Brett Favre: Master of Puppets

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Brett Favre: Master of Puppets
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

First off, everybody calm down. The wait is almost over.

Before the end of this week, Brett Favre will decide whether or not he wants to return to the NFL to play quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings, and we will all be let off the hook.

Finally, the suspense will end, and we can cease our incessant speculation about Brett Favre's future. By the end of this week, he will make a decision. He gave us his word, and we believe him.

Right?

But suppose he's still not ready to decide. What if, nearly six months after his retirement from the New York Jets, Favre's will to compete in the NFL is still equalled by his desire to spend time at home with his kids? What if it's just too close to call, and he needs just a little more time? How will we all react to that?

Sure, Brett, whatever you need. Take your time.

It's a big decision, and you should do what's best for you. Don't worry about us. We're just spectators. We'll always be watching, and we can wait.

But that's just what this is. A spectacle. A circus.

Using the national media as his arena, Brett Favre is a one man show: he holds the ring of fire, and he jumps through it, too. And somehow, though we have seen his act a few times before, he manages to hold our gaze. We remain transfixed. But why?

It's true, he's one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, and he's one of the most charismatic figures in sport. He embodies the ideal competitive spirit that we seek in our atheletes: toughness, fearlessness, and an implacable drive to win. He plays with a childlike joy, a youthful exuberance that is sorely lacking in most professional athletes.

Brett Favre represents all the best qualities of sports, and because of that we are afraid to see him go. We fear he might be the last of his kind.     

But how far are we willing to follow him through this charade?

After 16 years in the NFL, the string tied around Favre's finger is tighter than ever, and he has the public dangling from the end of it. Another summer spent waffling, another television camera following his every move. And we wait. We wait. 

It seems unfair to us, but if you were Brett Favre, wouldn't you do the same? It's not his fault for taking so long to decide. It's our fault for caring.

If we weren't so obsessed with him, maybe we wouldn't have to agonize while we wait for his decision. If we had learned from last summer, when he did the same thing he's doing now, we could just let fate run its course, and he wouldn't get the opportunity to profit from our attention.

Who ever thought that indecision would be a best-seller? As it stands, every second Brett Favre spends in football limbo benefits... Brett Favre. With every passing day, as he threatens to disappear, our demand for him increases, and the fervor reaches new heights.

And as the cameras continue to focus on him, as they zoom ever closer and our interest in him continues to grow, he has ever more incentive to let the suspense build.

Maybe we should stop caring so much, and allow the situation to solve itself. Let's turn the cameras off for a minute, and maybe the juices will start to flow. We can go on with our own lives, and before we know it, Brett Favre will come to his decision.

But either way, we'll know by the end of this week. Because that's what he told us, and we believe him. Right?

 

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