The old saying goes, third time's a charm . Does the old saying contain a metaphor for Brett Favre's NFL career?
America will know that answer within a couple days, as the eleven time Pro-Bowl QB prepares to tell the football world his long-awaited decision.
Brett Favre is one of those names quite familiar with folks whether or not they're football fans. In fact, I remember sitting down with my parents as a child and watching the Seahawks shed their blood, sweat and tears against the quarterback and his Green Bay Packers.
Even my middle school crush had a Brett Favre poster on his wall. I remember looking at it and dreaming I would someday marry a man just like him (Favre, not my crush).
Brett Favre has been in the league for nineteen years. Nineteen years... let's see... that takes us back to 1991, the year that began and ended the first Gulf War. In 1991 George Herbert Walker Bush was President of the United States, and the No. 1 song on the radio was Pearl Jam's "Alive." This was also the year the Atlanta Falcons drafted Brett Favre into the NFL, thus beginning a legacy that leads us into today.
Brett Favre wasn't the hot ticket item going into the 1991 draft. He was drafted as the 33rd overall pick and went into the league with little fanfare. Jerry Glanville, coach of the Atlanta Falcons, publicly stated his disaproval for Farve, stating, "It would take a plane crash for me to put Favre into the game."
Brett Favre proved Glanville's theory correct. His first pass as an NFL quarterback resulted in an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Favre would only attempt five passes while in Atlanta, all of them incomplete.
Brett Favre only played a single season for his drafted team before packing his bags (and his parka) and heading to Green Bay, Wisconsin. A new terrain and a new opportunity beckoned. Green Bay would offer Favre one last chance to prove his NFL worth, and prove it he did.
Brett Favre played sixteen seasons for the Packers, his tenure filled with more highs than lows. He was the first NFL player to ever win three consecutive MVP awards, and he was the only player to win three AP MVP awards prior to Peyton Manning.
While at Green Bay, Favre took the team to two Super Bowls and helped the team earn a ring for Super Bowl XXXI. In addition, Brett Favre, who was tossed aside by the Falcons, would go on to start every Green Bay Packers game from September '92 to January '08.
Brett Favre had a great run in the cheese state, to say the least. However, the quarterback was well aware of his age and ability. After 16 seasons, Brett Favre knew the time had come for him to hang up his cleats and retire. In March of 2008, Favre announced his retirement from the NFL.
My dad always said an athlete who lives, breathes and dies for the game is incomplete without it. The game is what keeps them alive, keeps their blood pumping and maintains their will to achieve more. This was so for Mr. Favre.
As the clock ticks and the waves turn, Favre would renounce his decision just three months later. After a long negotiation phase, Favre returned to the Green Bay training camp. After a disappointing camp for both sides, Favre and the team agreed to part ways. Green Bay traded Brett Favre to the New York Jets in August of 2008. Brett had one last shot at a second Super Bowl ring, though he'd be wearing a new jersey.
The Jets never made it into the Super Bowl under Brett Favre's watch. So, as promised, Favre announced his second retirement from the league in the spring of 2008.
Retirement still wasn't sitting well with the former Pro Bowl quarterback, and after a few months of relaxation and rehabilitation, Favre underwent surgery to repair his bicep tendon. Talks commenced—would he return again? With a doctor's nod, Brett Favre announced he'd again be returning to the league for another season.
What happens next still to this day makes the Packer fan cringe. Brett Favre soon began talks with Green Bay's biggest rival... the Minnesota Vikings.
The Vikings, relishing the opportunity, signed Favre to be the face of their 2009 franchise. Brett Favre's time in Minnesota went better than expected. By game two, the quarterback surpassed team records and played a mean game of football. Favre took Minnesota into the playoffs and at 40 years old became the oldest player to ever do so.
The Vikings didn't make it to the Super Bowl, but they came very close, with much of the credit to Favre. Brett Favre would later say his single season with the Vikings was his best season to date.
Speculation began as soon as the lights dimmed on the season about whether or not Favre would fall back into retirement. Would he announce his retirement for the third time, or would he continue to play the game he couldn't seem to live without?
According to ESPN.com, he's set to make his decision this week. Analysts and coaches are expecting he'll announce his retirement. However, my dad's words remain. The question beckons yet again. Can a player who has the game running through him ever fully let go? Will the third time be the end of the Favre era forever? We'll soon know.
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