WRITTEN: August 23, 2009
I do not like Brett Favre; however, I do respect him.
Brett Favre is arguably one of the most prominent quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. His consecutive starts record is one that truly bleeds passion, and love, and his desire to play cannot be questioned by anyone. However, at what point does the consistent uncertainty of his future become a true deterrent when one looks back on his prestigious career?
Brett Favre, the rugged 39 year old quarterback who played his collegiate ball at Southern Mississippi may be best known for his Super Bowl ring (XXXI), ten Pro Bowl selections, or three consecutive AP NFL MVP awards (a record, '95-'97). Unfortunately, it is also possible that Favre may instead be remembered for his domineering personality, which propelled him to suit up with three different NFL teams in three seasons, after playing most of his career with the people who loved him, the Green Bay Packers.
Let's analyze this, though. Favre had a tremendous career from 1991-2007. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers, and went to another the following year, to lose to another legend, John Elway - no reason to be upset about that. His career QB rating is 85.4, and he has thrown for over 65,000 yards, through 2008. That is phenomenal in itself. Perhaps, though, Favre's most incredible feat lies within himself - since being named Green Bay's starter in '92, Favre has never missed a game. No, check that - never missed a start. He is in first place on the NFL's all time list for consecutive starts, and is only one of 5 players to have ever started more than 100 games consecutively.
The Mississippi native loves football, that cannot be questioned. However, as the aforementioned statistics are breathtaking, at what point does his alure, and prestige wear off? Favre has been giving the NFL, and its fans the "run-around" for three years now. After a tough loss in the NFC title game in 2007 at home to the New York Giants, Favre was obviously left hungry for more. However, one could argue he was "silently" forced out of Wisconsin, because of the hype surrounding former first round pick, and praised backup, Aaron Rodgers.
Favre announced his retirement, officially, on March 4, 2008, after a milestone season that saw disappointment for Brett & Green Bay. Favre finalized his retirement by stating that he "knew [he] could play, but [he] didn't think [he] wanted to. And that's really what it comes down to." Favre also stated that his decision had nothing to do with what the Packers "did, or didn't do."
Favre filed for NFL reinstatement on July 29, 2009, and was disrespected by Green Bay, as they would not take him back, after a long game of "cat & mouse." That, I will admit.
Favre signed with the New York Jets on August 7, 2008 (via trade), and was quickly coined, 'Brett the Jett.' I was happy, because I felt the legend was mistreated by the only NFL franchise owned by a city. This city, too, allegedly loved Favre.
Favre came to New York, a rugged, neck-bearded, Mississippi, steak-house owning boy, with a mission - to win.
Win, Favre did. For a little bit, that is. In week 6, against the Arizona Cardinals (eventual NFC Champions), Brett threw 6 touchdown passes. (Fantasy Owners cheer). The Jets then rouged up the Titans from Tennessee, who owned the NFL's best record in 2008. With Tom Brady out, it seemed like the Jets would take the AFC East with ease.
Unfortunately, as some have said, "karma's a bitch." Chad Pennington, released by the Brett's (Jets) when Favre was picked up, decided to become the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year, and the Jets fell to the Dolphins in Week 17, as Miami took the AFC East.
Brett, again, decided to hang it up. Facing injury, fatigue, and little options, I was happy for Brett - this was the right thing to do.
Favre told the Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum that he should "look in another direction." This after Tannenbaum CLEARLY put all of his chips in "one basket," that basket being Favre.
Jets fans were upset, but quickly were happy that Tannenbaum worked hard, and netted highly coined prospect Mark Sanchez from the University of Southern California. The Jets had taken Brett's advice, and went in a different direction - youth.
Let the timeline begin:
February 11, 2009 - Favre tells Tannenbaum he should bring Jets in 'different direction,' & retires.
May, 2009 - Favre asks Jets to be released from retired list, freeing him to sign with any team.
June 15, 2009 - Favre tells sources he is considering another comeback.
July 28, 2009 - Vikings (only interested team) are told by Brett he will remain retired.
On July 28, I rested happy. Brett almost made me call him a joke, a user, and a terrible human being.
Let me clarify something: I like Brett Favre. He is a helluva football player, one of the best I've ever seen, and his commitment, skills, or leadership abilities cannot, in any way, shape or form be questioned. However, if he came back again, I would certainly be disgusted. Why, you ask? Simply put, he instilled hope in the hearts of Jets' fans, and NFL fans overall. Told them to go in a different direction, they traded the house for a "hopeful" prospect in Sanchez, and was now going to come back with another team? Absolutely unacceptable. This was not the Brett Favre I loved, this was a monster, with Green Bay Packers' front office 2008 syndrome.
On August 19, 2009, I did not sleep. Brett Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings.
Favre not only signed, but signed a two year deal, worth $25 million. If the steakhouse in Mississippi was about to go under, I think Brett just afforded them some prime aged meats.
Disgusted? Haha...that's an understatement.
Brett Favre, with his actions in 2008-2009, had, in my mind, seriously diminished his reign as the 'Iron Horse,' that I, and many others once saw him as. ESPN was praising the Wrangler-wearing superstar, with his own segment on the BottomLine!
Enough was enough.
Favre has truly embarrassed himself, and the rest of the NFL, by essentially acting so self-centered, that he forced an entire NFL franchise to wait on him for an entire off-season. I mean, seriously. He had Minnesota in the palm of his hand so badly, that they almost decided to make Sage Rosenfels, a career NFL backup, their starter. Did I mention he would have to beat out the very talented Tavaris Jackson? I don't think I did...
There is no question that Favre makes the Vikings a better team. They will probably make the playoffs in what seems to be a fairly weak NFC. Despite that, though, I care more about the legitimacy of the league, and the integrity of its players.
If you want to continue to play, say so. If not, then do not retire from a team with as much class as Favre did, not once, but twice, and then come back only to disappoint the fans you once pleased, but to ultimately disappoint the world. Favre is proving that he can do whatever he wants, which, in my mind, ruins what the NFL is all about. That is, simply put: TEAMWORK.
When Favre makes it all about #1, or in his case, #4, that is when things get riled up.
I do not like Brett Favre. Not even a little bit.