Dear Brett Favre,
You are an NFL legend, period. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching you over the past two decades.
When I think of Brett Favre, I think improvisation. I think toughness, field vision, humbleness, talent, rocket arm, and a will to win.
A man who put an entire city and franchise on his back, and made them both staples in football conversation.
I can't even think the words "Green Bay" without thinking Brett Favre. The popularization of the "cheeseheads" and bringing back to life the words "frozen tundra."
Green Bay seemed desolate in football conversations for years before your coming. Never had a figure been so polarizing in that franchise since the great Vince Lombardi.
I loved to watch your excitement and funny antics on Sundays, lifting players on your shoulders, smiling, and being a terrific role model for young players.
I nearly cried when I heard of your struggle with addiction.
I yelled in excitement when you won the Super Bowl. I was in tears when you played one of your best games on Monday Night Football after losing your father, and I vehemently defended you when you threw nearly 30 interceptions in one season.
And after 16 years of a great career filled with memories and triumphs, it hurts to watch you like this.
Last season was one of your best, and the resurgence you and the Green Bay Packers underwent was one of the season's best stories.
Everyone believed that the interception you threw in the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants in overtime might not be your last.
Nevertheless, we weren't surprised when you retired on Mar. 4, 2008.
It only made sense. No need to come back and try to vouch for that final interception on that faithful winter day. You had done enough, and unlike many athletes in the past, you knew what to do.
After juggling your future plans in past offseasons, this time you let us know in a timely fashion. You didn't make us wait, or put your team in a bad position by not giving them the green light to move on.
With each tear we saw fall from your face like baseball-sized hail, we saw your career officially come to an end and waited to vote for you as a first-ballot, sure-fire Hall-of-Famer.
We didn't expect this. Or maybe we did.
Regardless, I feel betrayed, Brett.
So do Mike McCarthy and the whole Green Bay Packers front office, as well as the fans that believed you this time, and not to mention, your replacement, Aaron Rodgers.
After all, the team did announce him as the starter and tailor-made the offense to fit his abilities.
As if following a two-time MVP, Super Bowl champion wasn't hard enough. Now he has to be the reason that you may not be welcomed back this time.
And we expect him to be quiet, too.
Amidst all of this, you apparently have written a letter asking for your release? You're going to play for another team, after such a glorious and decorated career with one franchise?
Is it really worth that, Brett?
What do you stand to gain? What will you attain that you don't already have? A new jersey?
Don't be selfish Mr. Favre. We understand that you still have the "itch" to play, as Al Harris said it.
What retired athlete doesn't?
We had to watch Michael Jordan lose often in a Wizards uniform, Joe Montana look old in a Chiefs uniform, and I don't want to see you look vulnerable in a Bears or Redskins uniform. No way.
It's not worth it Brett.
Let the past and your legacy speak for you. It is Aaron Rodgers' time in Green Bay, and it is not the Packers' fault that you retired four months ago.
They have moved on, and it's time that you do the same.
Call it a career, Brett. We love you and will always remember your game and what you brought to the NFL.
Now it's time you let Aaron Rodgers try and create his own legacy, and let him do it without your shadow looming around everywhere he goes.
He's already going to have to answer to you all next season, at least give him the benefit of doing it with you retired. That will be difficult enough.
Trust me, it's not worth you playing for an entirely different city and angering your fans. If you still love the game, become a coach or ESPN analyst. We know you can still play, but not for the same team.
We don't want to see you in anything but yellow and green.
Sincerely, NFL Fan and Brett Favre Enthusiast,
Samuel Bell Jr.
(P.S. When it's time, it's time Brett. You knew it in March, Seinfeld knew it, and Gary Coleman knew it. That was a joke, but the point is the same.)