Brett Favre: Tragic Hero or Villain?

Alek FrostCorrespondent IAugust 4, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 22:  Head coach Mike Sherman congratulates Brett Favre #4 of the Green Bay Packers after throwing his fourth TD of the half against the Oakland Raiders during an NFL game on December 22, 2003  at the Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

A villain is defined as a wicked or evil person, a dramatic or fictional character who is at odds with the hero.

When has Brett Favre been anything but the hero? He has played the tragic hero whose failure is brought upon him due to an error in judgment. He's even played the role of the jester, but never the villain.

Oftentimes in sports, fans and media alike decide to latch onto a figure because of attractive qualities and then turn on him the minute he no longer fills their quota.

Favre became a beloved figure because he played the game like most fans would play it, with joy and exuberance, passion and grit. He came to work every day for 19 years, like the rest of us, and stood tall no matter the obstacle, no matter the tragedy.

Favre beat addictions to alcohol and Vicodin, saw his wife through cancer, and had one of the greatest games of his life on a national stage one day after his father's death.

His accolades are evident; he has testimonials to spare about the quality teammate and man he is, on and off the field. Never again will there be this type of athlete, whose flaws are so obvious but are easily overshadowed by his contributions to the game.

Favre is a very indecisive man and in the process has taken his team, the media, and fans "hostage" for several years now. He can never seem to make up his mind until mid-August or so and every year since 2002 has either retired or considered retiring.

Favre's story is an overplayed one. Will he or won't he retire? ESPN and several other media outlets are just as much to blame for this saga every summer as he is.

For the majority of the last decade, Favre has held a captive audience guessing as to what his future may be, and that is not fair to the team he plays for or the fans who wish to see him come back or ride off into the sunset.

This is true, but Favre is not trying to hurt anyone. He does not seek the attention, like so many say; the attention seeks him. Although he could easily deter such coverage by either making a decision or simply saying, "Check back in August," it is not his fault that ESPN hounds him daily.

To call Favre a villain is inaccurate. To call him indecisive, ego-driven, and flawed is a more accurate description.

I don't know about you, but I like my athletes flawed, I like them to be driven by their egos; that is what makes so many of them great. And Favre, despite whatever may be said about these drawn-out summers, is one of the great individuals ever to play professional sports.