Brett Favre (or, as Ben Stiller says in Something About Mary, Faa-ver-ruh) has kept me a pro-football fan this year. Who among us, at the end of last season, did not think “Come on, Brett—time to retire?”
Boy, am I glad to be wrong.
It's a pleasure to watch a player succeed who can show us all a glimpse of why we became fans of the sport to begin with.
Favre is tough and competitive, yet still child-like in his joy on the field. He has stuck it out with one team for most of his career. When things get tough, he may get frustrated but keeps his cool, and he doesn’t pout for the cameras every time he’s sacked or intercepted. When things go well (like his long passing game this year) the sandlot ball-player emerges, holding both fists in the air and wearing a shit-eating grin.
I believe the man would play out of pure love for the sport and its fans. He certainly gets paid, but he’s even more certainly not some five million dollar bench warmer.
Through his demeanor, Favre reminds us that the fans are a big part of the success of this game. That on game day, anyone with a tube-set and a coathanger should be able to tune in to at least three battles. And that pro-football hasn’t completely been sold up the river.
He’s not alone in being such a player, I know. But this year, he’s the easiest to cheer for.