Brett Favre fumbled his final chance of retaining a sterling legacy by signing with the Minnesota Vikings this past week.
That much we know. And by now, we should know the drill.
We’ve come to realize Favre monopolizes the headlines in the sports media universe, and at times, it feels like hell to know the hoopla is just beginning—again.
We learned an awful lot about Favre this past week. He, without words, called his brief stint with the New York Jets a time of waiting in purgatory.
He didn’t have to say it. You know he was thinking it.
By coming out of retirement once again and inking a two-year, $25 million deal with the Vikings, Gang Green’s faithful can officially delete the memory of “Broadway Brett” from their minds, but not before tossing those barely used No. 4 jerseys in the trash. Heck, I might wash the car with mine.
Favre knew from the start where he wanted to be. After Green Bay’s management ended the 16-year relationship with the future Hall of Fame quarterback because it wanted to usher in the Aaron Rodgers era, the 39-year-old Favre began concocting the ultimate revenge plan.
It just took him a year to carry it out.
Minnesota had showed interest in Favre after he officially announced his retirement—the first time—on Mar. 4, 2008. He claimed he wasn’t fully committed to the retirement plan and still had the urge to play for a Super Bowl contender.
Then, FOX Sports reporter Jay Glazer broke the news that the Packers filed tampering charges against the Vikings in mid-June. League commissioner Roger Goodell found no such evidence, and Favre applied for reinstatement. Five days later, No. 4 was back.
And to think we were convinced that was the final lap on the roller coaster.
Instead, it just kept going faster and faster. Favre was traded to the Jets on Aug. 7. Suddenly, the Cheese Heads weren’t as hip as the Cheesecake Heads.
Favre then used strong play in the first half of the campaign to lift the hopes of Jets fans to levels unseen in a decade. That, of course, was before he complained of a bum throwing arm, which turned out to be a huge factor in the team’s 8-3 start transforming into another ho-hum season without a playoff splash.
As the Jets’ hopes shattered into fragments of despair once the Miami Dolphins clinched the division title, everyone knew Favre had worn his last shade of green.
But somehow, some way, we knew he wasn’t done.
At this point, it’s fair to say Favre used the Jets to buy time before his real dream—propelled by revenge—would come to fruition. Now, just like he robbed Kellen Clemens a chance to earn a starting spot at quarterback, he has cost Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson an opportunity to lead a legitimate contender.
"It's something that wasn't a total shock,'' said Rosenfels, according to the team’s web site. “Obviously this has been three months in the ongoing sort of thing. So for me personally, this wasn't what I was hoping for. ... If the team needs me this year, when the team needs me this year, I'm going to be ready.''
"It's not a good feeling, but you have to take it for what it's worth and try and get better from it,'' added Jackson.
That’s the only sad song those two can sing at this point.
In addition, it’s puzzling that the Minnesota brain trust invested so much in Favre, whose partially torn rotator cuff is likely to worsen over the course of the season. A medical source stated that "he’s at high risk (for greater tearing) both because of trauma and his style of play,” according to RotoTimes.com.
Nevertheless, this is the dark path that Favre chose. That’s why it’s comical the catchphrase plastered on the front page of Minnesota’s web site reads, “Are you ready for some football?”
So here we are, lost in the silence, torn between rooting for Favre to punctuate a fantastic career and for him to learn a much-deserved lesson the hard way. Like it or not, Favre is back. He dares us to root for him, too.
Once he takes the field in Friday’s preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, you’ll hear a distinct, sarcastic snicker of encouragement from Gang Green nation: Break a leg, Brett.
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