I Hate Brett Favre. (No I Don't.)

jeff ircinkCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2010

Brett Favre is my sacred cow - or sacred quarterback, as it were.

I can safely say he's the sacred cow of my brother - Jason, mother (dad justs wants to nap), Donovan & Maria, Shelley, Dawn, Tamra, Renee, Sam, Nick, Erica, Kristen, Cousin Ger, Uncle Fran & Aunt Mary, and Aunt Ev & Uncle Bob. If you're unsure what a "sacred cow" is, as a metaphor, it refers to an object or practice which is considered immune from criticism, especially unreasonably so. Brett Favre's a sacred cow to millions. And to many others, the mere mention of his name evokes disdain and half-hearted attempts to induce vomiting. As baffling as that concept is to me, I'm not here to try and understand what others think of Brett. I don't care what others think. And, in the end, I suppose neither does Brett (about what the naysayers thing).

I'm often kidded for my Favre affection. I've been cajoled, ribbed, heckled, yelled at; I've been told I have a man-crush and that I have an obsession. I've yelled at women, old people and little children when I believe Brett is being unreasonably chastised.

I've been publishing my blog, PASSION = TRUTH, since the end of March 2007. To date, I've written 2,252 posts - 374 of which are either solely about Brett Favre, mention his name or concern the teams Brett has played on (Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings) - with the bulk of those posts occurring during the 4+ months of football season.

Favre's story, his stats and his various monikers (Ironman, Gunslinger, etc.) are known throughout the world. He's revered and hated - by many of the same people who once idolized him (I'm referring to Packers fans). He's battled addiction and been ridiculed because of his penchant of being unsure about retiring (or not retiring) - all while producing one of the most storied careers in NFL history. He's poked fun at himself, given over $3 million to charities and honed his acting chops to the point where he's a mere shadow of his "There's Something About Mary" days. He played through his daddy's death, his wife's breast cancer, his brother-in-law's death, the wrath of Hurricane Katrina on his family home...did you know that since college Brett's been playing with about half the amount of long intestines you and I have? He's played through ankle injuries, shoulder injuries, head injuries - he played an entire season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand (and finished 10-6 that season and gained a playoff berth). Think, for a minute, how often he's been battered to the ground in 19 years under center. He's farted, belched, pranked, chewed, sang, cried, laughed and slapped his teammates' butts on and off camera. He owns every meaningful quarterback record there is (including the INT record...threw that in for the Favre-haters 'cause someone's bound to bring it up) and hasn't missed a start since 1992. He's 40 and just came off the best season statistically in his career while playing in his first season with the Minnesota Vikings - tied for 2nd in TDs, 2nd in passer rating, 2nd lowest in INT's and his lowest TD-INT ratio ever. His jersey is the #1 selling NFL jersey of all time - #1 selling jersey this season and he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer - one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game. One of the greatest players to ever play the game. But you know all this.

I follow Brett because I followed him for 16 years with the Packers. He and Reggie White and Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren (and others) helped to pull Green Bay out of a multi-decade abyss. He's like family. I follow Brett because he epitomizes the name of my blog (one more plug for PASSION = TRUTH) and "the truth" is all I really care about. My truth. Brett's truth. I follow Brett because he's the football player I would've emulated had I played the game, and he's the type of man I'd wanna be around. He's a country boy and I'm sort of a country boy. He hunts. I hunt. He's not perfect. Neither am I; neither are you. I follow Brett because he's not the sort of person who falls back on regrets...because he's a doer. I feel like a little boy on Christmas whenever I watch him play; I follow him because he makes watching football fun; his enthusiasm is addicting and I feel my team is ripe for the win when #4 is under center. Always.

The impetus for writing this post was a New York Times article I read few days ago; I noticed the tag list in the sports section:

I thought it interesting that, dating back to September 2006, Brett Favre's name appeared in 134 different articles - the most of any player in the NFL, finishing 4th behind the New York Jets and Giants (which makes sense) and the New England Patriots (they play in the Jets' division). Even when you consider Brett played for the Jets last season, it's a telling stat. I even took the Jets' articles out of the 134 and Favre remained in 4th position. For an institution that has helped to loft Brett Favre on a pedestal for most of his career while simultaneously pulling him off it (seemingly the last two years), it makes you wonder, "Ohhh...how some love to hate him". And ohhhhh - the adorable, loveable media and fans - how convinced they all are that they they know what Brett's thinking, what Brett's feeling...what his motivations are. What an oddity - I'm surrounded by thousands of mind readers. Can you guess what I'm thinking right now?

Don't ask me if he's coming back because I don't know. Neither does he. But selfishly, I hope he does. He's good for the NFL and that's a fact even his worst detractors can't argue with.

Ask me why I'm obsessed with Brett Favre and I'll say, "join the club".

Favre brings me joy - and he brings me frustration. Such is life. I follow Brett compulsively and obsessively, passionately and fanatically because I know one day he will retire - for good. Every time Favre takes the field, I live fully in that moment as if that very moment will be the last time Brett draws back that rocket arm of his and slings a football down the sidelines. And I feel better because of it - and him. And when he does retire, my fervor will not wane - the presentation may be a bit different, that's all.

Ask me why I obsess about Favre and I'll be glad to share my reasons. I'm not ashamed - quite proud actually. Let me ask you...who or what do you obsess about? No one? But aren't you obsessing over my obsession with Brett Favre? It's OK to be jealous - it's a human trait. You know..like Brett Favre. He's human too. 

Don't fight it. Obsess over Brett Favre. It's easier that way. Let's see...that's 375 Favre posts now, right?