Loving or Hating The Brett That Ever Was?
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I am not going to lie. I am a believer in the man named Brett Lorenzo Favre. In fact, my friends are believers too. Some of them are converts to ‘Favre-ism’ and some of them have been believers before me. I have watched the media tear him apart when he throws an interception and say “the old man should have retired”, or “he’s lost his touch”- but both of those statements are false: completely false. To put it in the simplest terms, I think Brett is the most durable player to ever play the game. Is he the best? In some categories, yes. In all categories, well, no. There is no athlete in the NFL who is consummate in every category.
But I tell you this- Brett Lorenzo Favre makes the game fun to watch: intense with nail biter endings and happy moments in the middle of tragedy. If you can’t believe that right now, then you probably didn’t see the game he played against Oakland only 1 day after losing his father. I was a Packer fan then, but that night, I converted to Favre-ism. One game made all the difference for me. And now, I am true blue. Do I get disappointed when we lose a game? Yes. But I am confident that no one bears a bigger burden to that loss than Brett himself. I also think that the media loves to scrutinize those moments as well.
I understand that he is a sports figure, but he is still a father, a son, a husband and a friend. I think about all the naysayers who categorically cast the biggest stones when he either says something that is not to the media’s liking or when he doesn’t say anything at all. The media coverage of his retirement(s) was blown completely out of proportion. If you really paid attention to Brett, you would know that he didn’t speak to the media. The media took it upon themselves to go to his hometown, stake themselves out at his home, the high school and local hangouts just to try and conjure up any kind of ‘news’ they could find. And when they couldn’t find anything to write about, the media reached into their old news stories bags and tried to spin them in a way that appeared as if Favre was the 'waffler' again. And then that became news.
It’s not the way a good reporter would have handled it and some of the taglines to those stories were completely false. Those ‘will he’ or ‘won’t he’ moments were misreported and in turn cause people to think that Brett was behind all the publicity on that. He needed to have that surgery on his ankle and time for it to heel. The fact that he had the surgery should have told the media he was going to come back. But no, they had to push it further and report his every move during his recovery. He didn’t make a public announcement when he was going in for that surgery, and if he was a ‘diva’ like everyone says- he would have commanded an audience to listen, so he could be in the spotlight. Again, he did not do that. The media had nothing to report because he didn’t speak. And his silence had many writers reaching for any shred of a news story – just to turn on him again. And yet, Brett never fights with the media or treats them like they treat him. He’s too genuine for that.
I respect the fact that everyone has their favorite sports figure in the NFL. I get that. But when you’ve watched all the years of ups and downs of a player like Brett Lorenzo Favre, you must see that his passion is still there, his happiness for the game and his will to win. It’s still intact. There are players in the league right now who do not exhibit even half of what Favre has given us over the years in terms of greatness. I am convinced that he is one of the best to play the game. One of the faces you see when someone says ‘football’. You can hate him all you want for going to the Jets and Vikings. But none of us have walked even an inch in his shoes. I don't know the whole story behind his desire to go back to Green Bay after he prematurely retired. None of us fans do. It's not our place to speculate and then turn those speculations into our facts. When he asked to return to Green Bay, his request wasn't impossible. It's not like he took a year off and Rogers had already started. No. Only Brett and the organization know what happened behind those closed doors. And Brett is far too classy to dwell on what is or isn't true. All that matters is he still got to play and he did incredible for the Vikings in his first year. That's why he came back.
Right now, the Vikings are struggling because of injuries. Not entirely because of Favre. Some of the receivers can’t seem to hang on to the ball and we (the fans) are paying them millions of dollars (through ticket sales, attire and collectibles) to catch his passes. It takes a whole team to fail, not a quarterback. Adrian Peterson is part of the puzzle and he has gotten stronger over the summer. Bernard Berrian needs to work on being in sync with Favre. I don’t expect Favre to have the near flawless season he had last year. We have all been a part of his magic at one time or another and we remember how great he made us feel in those unexpected moments. I do expect him to do what he’s always done in every game since he started: to congratulate the guy who caught his pass in the end zone for a touchdown, even though he’s thrown almost 500, and most QB’s don’t get as excited anymore. But Favre does, and he holds a lot of records. I don’t expect him to play perfect games either. I do expect him to smile that contagious smile when he helps the Vikings win. I don’t expect him to explain to the media why the Vikings lost either. I only expect one thing from Favre this season- to be the Brett that ever was.
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