Brett Favre: Why He's Losing the Fans

Andrew HollandContributor IJune 8, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 07:  Brett Favre #4 of the New York Jets  looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game on December 7, 2008 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Brett Favre has always been one of the NFL's most popular players. 

Tough, talented and always willing to throw his team on his back to win a game, he was easy to pull for. 

Early in his career it was near impossible to find a football fan who wasn't a fan of or had the utmost respect for what Favre did on the football field and who he was off of it. 

On the field, Favre was the country-boy who won over the hearts of fans, players and the NFL for over a decade. He represented an NFL player who, unlike a vast majority of NFL players, loved what he did and showed it on his face week after week throughout his entire career. 

He never missed a game, starting in a NFL-record 275 consecutive games. He owns basically every passing record in the book. And somehow managed to look like an underdog that you felt compelled to root for the entire way. 

Off the field, Favre has always portrayed himself as the average Joe. 

The kind of guy you might run into at a local department store picking up his very own set of Wrangler blue jeans. 

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The kind of guy who would sit next to you at a corner bar in Wisconsin and buy you a Coors light and talk sports for hours as he poked fun at himself. 

He fit perfectly in the blue collar sports town of Green Bay because he was genuinely blue collar. Fans never imagined Favre hitting the weight room in the offseason or intensely training to improve himself.

Instead, fans imagined Favre working in the fields of his farm, or sleeping the day away with a fishing pole in his hand like a scene out of a Mark Twain novel. 

Fans were happy with who they thought Brett Favre was. There was genuine sense of Americana in the aura surrounding him, something about him that fans could truly love, and love him they did. 

The perception of Favre has changed in recent years, however.

Favre is no longer the reclusive superstar who fans daydreamed about in the offseason as one of the few athletes who didn't need or want the spotlight on him at all times. He was just a regular guy who loved to play the game.

Now, Favre resembles an aging hero in an old western film who refuses to take his bow and ride off into the sunset due to fear that everyone will forget just how great he was.

Each offseason, NFL fans have grown more and more tired of the never-ending Brett Favre saga. 

He may retire. He may not.

He is retired. He's unretiring.

He's retired again. He's unretiring again if he doesn't need surgery. He's may still be unretiring even if he does need surgery. 

Fans are fed up and want an answer either way. It doesn't matter which way it is really. He may not have many fans left no matter which one he chooses. 

NFL fans feel duped by Favres' recent actions. Being fooled into thinking he was the one true team-oriented player in the NFL, only to find it he may be just another face in the long line of athletes who only feel best when their ego is satisfied. 

Packers fans can forgive Favre for the impulse move of signing with the Jets to get back at Packers front office that said they no longer needed his services. But, I don't think they can forgive Favre for signing with the rival Vikings. 

It would be a slap in the face to his most loyal fans. 

Vikings fans may already hate Favre for the calluses they are getting on their behinds from being left on the edge of their seat for weeks now. 

The only way to salvage fans for Brett Favre is simple: retire. 

The sun has been setting on this saga for some time now. It's time to turn the horse around, pop on some shades and enjoy the ride Brett.