This year will be remembered as the Year of the Favre, only with not so much good about it.
It is the year the Streak ended (yes, we capitalize "Streak" as it is an official entity) with career QB records for yards, TDs and interceptions which will stand forever. Also, this is the year cellphone pics showed another part of Favre which may not stand forever, much like his final season stadium.
Could there be a more symbolic career-ending statement than the roof caving in on your home field?
Could Homer have written a tragedy this bleak or this Greek?
I don't think so. Greek tragedies are always about high expectations: big build-ups, big falls. But the stadiums back in Homer's day didn't have roofs on them.
Name me a bigger expectation than the Vikings winning the Super Bowl? After all, last year they were one game away from the Super Bowl with Favre coming off his best year in a decade. The Vikes were so sure Favre would lead them to the promised turf they bumped his base salary to $16.5 million this season to assure he'd be back.
Favre wasn't really ready, and to be fair, the Vikes may have not considered 2010 would be drastically different than 2009. For one, Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson were at full strength starting off 2009. For two, the 2009 schedule was much softer at the front end than in 2010.
Why the importance? Because Favre, for the last several years, had shunned the preseason and uses the first few regular season game as a warm up. In 2009, with Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice healthy, he started off against the Browns, Lions, 49ers, Packers and Rams. He didn't have to strain his arm in any of those games, didn't see any devastating pass rushes. By the time he faced the Ravens in Game 6, he was warm.
In 2010, it's against the Saints, Dolphins, a much better Lions, Jets, Cowboys, Packers and Patriots. No real chance for Brett to coast. Add to these problems Harvin with a concussion, the absence of Sidney Rice, importing a cancer called Randy Moss and contention with Coach Childress and yeah, tragedy in the making.
But not quite Greek, yet.
Cell phone text photos make it soap-opera-ish. Jenn and the scandal start turning Brett's final year into a tragedy. From being a quiet down-home ranch lovin' good-ol-boy who drinks a bit to having his penis pics splashed all over the net, now you got a soap-opera, tragedy-in-the-making.
Could his season go any worse? Harvin misses the first two games with a concussion. Rice is out. Randy Moss stops in, has a cup of coffee, proclaims his admiration for the Patriots while still employed by the Vikes, then leaves. Argues with Coach Childress. Brad gets fired. Can't play against the Giants. Streak ends. Roof caves in.
Homer is stroking his beard, thinking "Damn, why didn't they have rednecks and football when I was writing? This stuff is EASY!"
Ziggy Wilf, owner of the Vikes, is saying "What happened to the good old days when all I had to worry about was players getting rowdy on a party boat?"
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is saying "20-year career, right? At least mine finished before there were picture phones."
Favre holds all the career quarterback records. Forget just passing (the only QB ever to exceed 70,000 yards) records, of which he holds five career marks. He also holds all the other quarterback stats, including most sacks taken and most fumbles. He led teams to eight division championships and was MVP three years in a row. He made 321 consecutive starts, including playoffs. No one will come close. Brett has all the records.
That's why the roof caving in is...so ironically tragic.
Brett represents persistence, playing through pain, never losing confidence even after interceptions. That's his legacy.
That's how he should be remembered. And he would have, had he quit last year, when he was well ahead.
Lou Gehrig stayed and stayed, known as the Iron Man. But Lou Gehrig never took the beatings Brett Favre suffered. But he was persistent, kept playing and now...Lou Gehrig has a disease in his name.
You wonder what type of disease will be named after Brett Favre?
Probably something that results from taking too many cell phone pictures.