When I first expressed those thoughts Brett Favre was in his annual offseason state of constant back and forth. I could picture him spending the majority of his day attached to some kind of communication device asking any one of his friends or family members who would listen, “Should I come back or should I retire?”
Like his play on the field, his inability to make up his mind on his future in the game had become legend. As NFL fans we had spent as much time discussing “WWBFD?” (What will Brett Favre Do?) as we did discussing his actions on the field that contributed to his lore in Lambeau for guiding the Packers to a Super Bowl win while setting several all-time quarterback records. This offseason had been no different than the previous three or four.
Everyone of them had played out in the same predictable fashion. In February Favre would either be crying or on the verge of tears saying he was going to call it a career. Fast forward to April where right before the draft Favre would announce his intent to return and give it another go for one more season.
Like some of us fans, the Packers were no longer interested in being part of the yearly drama known simply as “As The Favre Turns” so they decided to move on and see what their future had in store for them by handing the reigns over to 2005 first round draft pick Aaron Rodgers.
As most of us know, Favre was eventually traded to the New York Jets where he played the 2008 season and once it was over, he decided to once again cue up the annual NFL offseason drama “As The Favre Turns”. As had been the case in the past, Favre announced to the football world that he was done. No longer would we see the famed number four on an NFL gridiron. Or so we thought. This time though Favre was a free agent and was in complete control of his playing destiny.
Enter the Minnesota Vikings, a team thought by many to be on the verge of being able to make a run deep into the playoffs and possibly a Super Bowl in a wide open NFC Central. Once again while Favre was spending time with his family in Hattiesburg, Miss. while throwing the pigskin around in his Wranglers with his buddies he started to get the itch to return.
Finally the stars were aligning. Now was the perfect opportunity for Favre to play for a team that he wanted to a season ago. A division rival of the Packers that Green Bay refused to trade him to. Now was his chance to exact revenge on the franchise that he felt discarded him and the GM in Ted Thompson that sent him into Gotham exile. He wanted them and they wanted him. It was a match made in heaven as far as both Favre and the Vikings were concerned.
I held out hope that the image of Favre wearing a purple and white number four was something that would never come to pass but I should have known that it was going to happen. Like death and taxes it was going to happen and on Monday it did. The runaway freight train from Hattiesburg to Minneapolis was going to get there one way or another and there was nothing we could do to stop it.
Are the Vikings better off with Favre as their starter? They certainly are both on the field and in the revenue department. The Vikings have already sold 3000 season tickets and 10,000 single game tickets since his signing on Monday. Is the league better off for having one of its legends to market one more season? Only time will give us the true answer considering that Favre must play well but right now I’m going to say “yes”.
Despite the points I just made in the aforementioned paragraphs I am in no way happy with this football marriage because as I’ve said before on this site, Favre is doing this for selfish reasons and to stick it to the franchise that gave him a chance to be a legend and stood by him during every high and low both on and off the field for 16 seasons. For Favre to say “ If you’re a true Packers fan, you’d understand” is insulting to the loyal fans that have stuck with him.
I’m not a Packers fan so I guess I don’t understand. But what I do understand is that Favre is selfish. He believed that he was bigger than the team and when they made the decision to split from him and not vice versa his ego was bruised and he refused to handle it like a professional.
Brett Favre is still one of my favorite players for the enthusiasm with which he’s competed, for the toughness he’s displayed en route to starting 269 consecutive games at quarterback and for his ability to shine in adverse situations much like the way he lit up my Raiders on that Monday night in Oakland the day after his father passed away.
Considering he committed no actual crimes (see Plaxico Burress or Donte Stallworth) I am going to forgive him for his selfishness sooner than later, but like Kobe Bryant’s selfish performance in Game Four of the 2004 NBA finals, somewhere I will always have a bad taste in my mouth.