This off-season has exacerbated the idea that Brett Favre is the modern day, Levi-wearing incarnation of the star quarterback who cried wolf.
Favre retires, authenticity of said retirement becomes a contentious issue in the media with weeks devoted to covering the aforementioned retirement decree.
Subsequent time goes by with analysts discussing whether Favre will come back and, weeks before the season starts, Favre declares he's ready to play another season and gains the adoration of whatever fan base has to legitimately care about the outstretched conclusion to Favre's glorious albeit overly dramatic final professional football chapter.
Another storied quarterback announced his retirement this off-season; that announcement was not shrouded in mystery, was not concocted with months of hype and didn't grab the storylines for more than a few days.
On Jan. 29, after 12 NFL seasons, Kurt Warner announced his retirement.
Warner's retirement came with his standard fare of biblical proclamations and amazing adoration for his family and friends that have been with him through an uncanny football journey that saw Warner go from stocking Lucky Charms to hoisting the Lombardi trophy.
The amazing thing about Favre and Warner is the similarity of their stories. Both quarterbacks grew up in cities with populations of under 80,000. Both quarterbacks went to colleges (Northern Iowa and Southern Mississippi) that wouldn't necessarily be classified as college football juggernauts. Both quarterbacks also have a deep love for the game of football that is readily apparent when they are under center inspiring their teammates to reach amazing heights on the gridiron.
To say Kurt Warner had as legendary a career as Brett Favre would be a sacrilege to the enormity of Favre's career accomplishments. There are very few records that Brett Favre does not hold at the quarterback position and the sheer number of games Favre has played without missing a game is a testament to the incredible will and passion Favre has for the game of football.
For Warner, the middle of his NFL career was as rocky as his journey to get to the NFL. After leading the Rams to a championship and an additional Super Bowl berth, he was politely rushed out of the door in St. Louis. Warner's next season with the Giants saw him play roughly half the season before then-rookie Eli Manning was given the starting position. Warner seemed to have reached the end to a storybook NFL journey.
In typical Kurt Warner fashion, he quietly proved all skeptics wrong and resurrected his career. The resurrection was not only impressive due to Warner's age and the fact that most counted him out, but for the fact that Warner made the Arizona Cardinals a viable NFL franchise. In the last sentence, make sure the word Arizona Cardinals is read extremely emphatically to amplify the fact that Kurt Warner made the Arizona Cardinals a credible football team.
Kurt Warner and Brett Favre are not two people who would typically share the same sentence. The fact that the two individuals are not synonymous is a great testament to Kurt Warner. Warner didn't feel the need to end his career with everyone reveling in his career accomplishments, or telling him how much he is needed.
Warner was done playing football, was confident in his decision and left the NFL the same way he came in to it - very quietly, but very profoundly.
Maybe Favre should take a page from Warner when he finally decides to scribe the last chapter of his NFL career.