The Functional Hermit

musings from a homebody

Brett Favre: The slow, sad goodbye

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How much would you risk for one more walk in the sun? Brett Favre has put far more into jeopardy than he possibly ever imagined by coming back for one last season, again.

There was a time when the very large percentage of my soul that is a football fan was in awe of all things Brett Favre. This started in the 90’s and continued for over a decade. The way he played the game was like a schoolboy enjoying his first recess in months. His meetings with the press after the games were honest, blunt and entertaining. Beneath his feet was sacred ground.

It seemed any mistake would be forgiven because of all he had given to the sport. His mistakes on the field and his aw-shucks demeanor were part of what made him so human. He seemed like some guy you knew who just ended up there somehow. Outside of some comments he made when Javon Walker made a contract holdout from the Green Bay Packers, he never came close to making a mistake off the field.

He had it all it seemed. A Hall of Fame NFL career. Lucrative off-field endorsements. A loving family and devoted wife who is a cancer survivor at that.

Then he started considering retirement. Now hit the repeat button and hold it down. Professional sports is big business and it’s understandable that the Packers would want to move forward with a person willing to commit beyond the current season. When the Packerrs tried to play that card, Brett balked. He walked his game to the NY Jets for one forgettable year that all contemporary  sports legends seemingly have to experience before walking away.

Then he defied historic pattern, went to the Vikings and the magic came back. They marched all the way to the NFC Championship and were so close to a dream Super Bowl they could taste it and were able to coax Brett back for one more try. I say coax because at no time this season has it ever seemed like Brett really wanted to be playing in the NFL. Have you ever seen footage of players arriving at the stadium? I saw Brett arrive for his first game this year and he looked like a man walking to a root canal. The chips are not going the Vike’s way this year and there is little joy visible in Brett’s game.

But he was clean. Not like a politician who claims to have never, ever have watched porn of any kind. Brett was clean because he generally came across like a regular guy. Nobody ever really imagined him doing anything but what regular guys would do.

Then came the Jenn Sterger controversy. He has admitted to leaving the alleged voicemails but denies sending her pictures of him fondling himself. According to the report, the pictures were sent from the same number as the voicemails. So if he left the voicemails, someone went to a CIA/gangster hacker level of trouble to make it ‘look like’ he sent the pictures. If he had not come back for this last season with the Vikings, I doubt anyone would really give a rat’s ass about this story.

So here’s what Brett has laid on the line to play this season. First is his legacy as a football player, with the added tarnish of an athlete who doesn’t know how to walk away from the game with grace or dignity. Second is his streak of consecutive games started, which I think is way, way more important to Brett than he ever admits or maybe even realizes. His aging body is going to require him to sit a few games if he is going to rely on his body come playoff time.

But beyond that, with the recent scandal, what else can he lose? His wife and loving family? Clearly shady things were going on. His endorsements? If not, I guess being a Wrangler-kind-of-guy means courting women with cock photos.

He had it all. And for this one season, he could lose it. Maybe he doesn’t give a shit. That’s his right. Personally, I think he needs a little more George Costanza in him. Always leave them wanting more…

Written by the bee dub

October 28, 2010 at 10:38 am

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