Sunday, May 10, 2009

To retire or not to retire

It is easy to see why Wisconsinites fell in love with Brett Favre. He is a great football player. One of only two football players to be awarded MVP three consecutive years. He led the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one of them. He started for the Packers for 16 seasons. He has the record for most passing TDs. He became known around the world for his iconic play, putting a small city, tucked away in northeast Wisconsin, on the map. He bolstered every Wisconsinites pride for the state in which they live. The Packers, as they are known today, would not be the same franchise had they never acquired Brett Favre.

He seems likeable, like a guy you could sit down and have a beer with too. But we’ve heard that one before. Patience with Brett Favre’s actions has to be running thin around this state. I moved to Wisconsin in 2007 and followed Brett Favre through one of the most historic seasons ever. I don’t have a history of being a Brett Favre fan, but I’m saying if I did, I would be very frustrated with him at this point. Regardless, I am still frustrated with professionals that don’t know when to retire.

Brett Favre has officially retired twice, but he has put legions of fans through the ringer more than twice, by just deciding at the last minute that he will come back and play another season for the Packers. When he officially came out of retirement for the first time, he requested to be released from the Packers in order to shop himself around a little bit. He landed with the New York Jets and accused the Packers of not being straightforward with him. As I understand, the Packers were fairly straightforward, saying that the franchise was ready to move on with Aaron Rodgers at QB. Although that decision doesn’t make sense when a hall of famer wants to come back and play, that’s the decision they made and apparently told Brett Favre. That seems pretty straightforward to me.

After a season with the Jets, Favre retired for the second time in February of 2009.  Yet again, Favre doesn’t appear to be ready for retirement. Although some rumors have been dismissed, it is being reported that Favre sent x-rays to the Vikings for them to access whether or not Favre would need surgery on his throwing arm. The Vikings aren’t just another team, they are one of the Packers’ biggest rivals, a hated neighbor, and now, there are rumors of Favre being open to playing in Minnesota if the health of his throwing arm is good.

There is some truth to the platitude that it is hard for people to know when to quit, especially professional athletes. However, in the case of Brett Favre, I feel the sympathy wearing thin. The Milwaukee paper even photo-shopped a picture of Favre appearing in a Vikings jersey and donning a Vikings helmet, comparing him to Judas.

After contemplating retirement or going through with it for the last five years, Brett Favre is quickly becoming a nuisance. It makes me question his motives. It can’t possibly be that hard to know when to retire. It makes me think he just likes to get his name out there and stir up the same drama every off-season. It is confirming a premonition I’ve had that Brett Favre is more of a drama queen than a guy I’d like to have a beer with.

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