Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. His grit, innate leadership ability and capability to make unbelievable plays is legendary. Unfortunately, so is his stubborness and tendency to make those around him live with the consequences of his massive ego.
Some have come to question whether Favre's decision to return each summer was as difficult as he would lead us to believe, or whether he was just another professional athlete with the spotlight addiction that others like Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens have developed in their NFL careers, stringing us all along for the pure enjoyment of attention.
To add to the frustration with the aging gunslinger, the still unresolved accusations from former Jets employee Jenn Sterger became a constant distraction in the Vikings locker room during the early part of the 2010-2011 season. The constant bickering with former coach Brad Childress prior to his dismissal did not help either.
Given the performance of the 2009-2010 Vikings, both fans and those covering the NFL were expecting great things from the team. Needless to say, the season has been a great disappointment, as the Vikings will miss the playoffs and are riding out the last portion of this season without the fanfare that followed them onto the turf to start the year.
It has become obvious that the consecutive starts streak is important to Brett Favre. He has started several games over the past few weeks with injuries that most quarterbacks would never consider playing with. We have seen him time and again stumbling on one leg and looking dazed after another big hit in the open field due to lack of protection from the Vikings offensive line.
Favre's most damaging, and possibly final, injury came in yesterday's contest against the Buffalo Bills. While scrambling on a broken play, Favre sprained the sternoclavicular joint in his throwing shoulder after getting popped by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats, crumbling to the ground in pain.
In the postgame press conference, Favre stated that the pain was like none he had experienced in his professional football career, and that he could not even grip a football, much less make a throw.
While it is admirable that the Old Gunslinger wants to finish out the season at the helm of the Vikings offense, it would be an unfortunate legacy to see his career end with a debilitating injury or another concussion.
The Vikings need to look to the future and see if Tarvaris Jackson has the tools to become their new quarterback. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league, after all.
Brett Favre has given us all plenty of memories as one of the all-time great NFL quarterbacks. He should walk away from the game now to ensure his legacy stays intact, and our lasting memory of him is a positive one.