Why would a man with 5,700 completions, 65,000 yard passed for, and 464 touchdowns come back to the NFL for one more season with a brand new team, after watching his star power fade away the final 5 weeks of last seasons? Because Brett Favre can’t say good-bye.
After last year, Brett Favre seemed old, slow, and injured. He allowed his Jets, who seemingly had the AFC East locked up around Week 11, blow and ultimately lose that lead in the final game of the season (None the less, a game at home, against their division rivals, playing against Quarterback Chad Pennington, a man that was exiled from New York to bring Favre in).
And now, with the news today that Brett Favre is going to strap up the pads and play “at least” one more season for the Minnesota Vikings, a team that is considered a gigantic division rival to the club for which he will ALWAYS be synonymous for, the Green Bay Packers- Brett Favre begins to run the risk of becoming a figure we feel pity for, cause he just couldn’t step away from the game. The sad reality for an athlete is that you don’t always get to say goodbye on your terms.
Close to the way Johnny Units ended his career, bruised and battered 3,000 miles from Baltimore, a mere shadow of his old super-star self. Like the way Ali is viewed now, as a man who just couldn’t say goodbye to the fame, excitement and adrenaline of the ring. That feeling that some people might have had in their stomachs a week or so back, when John Smoltz was left out on the mound in the Bronx, getting battered by the Yankees, and looking as defenseless as you’ve ever seen an athlete. Brett Favre now puts himself in that position of vulnerability. The thought of him having a rough season in an amazingly balanced NFL, conjures those emotions.
Favre has also made a very high ante that I’m not sure his image or career will ever be able to recover from. Putting on that purple helmet today essentially was he last goodbye to Green Bay. But not the dramatic/mushy type ones you see in Meg Ryan movies. More of the variety that Randy Moss displayed in Green Bay back in 2003, when he wiped his ass on the goal post. Favre will forever be a traitor in Wisconsin. In addition to that Favre has demolished what was left of the bridge he had to New York (a city with millions of sports fans, with loud voices), and now if Brett Favre fails in Minnesota, he will not be invited back there either, because they’ll always view him as a Packer.
Brett Favre might end up with no home unless he can bring Minnesota sucess in way of their first Super Bowl in 33-years, and their first NFL Championship ever. But if that doesn’t work, 1,000 tounges couldn’t give him the power to apologize to the Packer faithful. He will never be able to receive a standing ovation back at Lambeau Field, a place where he was admired for his perservernce, big arm, and loyality. It will always be marred with boos, hiss, and cries of “Judas”, no matter what Brett does. Brett must now sleep in the bed he made.