Thursday, December 15, 2011

Brett Favre: The deadbeat dad who left after the divorce but I can’t help but still love

As a lifetime Packers fan who never pulled for another quarterback besides Favre until Aaron Rodgers, the past 4 years has been quite painful. It started with leaving for a division rival, which made diehard Packer fans who were loyal to Favre do the unthinkable, going as far as wearing a Favre jersey split into half Green bay Packers and the other half Minnesota Vikings. After that, Favre continued to be a topic of conversation in the press for what seemed to be all the wrong reasons.

I can’t say what came first, my love for the Packers or for Brett Favre. People are quick to judge Favre for his decision making and gun slinging mentality. But honestly, there was never a point where I felt that we lost because of him. It was almost fitting that his last throw as a Packer ended up in the arms of the opposing team. I loved that Favre was a high risk high reward type of player. With him at the helm you never felt out of the game, and I am sure the opposing fans felt the same way. He took the chances fans want to see their QBs take instead of getting sacked for a loss or playing it safe by throwing it away. Many times Brett hit players in double coverage or in windows that didn’t seem to be there. Of course other times he just threw interceptions. Brett played a numbers game and for the most part, he came out on top and won every major award and game in the sport.

It is easy for everyone to criticize Favre for his fickle nature when it comes to retirement. Even the media is tired of speculating if Favre will try another ridiculous comeback. Let's be honest, walking away when you know you still can perform at a high level is hard to do. Even when we can’t perform at a high level, we still try, like playing pickup basketball at the University gym or flag football with a bunch of high school kids over Thanksgiving break. We might even feel great during the game, but the next morning, you realize, “Dang, I feel like I just got hit by a truck” and it starts to make sense why people pick up golf in their late 20s.

We criticize Favre for how he handled Rodgers when he came into the league, but to be fair, how would you treat someone who you knew was hired to replace you? Favre was threatened because he knew the Packers were very invested when they drafted a talented QB in the first round. Favre was unable to retain control, and it was either retire after 2007 or face the embarrassment of being benched by an unproven player the year after taking his team to the NFC Championship. Favre may never stop being bitter about Rodgers and trying to downplay his success.

Love him or hate him, no one can deny that Favre was one of the most iconic figures in NFL history. Watching Peyton unable to play this season reminds us how amazing Favre's consecutive start streak really is. In a few years, I hope that the only memories of Favre is of him as a Packer, not photo texting as a Jet or banged and bruised up as a Viking.

I hope Favre will slowly recreate his public image and more stories like him mentoring Colt McCoy over the summer become the only reasons why he shows up in the media. Favre owes it to his fans to have the world remember him for his long and successful career and not the rocky ending. 

After the divorce between the Packers and Brett Favre, I picked the Packers. But I have to be clear that Aaron Rodgers will never fully fill the void Brett Favre left behind. I will continue to wait for Favre to return to where he belongs, and that is walking beside Bart Starr in Green Bay.


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