For once in the past three years, Brett Favre made a good decision. Amidst the rumors of returning to the NFL for his 47th season, Favre denied that he was making yet another comeback. Thank the Lord. Don’t get me wrong, I like Favre and all but there comes a time where you just need to hang it up despite every competitive bone in your body telling you to come back for one more season. He probably should’ve just stayed retired after leading the Packers to a 13-3 record and a playoff berth in the 2007-08 season or after he took the Vikings to the NFC championship game in the 2009-10 season. But what fun would that have been?
I was worried for Favre’s legacy when I heard the Dolphins were interested in bringing him out of retirement. But thankfully he addressed the situation and made it clear he wasn’t coming back. I just hope he sticks to his guns this time. If he decides to give it another go, he will begin to erase the legacy he worked so hard to build. He has already earned every possible accolade imaginable. He holds almost every quarterback record in the books. He has a Super Bowl ring. He has been been the league MVP multiple times. So there’s only one reason he would come back now – pure selfishness.
I may just be thinking wishfully here, but I think Favre’s selfishness has all but worn out. I honestly think the only time we are going to see him on a football field again is as a coach. And that’s probably the best thing for everyone involved, himself being the main beneficiary. He’s just too damn old to still be getting rocked by guys 10 years his junior. I still remember the specific game I saw a side of Favre I’ve never seen before – the vulnerable side.
It was back on Dec. 12, 2010 in a game against the Chicago Bears. Favre had just broken his consecutive games streak at 297 the week prior because of banged-up right shoulder. But he decided to give it a go and try and play hero the following week against the Bears. He sure picked a hell of a time to do so considering the circumstances. The game had to be played at the University of Minnesota because the roof had collapsed at the Metrodome the week before. So the weather conditions (cold, windy and snowy) were already one strike against Favre. In addition, the ground was rock solid, which he would find out first-hand early in the second quarter.
After completing just five of seven passes for 63 yards, Favre was grabbed a hold of and swung to the ice cold ground by the Bears’ Corey Wootton. Favre lay there motionless for what seemed like forever and after being helped up by the medical staff, walked gingerly off the field. I specifically remember the expression on Favre’s face as he staggered to the sideline, constantly wiping his eyes as if he had just woken up from a bad dream. It was as if all the energy he was exerting to keep himself on the field for his 298th game had just been knocked out of him. He looked tired. He looked old. He looked done.
This is the moment I knew, and I think Favre realized, that his career as a quarterback was over. There’s no shame in hanging up your cleats, though. Every professional athlete does it at some point. Some take longer than others to swallow their pride and leave the game behind, but eventually it happens. Favre has nothing else to prove. He had a brilliant career, possibly the best of any quarterback that has every played the game. Hopefully it stays that way. But as we all know, anything is possible when Brett Favre is involved.
Submitted by Steve Giles