Most everybody has had a dog or pet die. The crying, the memories, the funeral (or flushing). It's emotional; thinking about all the great times you had with old Rusty, how fun it was tossing the football around with Bailey, or jogging with Spot. It lasts for a few weeks, maybe a couple months.
Then you get the new puppy.
And how cute little Duke is. Sure he barks a lot, and he bit your hand when you tried to play fetch for the first time. But when he catches that first Frisbee, it's heaven. By now, you're flying high. You're all set to take him to the beach, to the park, heck, to the world.
And you don't need Rusty back.
Listen. Old pets don't return. The times with them are great. They are loved. But when their time comes and they go, they're gone.
Duke is here now.
Whether Rusty and his fans want to accept it or not, Aaron Rodgers has replaced him.
Brett, you're still loved. You will never be forgotten. Look, you're a legend. But you've run your course.
Leonardo da Vinci didn't try to paint another Mona Lisa. Thomas Jefferson left the White House after eight years, even with people wanting him to stay in office. Beethoven stopped after his ninth symphony.
Brett, you've had your nine Pro Bowls. Your painting is complete. The 422 touchdown masterpiece is finished.
Chris Mortensen can deny the reports that you've asked for a release if Green Bay doesn't want to play you, but the public knows that the Packers don't want you back.
You know it too. You know that maybe, just maybe, you've caught your last Frisbee, or jogged your last lap around the park.
And what a beautiful lap it was. Don't ruin it with a stumbling stint with the Chiefs or the Jets.
Rusty, let Duke shine now.