Open Mic: How "Retired" Athletes Beat a Dead Horse (and not much else).

James PenaContributor IJuly 23, 2008

With Brett Favre's comeback nearly a reality, it begs the question, should he be back? A couple years ago he was done for, a shell of his old self. From the career high 29 interceptions in '05 to a career low 56% completion rate in '06, calls for retirement were coming from everywhere. Then he had an amazing season and decided to end it on top...until this month that is. Now he has joined the list of retired stars who decided within less than five years to return to the game. Lets just hope for his sake that he doesn't fall under one of these all too familiar categories.

Sometimes stars unretire only to find they've lost their ability to play up to the level they once did. The posterboy for this is MJ. After what I call his real retirement (I don't consider his first retirement an actual retirement), he came back to injury and the then career killing Wizards. Luckily for him, his endorsements are still in effect and he was able to keep his legacy intact.

Unretiring can also lead to other problems. Just ask Roger Clemens. Thanks to a little help from "vitamin b-12," he was able to have some of the best years of his career after his alleged retirements. However, had he just stayed retired, no one would have thought anything of his name popping up in Juiced and Brian McNamee would have possibly lied to any federal investigators to cover-up the rocket's alleged steroid use. Now he's definitely retired whether he likes it or not.

Other's come back to find that most fans don't even know who they are coming back to play for. I'm willing to bet my scholarship checks that only die-hard football fans, journalists, and residents in the Baltimore area remember Deion Sanders playing for the Ravens in '04. He had an ok year, but it was nothing compared to his years in Dallas. He knew when to quit luckily and now occupies tv's across the country.

Check back in five months and we'll see whether or not Brett can consider unretirement a mistake. For his sake, lets hope he doesn't end up like Mike.