Brett Favre: To Retire? Or To Not Retire? That Is The Question

Evan OlsonContributor IMay 19, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after the Vikings scored a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints won 31-28 in overtime.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Now-a-days forty years old is the new twenty and people have a whole new outlook on their age. Forty years old is when many people are having children, looking good, and having fun with life. They are at the peak of their life and loving it. However, this is not the case in the National Football League. In the NFL, the day you turn forty is a nightmare; you might as well crawl in your grave and accept it. If you made it to forty years old and are still playing in the NFL, stop. Your time has come. You are considered a grandpa in the locker room and it is time to retire. Even if you want to play, you can’t.  Your bones are brittle and at every bit of contact dust will explode from your insides. It is time to give it up. All of this is sadly very true, but there is one exception. Brett Favre.

            Brett Favre is known for many things; his vicodin addiction, his rough college years, his historical and legendary NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, his book of records, his painful “retirement” (aka: getting thrown out onto the streets after all he had done for Green Bay), and last but not least, his decision making.

Favre entered his 16th NFL season with one thing in mind: win the Super Bowl and retire, as a Packer. Things took a twist on Brett as he threw an interception in the NFC Championship game in overtime, losing to the New York Giants. It was now time for Brett to make a decision. Retire? Or stay for one more NFL season? Before Brett could even make his own decision, his bosses, Ted Thompson (Packers general manager) and Mike McCarthy (Packers head coach), threw the legend out and traded him to the New York Jets for a round 4 draft pick (Round 4! That is pathetic; after what the legend has done for Green Bay Brett Favre should be traded for something much better than that if traded at all). Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy wanted to get rid of him and they did just that. Favre could have just retired and not gone to New York, but he has a big heart and he wanted to play football; so he did. He had a good 17th NFL season in New York. It was not his best, but especially good for a 39 year old quarterback. He ended his 17th NFL season with the Jets in pain, both mental and physical pain with a shoulder injury. It was now decision time again, to retire? Or go for one more? Brett was back and forth all summer long on the decision, and at the last minute he signed with Green Bay’s arch rival, the Minnesota Vikings.

Brett Favre was now 40 years old and considered “washed up” like every other 40 year old man in the NFL. Brett Favre was actually the only 40 year old man in the NFL. Was Brett washed up? Was he old and brittle? Not a chance. Brett Favre had a magical season completing 363 of 531 passes for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 12 wins. He carried the Vikings on his back all the way to the NFC Championship game, beating the Packers twice, getting revenge on Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy, only to lose to the future Super Bowl winners, the New Orleans Saints. If the Vikings would have won the Super Bowl, Favre would have won league MVP and happily retired, as a Packer.

Favre had a rough game against the New Orleans Saints. He was sacked zero times but hit almost every single play with one fumble and two interceptions. He left the game in pain, with a swollen hip and an ankle the size of a full grown male’s fist. The first thing anyone who watches football thought of at the end of that game was, “is he going to retire?” Brett Favre has yet to make a decision, and half of America is calling for him to come back. A group of men from Minnesota even rented a billboard in Favre’s hometown, Kiln, Mississippi, urging Brett to come back.

There is a simple four word answer for that question: he’ll be back, again. Brett Favre was playing just as good, if not arguably better, than he did during his MVP years. He was unwanted in Minnesota by both the fans and the players and he had to earn his respect by winning games. He did more than just win games; he won the love of every fan in Minnesota by proving everyone wrong. He showed the world that he is not old and “washed up”, and that he can still play ball.

Brett Favre will be turning 41 years old this upcoming October, an age no athlete wants to be at. This question has come up many times before, and this one may be the toughest decision he has ever faced in his entire career. He is playing at the top of his game, on a Super Bowl contending team, 41 years old, and highly considering retirement. Is it the stress of the game? Is it the physical abuse he takes play after play? Or is it simply that the love of the game is gone? If you are a football fan at all, you know the answers to all of those questions. No, no, and no. Brett Favre will be back for one more season in the National Football League. Brett is at the top of his game, so why retire? Why now? Why not stick around for one more season, beat the Packers, get revenge, and win a Super Bowl? Brett Favre is going to do all of the above and go out on top, just as he planned. He will take all of the criticism he has taken over the past few years and use it to his advantage.

Brett Favre is going to be back, no “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts” about it. Brett says he hasn’t made a decision yet, but he knows. He knows that he is nothing but a big kid who wants to play football and have fun. He loves the game. He wants to go out on top and he is going to do so. He knows he can. That, or die on the field. Brett has a big heart and a strong mind; he can handle one more season, maybe even more. Mark my words, he’ll be back.