Al has vowed not to use the “F” word anymore, so I’ll do it. Everyone else has already said their piece on the issue already if they have an opinion, and this article probably will not offer anything more that what’s already been said by others on the topic. That said, I do think yet another Favre opinion article won’t hurt anybody.
Along with the rest of the world, I bought into the hero worship of the the legendary Brett Favre. He was marketed as the ultimate competitor, the simple guy who just loves football and doesn’t let any of the hype go to his head.
Well, the truth has come out and true character revealed. The same guy who criticized Javon Walker for not honoring his contract has now pulled a Terrel Owens to get himself in position to play for the team of his choosing. Favre appears to think that because of who he is, the rules do not apply and should be able to retire and unretire to play for whomever he wishes.
Sorry to tell you Brett, but not everyone thinks that way. GM Ted Thompson made what I think is the right decision not to allow him to unretire and play for the Packers last season. At that point I did still respect Favre a great deal, but the constant “will he or won’t he play” game year after year was getting really old. I am sure Thompson was as sick of it as most people (if not more so) and finally said enough is enough. Good for Ted, one big question answered and let’s move on.
Now Favre has manipulated his way out of his contract with the New York Jets by faking a second retirement and is free to play for whomever he wishes, just the way he wanted it. It is clear now that Favre wants to be a Viking. As a Packer fan this is the biggest slap in the face one could ever have expected from the man. The Minnesota Vikings — the Packers’ biggest rival (and Favre’s for the past 17 years). It hurts, and yes it does feel like a betrayal.
I remember after the 1997 super bowl loss when Holmgren left the Packers and went to Seattle to play GM and head coach, just like he wanted in Green Bay. I remember how disappointing that was and how many people were so angry about his “betrayal”. I didn’t personally feel that way but now I can certainly better understand how those people were feeling.
Remember just a few years ago when all was right with the world in Packerland? We all wanted Favre to be a Packer until he retired, and then we’d build a shrine of his jersey and all hail him as the greatest football player to have ever played the game. That dream is now long since over.
The truth is that regardless of Favre ever becomes a Viking or if he decides to hang it up for real this time, the damage has already been done. Favre’s selfishness and huge ego has been revealed and there is no going back now. My hero has died. I have gone through 4 of the 5 stages of grief (minus acceptance). The only difference between this situation and an actual death is that instead of my being able to grieve the loss and move on, Favre keeps coming back to haunt us. It is so hard to move on from this though when it just won’t go away.
I am just completely exhausted with the whole ordeal. My hope for the future at this point is for Favre to retire, and if that doesn’t happen I’d like to see two dominant performances by the Packers versus the Vikings this season, and maybe see Favre take a few shots from B.J. Raji as well (even if that is a bit juvenile).
I suppose this whole debacle has helped me learn a lesson. There are no true role models in professional sports, and when you think you’ve found one they will disappoint you. Professional athletes are just people like everyone else, and make mistakes just like everyone else.
Kevin “Not Al” Roth