Brett Favre is special.
He is easily the greatest football player I have seen play in my lifetime. He has a reputation of being a guy who fights 'till the clocks shows all naughts. He is a winner. He hasn't missed a start in his career.
For all that and more, he deserves our respect and praise.
For other things, he deserves our criticism.
Last night saw Brett Favre get hammered, play after play, by the Saints defense. He returned to the game despite an injured ankle that was clearly affecting him.
Last night also saw Brett Favre throw an interception in the closing seconds of a tie game with his team close to field-goal range.
Not only was it an interception at a crucial time, but he had safer options. Favre could have run for five yards to set up his kicker for a game winning kick. He could have waited longer to throw. He wasn't under major pressure. Instead, he chose to throw a poor pass across his body into coverage.
Shortly after last night's NFC Championship Game, the ESPN commentators were not spreading a single ill word about the guy.
They talked about how he was “like a kid” and “a gunslinger.” Tom Jackson even said “That's the thing about Brett Favre. He is not afraid to throw an interception.” It sounded like they were almost praising him for blowing the game!
As a Lions fan, I know that if our quarterback had done the same thing, he would be the butt end of every newspaper column in the Motor City. Probably two thirds of NFL teams would be in the same situation.
Brett Favre is special. He finds himself praised for doing things that other, less prominent, players would get slaughtered for. He does things that would make me call for the head of any Lions quarterback.
So let's stop cutting Brett Favre some slack and actually criticize the guy.
Brett, you made a poor pass that cost your team the Super Bowl. Now you have to live with that until you step on the field again. I am sure that you will be back next year. You let down a fan base that has been waiting for years to reach the Super Bowl again. You had the win on the plate in front of you, and you threw it away, literally.
Not to mention the first interception you threw. What were you thinking?! You threw that pass into triple coverage just to avoid being sacked! That was a rookie mistake, Brett. And that fumble in the first half. How hard is it to hand the ball off?!
Come to think of it, it was more than that last pick that cost your team the game. You were directly responsible for three of Minnesota's five turnovers! Your defense played well enough against the league's top ranked offense, and you guys couldn't hang onto the ball when you needed to the most.
You lost it for the Vikings, Brett; you lost it for them.
All right, that was a little harsh. Favre, on his own, didn't lose the game for the Vikings. But wake up and realize that Favre made his fair share of costly mistakes, and he deserves the same treatment any other quarterback would receive.
Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks of our generation. However, he is not a football deity who doesn't make mistakes. Because of that people, cannot let him off the hook when he blows a championship game for his team.
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