Brett Favre retired. And then he didn't. And now, instead of retiring a hero (albeit a hero we've heard enough about), he's returned as a nuisance and a Jet (a nuisance and a Jet we've heard enough about).
He made his team nuts for a while, tossing an unnecessary monkey wrench into their plans and pissed off fans across the country by hogging the headlines with his indecisiveness.
And then there's his buddy, Michael Strahan. Strahan also retired after a good season, a season in which he won his first Super Bowl. Like Favre, he retired at a good time, not allowing himself to turn into a weak and outdated antique of a player. But then came Osi Umenyiora's injury and the accompanying speculation that Strahan might change his mind.
The stage was set. He wasn't putting his team in a difficult position. A spot had opened up, and he could have walked back in and taken it. There wouldn't be a battle between a vet and a rookie. There wouldn't be trade rumors and talk of an intra-division swap.
And unlike Favre, Strahan has a reason to come back. He didn't just change his mind; his team needs him. Think John Vanbiesbrouck with the Devils.
But Strahan said no. The team called him up, and he declined. The end. No maybes, no "you never know," just a decision. Strahan said he thought about it and made up his mind. Case closed.
The team suffers because of this. Actually, that's untrue. The team suffers because of Osi's injury, and Strahan doesn't help. But while the decision may not be best for the Giants, it is very good for Michael Strahan. And Strahan no longer plays for the Giants; he plays for Michael Strahan.
Why couldn't Brett Favre do this? Why couldn't he just stay retired? The second thoughts will always be there—Strahan did consider the Giants' offer. And yes, we're all entitled to change our minds.
But Favre's change of heart ended up causing problems for his team, and it was a rather selfish move. Strahan had a more favorable situation, and he was able to stick with his guns.
I may be a Giants fan, and I obviously wish we had a defensive end of Strahan's caliber to replace Osi, but I, and all football fans, can be completely satisfied with Strahan's decision to stay retired.