Reported Missing: One Quarterback's Dignity
However, given that I wrote a blubbering, emotional post following Brett Favre's retirement announcement (and followed that up with an equally hagiographic appearance on TV), I feel that I need to provide an update.
I'm not really sure what I can say about l'affaire Favre that hasn't been said already. But given how heartsick I was when Favre retired in March, it makes it all the more difficult to handle what he's trying to pull now. Retired legends only have one thing that matters - their legacy. And it's excruciating to watch Favre set his legacy on fire with this disastrous comeback attempt. It almost gives one some perspective on what it might have been like to grow up in Buffalo as an OJ Simpson fan, only to see your hero murder his reputation (and other people) in his retirement. Fortunately, Favre hasn’t killed anyone yet – although I’m close.
One of the reasons Favre has been deified by the media is because he's the very antithesis of the character he's now playing. He's always been a tough, no-nonsense team player. I even explained away his previous offseason Hamlet acts by recognizing his threats of retirement as bargaining chips to get better players. I figured it was a strategy to force management to bring in better players.
But we're now finding out that he actually really is as self-absorbed a prima donna as he showed in those offseasons. It’s like finding out Santa Claus runs an underground reindeer-fighting ring. Last night, he threw GM Ted Thompson under the bus by complaining about Thompson not re-signing guys like Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle - both guys who went bust when their reached their new teams. On the contrary, Favre should be kissing Ted Thompson's feet for surrounding him with so much talent without wrecking the team with bad contracts. Is Favre better than Aaron Rodgers? Of course he is. But the fact that people still believe the Pack can be a playoff team with Rodgers at the helm is a testament to Ted Thompson's maneuvers.
Let's get real - the Packers aren't trading Favre (if Randy Moss in his prime is only worth a fourth round pick, what is Brett worth for a year or two?), and they won't release him. They hold the cards - either Favre tells them he's willing to commit to them 100%, or they just tell him to stay home and collect his paychecks for the next three years. Those are the choices. So Brett has to decide whether he wants to drop this pathetic "woe is me" act and get himself ready to play. If not, I hope he has the Sunday Ticket, because he'll be watching all the games on TV for the next three years.
Sure, people defend Favre because they recognize how much he loves to play the game. But we all knew that when he retired. We all thought that his desire to retire had to be SO STRONG that it overrode his obvious love of playing. But the way he’s whining his way through this comeback is disgraceful – and he’s ripping apart my favorite team in the process. That’s not to say I wouldn’t welcome the sight of him back in a Packer uniform – but if he’s going to string this along with the Brett Favre Pity Fest any longer, he can just stay home and let us all move on. Somehow, I think we'll get over it.