Favre's Survival: Respecting The Iron Man

Aron AlswagerContributor IJuly 26, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during their game on November 27, 2005 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Packers 19-14.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In the NFL, well, in sports in general, heroes are born. These heroes come in the form of walk-off home runs, 4th quarter comebacks, and half court buzzer beaters. They also come in the form of greatness, legacies, and unreal successes.

Enter Brett Favre, a real sports hero. The definition of true strong will. Through the toil and torment that Favre has dealt with his whole career, making it through college alive was a feat in and of itself.

So making it on an NFL team seemed very unlikely, to become an All-World superstar must have seemed only a dream, and all Packer fans right now can say thank you to Ron Wolf for seeing the potential in the hick from Mississippi and turning him into a legend, holding the record in almost every imaginable career statistic a pocket passer could hold.

Now there are a lot of Packer fans and NFL fans that know of Brett Favre, his play, his greatness, his ability to sling a ball down the field with showing little to no effort and making a huge play out of it.

In order to truly respect the man, you need to know him as a person, not on a personal level, obviously, but on an inspirational level.

These are the struggles that have made Favre the work horse he is today.

Favre got in a near fatal car accident in college, and in getting almost a yard of his small intestine removed, he was thought to never play again, much less play that season.

He did, and six weeks later was starting for Southern Miss against Alabama, and won.

After that season, Favre entered the NFL draft, got snared by the Atlanta Falcons, and ended up being traded to the Green Bay Packers for the 19th overall pick in 1992 and continued to play 17+ years in one of the most illustrious football careers in the history of the NFL.

In 2003, Irv Favre, Brett's father, died suddenly of a heart attack. Many believed that he was going to break his consecutive game streak to grieve over his father, and any true NFL fan, Green Bay Packers fan, or Brett Favre fan was completely okay with that. To the surprise and awe of the Green Bay Packers and everyone else, Brett decided to play that Sunday and had one of the best games of his career.

In 2004, way too shortly after the death of his father, Brett's brother-in-law was killed tragically in an ATV accident on Favre's property in Mississippi.

Favre continued to play.

Later that year, when Brett's wife, Deanna, was diagnosed with cancer, he was thought to finish the season and retire. He didn't, and he continued to play. Deanna recovered, and formed a very successful foundation to give hope to women that are fighting breast cancer.

The suffering for Brett was still not over. One year later, towards the end of 2005, Hurricane Katrina demolished Favre's Mississippi home. He did not have a great season that year, but he still continued to play.

Keep in mind that this all happened and he still went out every Sunday without missing a start. What a trooper.

Now let's get back to the matter at hand.

Being a true Brett Favre fan does not mean you only respect his play and what he has overcome, but you must also cherish the man himself. To topple the obstacles he has had to triumph and still want to play the game he loves? 

Now that's dedication. 

Being a Favre fan and being a Packer fan is not to be confused.  I know plenty of people that have claimed to be true Brett Favre fans. They were devastated when he retired. When Brett decided to come out of retirement, all of a sudden, in their eyes, he was too old to play for the Packers and they were glad the Packers wanted him out.

Brett played a great season for the Jets (until near the end of the season when he got injured), and decided to retire, again.

The Packer fans were back to loving him when he wasn't going to being playing for another team on Sunday but then, guess what?

Brett decided to come back, again. This time it angered many Packer fans, because he was interested in playing for one of the most hated rivals of the Packers, the Minnesota Vikings

Even though nobody knows completely if Favre wants to play for the Vikings to spite the Packers, or if he wants to be in Minnesota because of his relationships with the coaches, either way, to see Favre play is a treat in itself.

To a true Brett Favre fan, the reasoning doesn't matter. Let the man play the game, I doubt his unhappiness with the Packers as of late is going to overcome his love that he had for the franchise for 16+ years.

If he is doing it just to play against the Packers twice a year, he will not be doing it to say, "Ha! I'm going to play you and I'm going to win, twice! Take that Ted!" It will be more along the lines of, "This is what you're missing out on, I'll show you why I should still be in Green Bay!"

That's what the media makes it seem like, like Favre has some cynical plot to get back at the Packers, and avenge his trade to the Jets, and get back at them for moving in a different way, after 16 years of faithful service to the team.

Let's be real here, though.

Why is it that there is a failure to communicate that the Vikings are already a very solid team? Whenever Favre going to Minnesota is mentioned by the media, wether it be ESPN or your local newspaper, rather than a few instances, barely anyone mentions the impact that Favre will have, and how his addition to the Vikings makes a very legitmate argument for them to be a definite deep playoff contender.

Why is it that when a good player goes to a contending team that has a very real chance to win it all, he is a traitor?

Are you kidding me? He's a person; he has hopes and dreams just like everyone else and winning another ring is, guaranteed, very important in his eyes...just like every other football player that has ever been in the NFL.

So Packer fans, instead of hating the legend for going to a division rival, embrace and respect him for still playing through everything he has been through, because if you didn't know, it wasn't his decision to leave. If the Packers still wanted him he would still be in Green Bay. He now is just trying to make an impact in the league with a proven contender, and who doesn't want to play for a winner?

All that has to be said now is, it looks like he's going to be around at least twice a year, maybe more if the Packers can pull into the playoffs. With the addition of Favre, it's looking like the Vikings are going to be there.

I don't know about you, but I can't wait.


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