Brett Favre has never missed a football game in his life.
His entire career can be summed up in one word: Toughness.
If The Baddest Grandpa on the Planet (Yes I'm looking at you, Brett) decides to call it quits, the state of Wisconsin will breath a collective sigh of relief, but the rest of the world will only have one thing to say:
Was Brett Favre's retirement a result of his ankle injury?
It's no secret that Brett Favre gets an itch to play football that can't be cured with ointment, which would give doubters more reason to question his toughness.
Favre might be the toughest player in NFL history, but sportswriters with short-term memory loss could beg to differ.
Because with everything that Favre has done in his career, there is one thing that has eluded his checklist: Returning from a major injury.
In an era where naysayers will say anything to support their argument, retiring could only cripple the reputation of a man whose reputation is already on crutches.
Favre has walked out onto the gridiron and given 110 percent effort in sickness, and in health, for the last 19 years. If he wants to keep the reputation that he worked so hard to build then he will have to pull a—well, Brett Favre, and return for one more year.
Common sense would tell a 40-year-old requiring major ankle surgery to call it quits, but since when has Favre had common sense?
Did he have common sense when he threw a pass into Corey Webster's gut back in 2007 (Yes, I'm still mad about that)?
Did he have common sense when he rolled right and threw back over the middle of the field just three months ago in the NFC Championship Game?
Did he have common sense when he retired, and un-retired, and retired, and un-retired, and retired, and un-retired, and retired, and un-retired, and retired, and un-retired?
Okay, you get the point.
So, why should he start to have it now?
Those are the questions that will fill your TV set for the next three months if Favre announces his retirement, which is why he can't do it.
For the last five seasons, Favre has flirted with retirement. He has continued to return, because he wanted to.
So now it's time for Favre to do something, not because he wants to, but because he has to. Favre must return for one more season.
If Favre decides to retire because he says he doesn't want to play football anymore, I'll believe him, but in that situation I would be of the minority.
And when the world starts to doubt what Favre has built his career on—toughness—it could be the end of Favre as we know him.
If Brett Favre decides to return for another season, it may not be popular with the public, but it's what he has to do.
Brett Favre has two choices.
Return for another season, or be doubted the rest of his life.
I really, really hope he chooses the former.