My Break-Up With Brett Favre

Don ZakCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2008

On a day that should have been our most important together, the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants, it seemed that Brett wasn’t all that “into” the game.  He seemed more distracted by the cold and enormous pressure of the game along with playing under the collective weight of so many other failed playoff games. 

But as a fan I was incredible happy and optimistic about our time together that night.  

Disappointed by the inevitability of the game, lying on the bathroom floor, I was stressed out and unable to leave it to watch the Giants' overtime field goal.  After the game I swore I would never care for Brett again because he had hurt me so many times over the years. 

By March Brett agreed it was better if he retire and end the relationship.  To understand why I was stressed out and a complete mess that night, we have to go back. Back to the beginning.

In the summer of 1993 change was in the air around 1265 Lombardi Avenue.  When Brett arrived in town, he was an energetic young man filled with a vitality and passion for the game of football. 

Each Sunday he played with his head and heart for the fans and as the years and successful seasons progressed, we expected more from his performance.  It was a July/December relationship that changed with each season.  As I grew up I came to look more and more forward of our time together. 

Brett gave the team, the fans and the community more than we had the right to demand each year.  He played through physical pain, addictions to pain killers, alleged martial affairs, and much more.  When Irv died, my heart broke completely but Brett was there to pick me up and play one unbelievable game. 

"What he had to deal with today was immeasurable," receiver Antonio Freeman said. "You can't put a price on what he did tonight. I don't know how he did it, but he did it in fine fashion." 

One measure of Brett’s valor, dedication and iron-man status was recognized not only by Packer fans but the entire NFL community by being the league’s only three-time NFL MVP.      

Something changed in 2005 for Brett, for the fans and the Packers organization that would alter the dynamics of our relationship forever.  These last few remaining autumns together would never be as it was during the early years.  Someone else, jealous for Packers fan undying attention and loyalty, entered the picture. 

Ted Thompson pushed Brett until he had no choice but to retire, discounting his advice, disrespecting him and coincidentally drafting a QB with his first pick ever—no wonder doubts began to creep into his mind about how committed the fans, community, and organization was to him.

Now in 2008 it feels funny.  I’m distinctly with the new Packers, yet can’t help but glance around when announcers or co-workers speak of Brett Favre.  I have tried mentally to put out any images of Brett playing for another team, wearing another team’s uniform after making the Packers what they are today. 

But I can’t help to secretly image that it’s the people in Green Bay he is speaking to after throwing six TD passes or winning games.  It’s like when your Ex is driving around town with her new flame in a shiny Z-28, white with blue stripes, and Foreigner is blasting on the stereo laughing together at some larger joke while you are left going to prom in mom’s burgundy red Oldsmobile station wagon. 

I have rationalized that it isn’t cheating on the Packers if I watch just alittle of the Jets game, for old time’s sake.  What harm can that do, right?  But like any good thing than ends before it should, and in a proper and dignified manner, it gives me that sick feeling like I was lying on the bathroom floor all over again when Brett plays outstanding, competitive football and begins to break records not wearing the Green and Gold from the past 16 years.