Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Brett Favre, don't retire in haste! Take as much time to decide as you need.

When Brett Favre retired twice and waited until the last minute each time to declare he was coming back, I have to admit feeling the same resentment as most of the media (outside of perspective cities he might play for), as they openly chastised him for toying with our oh-so-fragile sports emotions. The problem I had, and others, was the constant media attention for many months over one silly question, "Are you really retired?" Well, we were all really tired of that question, even Brett I assume.
However, as soon as he was on the field whether it was for the Jets or the Vikings, he was electric. That same kid from Mississippi who simply loves the game and gives it everything he possibly can, won our hearts in a New York minute. Win or lose, his teams embraced him, the media embraced him, the fans embraced him, and both years I found myself becoming an overnight supporter of his teams.
Perhaps the thing I respect most about Brett Favre is that he does things his way, taking family and himself as paramount and media scrutiny/societal pressure as secondary or non-existent. Obviously his achievements must be mentioned. At the time of this post, he holds at least 41 NFL records including most consecutive starts, most wins, most passing yards and touchdowns (interceptions too), and he's the only player to have beaten every team in the NFL. So how could we have turned against this first round Hall-of-Famer? Is it because he's also set a record for interview appearances, press conferences, media spotlight and discussion on his daily future thoughts--is that why so many people turned on Brett during the offseasons?

While watching the final game against the Saints and screaming during each of those horrible mistakes made by Brett and several of his teammates in a game they still almost won even though the science of the game dictated they had no chance whatsover due to massive turnover differential--I had to wonder--can Brett Favre, the perpetual kid who clearly loves football as much or more than anyone, can he really retire after a final play (rookie style) interception that arguably cost his team the game and a shot at the beloved SuperBowl? Everyone knows the memories of that final career interception in the waning moments, with Ryan Longwell just waiting on the sidelines to kick the game winning field goal and send the Vikings to the SuperBowl for the first time in 43 years, that memory will grind at Brett possibly for a lifetime. Wow, 43 years, longer than Favre has been alive. And, of course, the Vikings have been to 4 SuperBowls, losing all of them. To be sure, 99.9% of Minnesotans (and many of the rest of us) will pray, beg, bribe, scream and claw for Brett to come back.
How can this man retire now? How can this be his final playing memory?
I really hope Brett gets through this week, realizes he can give it one more season, and formally announces his decision to play once more with the Vikings.
We love you, man. You're an ambassador. Please give it one more for your sake, for our sake, for the NFL itself, and even for the Gipper.
And take your time to decide. It gives the media something to do.
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