Favre's Legacy Is Further Tarnished

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent IAugust 18, 2009

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - AUGUST 18: Brett Favre talks with the media after his first practice with the Minnesota Vikings on August 18, 2009 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

When Favre walked off the Lambeau turf in the 2008 NFC Championship game, wearing the all-too familar No. 4 Packers jersey, all of us thought for certain that would be his salute to the NFL.

We all remembered what we were doing when in March of 2008, Favre announced that he would walk away from the game he loved, citing family reasons.

For me personally, I was at work preparing for the first-round game in the TranSouth tournament against Blue Mountain, sitting in the student center with other classmates wondering who would be the guy that could fill Favre's shoes in Green Bay.

It was sort of like when Herenton left office as mayor, who ironically became mayor the same year that Favre made his debut in Green Bay, and although I'm not and never will be a fan of Herenton, you had to realize that the big shoes they left for someone else to fill.

But, and this is the case with people who hold on to something too long, Favre couldn't bring himself to be just a spectactor nor a middle-aged guy staying in shape with high schoolers in southern Mississippi.

He had to be the center of attention and what better way to do it was by playing for the New York Jets, a team that had a promising quarterback in Chad Pennington and could within the next two years compete with the Patriots for the AFC East title.

In fact, Pennington took the Jets to four postseason appearances in five seasons and was destined to be the franchise quarterback that the Jets has waited for since Joe Namath.

But it was not to be.

To make room for Favre's return, Pennington gets released by the Jets and here's where the story takes a turn.

You know the phrase what goes around comes around?

On the final weekend of the regular season, the Miami Dolphins, a team that finished with one win in 2007, faces the Jets in the Meadowlands and knocks out the Jets out of the playoffs, therefore giving the Dolphins their first playoff berth since 2001.

And Chad Pennington, who could have probably did the same thing in New York if he had started at quarterback in 2008, ended up sticking it to his former team and in the process, leaving Jet fans with a very sour taste in their mouths.

Instead of a franchise quarterback, they decide to take a chance on a middle-aged first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, who leads them to the brink of a playoff berth but in the end, falls short because of internal affairs, including supposed preferential treatment of the quarterback.

After realizing that he wouldn't have a chance to win in New York or the strength to do it anymore, Favre decides to retire for good.


He decides to go to a team that won the NFC North, a team that had a superstar at running back, and two guys who had worked their tails off competing for starting time at quarterback.

While I never cared what Favre did or didn't do, I feel that his constant desire to continue playing, like Herenton's desire to run for mayor of Memphis, is driving fans crazy.

No doubt, Favre is a certain Hall-of-Famer, but his story, like Herenton's is the classic example of holding on too long and when the shtick gets tiresome, the good things that he did are further overshadowed by his selfish desires.

Selfish desires that could screw up what could be a promising season in Minnesota.

Just ask the Jets.