as long, and yet it seems that the vast majority of fans, and NFL "experts", are trying to force him from the game that he has given so much to.

Here are the facts: In 2007, Brett Favre completed 67 percent of his passes, threw for 4155 yards, 28 TDs and 15 Ints.  He led the Packers to the NFC Championship game when NO ONE gave them a chance to even make the playoffs.

Insert the ugly divorce in 2008.  Favre goes to the Jets and leads them to an 8-3 record and the "experts" are talking Pro Bowl, potential MVP, and even speculating that a Super Bowl appearance could be in order. 

That's when it all comes falling down.  Favre suffers an injury, the Jets play horrific defense, the play calling is inexcusably conservative, and the fact that Favre never had a true No. 1 receiver all season long is exposed. 

But suddenly, it's Favre's fault.  He should retire!  The game has passed him by!  Get outta here!  You're washed up!

It's amazing to me how short the memories of sports fans are.  It wasn't long ago (2003) that fans and experts were saying the same thing.  Favre's numbers had dipped.  No doubt he was finished.  However, folks failed to acknowledge that he had been playing the vast majority of the season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand.

The very next year, Favre completed 64 percent of his passes, threw for more than 4,000 yards, 30 TDs, and had a 92.4 passer rating.

Fans and experts had better be careful when telling players they should retire.  I tend to hold the same opinion as Phil Simms.  "Play as long as you can. When you think it's over, play another two years . . . because life after football, it's forever."