If Brett Favre Comes Back We Should Enjoy Him As Long As We Can

Bryan FlynnAnalyst IJune 10, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 28: Brett Favre #4 of The New York Jets celebrates after throwing a touchdown to Laveranues Coles #87 against The Miami Dolphins during their game on December 28, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder reported that Brett Favre has undergone surgery to repair his injured throwing shoulder last week. It seems that Favre’s desire to play this season has outweighed his desire not to have surgery. If he can progress to a point that he is happy, it seems that he will play his 19th NFL season for the Minnesota Vikings.

Neither the Vikings nor anyone in the Favre’s camp have confirmed or denied this report.

There are two schools of thought on a comeback by Favre. On one hand, you have those who wish he would stay in Hattiesburg, MS and remain retired.

The other hand is people like me who think Favre should play. I am not a Vikings fan and never have been. I will say that I did go to USM, Favre’s alma mater. I did not see him play in college nor have ever seen him play in person. The only way I have seen Favre play is on television.

The reason I think he should play is because he has earned the right to play. Favre is a no-questions-asked hall of famer. He has broken almost every record. As long as the Vikings are willing to have him behind center, he should play.

Then why are we so against him playing again?

Could it be that we do not want to see him in any other jersey but the green and white of Green Bay in the NFC North? Do we feel like he betrayed us by playing for the Jets last season? It could be that when we as fans think a player should retire he should stay retired or that we think we know when player’s days of playing are over.

I think deep down it is a little of all these reasons. Packers fan or not, we associate Favre with Green Bay. We would rather have Favre stay retired than have that memory ruined with him playing for the Vikings

We really do feel betrayed when he played for the Jets last season; we lost a bit of our sports innocence, much like when Joe Montana played for the Kansas City Chiefs or Micheal Jordan with the Washington Wizards. As much as we liked seeing them play once again, it felt like something was wrong about it, as well.

After seeing John Elway finish his career with one team, we hoped Favre would do the same, that he would be saying good bye to us as a Packer. He did the first time he decided to retire. The only problem was Favre was a game away from the Super Bowl when Green Bay did not want to wait for him to make up his mind.

The Packers had already decided it was time for the Aaron Rodgers era to begin. As the whole situation disintegrated last season, it was clear that Favre wanted to play even as he retired.

After seeing so many sports comebacks end badly, we do not want to see players un-retire. We would like for them to leave and be as healthy as possible. We do not want them to come back and be seriously injured.

As fans, we are quick to decide it is time for a player to retire. Until Favre called it quits, no one thought he was done. After the trade to the Jets was announced, most of the sports world wondered why Favre would want to play for New York.

That was true for all but Jets fans. Now, only Vikings fans want to see Favre return.

If you were in Favre’s shoes, could you call it quits when you know you’re a better quarterback than those starting for some teams? We forget that Favre is the same age as Jeff Garcia, who is trying to take JaMarcus Russell’s job in Oakland. Both are 39 years old and the only differences between the two are that Garcia has never retired and has never really been wanted no matter where he has gone.

What we should remember about Favre is his childlike love of the game, the way he seems like a throwback to another time in sports before it was a business, the fire and intensity Favre still has for the game, the toughness he has when he steps onto a football field. We should remember the things that made us love Favre.

We should enjoy Favre for as long as he plays. When he does finally retire for good, we will never see a player like him. Let’s watch Favre like we used to watch him and marvel in all he does on a football field. We should soak it all in no matter what team he plays for, because when he is really gone we will wish we had him back.

I know that, for me, Sundays will not be the same when the old gunslinger hangs up his guns for the last time.