Et Tu, Brute? Words made famous by William Shakespeare and spoken by Julius Caesar as his closest friend and ally Brutus savagely stabbed him in the back.
While not literally, figuratively it would appear as though Green Bay Packers fans can now relate.
The man that they used to revere and consider one of the greatest Packers ever, Brett Favre, has decided to come out of retirement yet again. This time though, Brett will not be going to the AFC, instead he decided to jam and twist a knife into the backs of not only a franchise he helped make a champion, but also a group of fans that adored him.
Favre has signed with Green Bay’s divisional foe, the Minnesota Vikings.
Et Tu, Brute? Or should it be Et Tu, Brett?
How fitting that a character and a quote made famous by Shakespeare is being used to describe this situation; especially given that there are all the elements of one of his plays. Drama, comedy, villains, love, hate, envy, greed, wrath; they’re all here, present and accounted for.
But is the Favre signing a surprise? Not really. Even after the Vikings stated that they were moving on without Favre, and he himself said he would stay retired, almost everyone could see through the smoke and mirrors.
There was never a doubt in the minds of many fans that Favre would be a Viking. This is simply a case of him not wanting to endure the grind of training camp and two a day practices. The Vikings and Favre made a backroom deal, and under the guise that he was staying retired, thus allowing him to skip Training Camp.
What an insult to the players that showed up and worked through it.
Brett could not pass up the opportunity to try and hurt the Packers again. Who cares that he is possibly damaging his Hall of Fame legacy? Brett certainly doesn’t.
This return is not about his “love” of the game of football. Everyone has heard the remarks about him loving the sport so much that he’d play for free. That is garbage. This isn’t about the fans either; in a word, this is about him and only him.
He is doing this to get his vindication, his revenge and to prove that the Packers were wrong to let him go in favor of Aaron Rodgers. His ego was bruised when he was dealt away. It was probably quite a shock to realize how quickly he was replaced; out with the old and in with the new.
This signing has been his plan all along. From day one, Favre wanted to go to a division rival, but Green Bay wouldn’t allow it and he was dealt to New York.
While Brett said and largely did the right things, he didn’t want to be with the Jets. He craved the opportunity for revenge and being in the AFC wouldn’t allow him to execute his perfect plan. So in the second half of the season, he quit on his team. If he didn’t have “it” anymore, he would be free to retire again.
So the offseason comes, the retirement talk begins anew and Brett asked for a strange request, he asked to be released. Seemingly he was done with football, ready to go be a “normal” guy, wearing his Wranglers, driving his tractor, and hunting some deer.
The Jets played along, releasing Favre and drafting a replacement. Now he was free to set the wheels in motion; he was free to sign anywhere and his sights were set on the Vikings. What better way to seek revenge?
He is crossing enemy lines and putting himself in the position to do damage twice a season and possibly even more during the playoffs. Favre can gravy train a team with Super Bowl aspirations and who was just solid quarterback play away from being a Super Bowl contender. But why would Minnesota risk this?
It is going to take more than Favre’s name to help them win it all. The Favre 10 years ago would be a better choice than the Favre of 2009.
The offense is likely to be run through Adrian Peterson, so why do they need Favre? Couldn’t Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels simply turn and hand off to Peterson? That should be the scheme-turn, hand off, repeat, and then allow the tough defense to do their job. Instead, the team has put a wild card into the mix.
They better hope that Favre is better than he was in the second half of last season when he threw 18 interceptions. If he isn’t, this move do either party no good.
Brett Favre is the most selfish man in the National Football League.
Since the Packers decided to go in a different direction, every headline has been about him. He has caused three teams to fall into chaos and he seemingly doesn’t care. It is all about him and his desire to hurt the Packers. Anyone and anything that stands in his way be damned.
His legacy has already been tarnished, and if he struggles this season, he’ll go down as another in a long line of athletes who stayed too long.