Brett Favre: Why Another Comeback Will Not Taint His Legendary Status

Patrick CwiklinskiCorrespondent IJune 22, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - MARCH 06: Quarterback Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers announces his retirement at a press conference on March 6, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It goes without saying that Brett Favre is one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time and that his name will undoubtedly go down in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his incredible achievements and contributions to the game of football.

It also goes without saying that a player of Favre's calibre doesn't come around very often, and when he does, it shouldn't come as a surprise that teams are still willing to put good money into a 39-year-old player, because even past his prime, Favre is still better than most quarterbacks half his age.

That is the difference between a great player and a legend.

A great player will do a lot for about 10 seasons, maybe even lead his team to a few championships. But once that expiration date hits and he comes back to play for a few more seasons, it just gets embarrassing and reputations are tarnished.

A legend is a player that is timeless. That's not to say that when a player reaches a certain age he is still the same player that he once was during his prime, because that just wouldn't be true.

But a legend is a player that can play those same 10 seasons, come out of retirement, and still make people not second-guess why he's a future hall-of-famer.

When Michael Jordan returned to play for the Washington Wizards after his second retirement he didn't lead his new team to an NBA Title, put up as many points as he did with the Chicago Bulls, or even technically make the first NBA All-Star team in 2003.

I don't hear anyone bad-mouthing Jordan's legacy.

As a matter of fact, Jordan is so respected that if he were to make another comeback this coming season, his legacy would still have "the greatest basketball player of all-time" written all over it, because that's who he is.

However, obviously, to call Favre the "Michael Jordan of the NFL" would not be at all accurate because Jordan has done far more for the game of basketball than Favre has for football, but it is clear that certain legacies just stick. 

So you think a couple comebacks are going to destroy the legacy of one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time?

I don't think so.

Even if Favre were to sign with the Minnesota Vikings this season, you think people would be talking about that in 10 years and not the fact that he hold the NFL records for most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards, most career pass completions, and most victories as a starting quarterback?

Or how about that he was the first player ever to win the AP MVP three times, or that he led the Green Bay Packers to seven division championships, four NFC Championship Games, two NFC Championships, two Super Bowl appearances, and one Super Bowl championship—will they overlook all those things as well?

Not a chance.

You might be sick of hearing about another comeback in the works, but one thing you know is that at the end of the day, when it's all said and done, those two, or however many seasons that Favre finishes his career off with, won't change the impact he has had on the game of football, and that is something that can only be done by a player who is truly a legend.