First off I’m letting it be known that I’m a Bears fan; born that way, raised that way, and that’s not ever going to change. So there’s this rival team called the Packers and another one called the Vikings – neither of which I’m too fond of but they exist in my Division and by sport and man law, I despise them. Playing for them, they had a player named Brett Favre who I wasn’t too fond of either, but not because he was bad but because he was so damn good – he was my sports nemesis.
I watched him play football for two-thirds of my life and always rooted against him but I respect the man regardless. He’s the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 70,000 yards, to throw over 500 touchdowns, to throw over 300 interceptions, and the only quarterback to have over 10,000 pass attempts. That’s a lot of interceptions right? Well Babe Ruth struck out a lot too, but he’s still one of the best players that ever played the game.
My issue with him at the end of his career really has nothing to do with Favre sending pics of his junk to some hot chick or all of the weird voicemails he left her. None of those. My problem is that Favre didn’t finish strong. He didn’t know when to quit and put a bad seal on top of his career which, in my opinion, slightly tarnished his legacy.
Brett retired a few times with the first being in 2008, ironically after beating the Bears at Soldier Field. The Chicago fans gave him a standing ovation. He went out with even his rival fans standing up and cheering for him because everybody respected him and loved what he did for the game of football. He cried at the press conference and had everybody’s praises and well wishes. He should have stayed retired. We all know the story… he came back, had some fights with the Packers, went to the Jets, got injuries, and blah blah eventually ended up with the Vikings. Which leads us to the photo.
I found this photo and I think it really sets my point in stone. It’s a photo Favre laying motionless on the ground after getting taken down pretty hard at their last home game with Brian Urlacher looking down at him. It was the game the Chicago Bears went on to win to clinch the NFC North. Favre was already hurt in a previous game, which took him out and spoiled his path to 300 consecutive starts three games short. It was a game that he shouldn’t have started. He looked bad all game… all season in fact. Towards the end of the season you almost started to feel bad for the guy because he just couldn’t say no to the game. He still had his good times but he wasn’t the same player. They took him out of the game and they lost. Brett was deactivated. That was the last time Brett Favre played football.
I don’t think his legacy is ruined or completely tarnished – I’m just saying that when you talk about Favre in the future there’s always going to be the “he didn’t finish strong” thing there. He could have gone out respected and loved by everybody but I think his greed for the game and even possibly attention hurt his legacy. We all got tired of his indecisiveness and the media hyping up every press conference and hearing about Favre. It got to the point where he became kind of a joke and nobody cared what he did as long as he wasn’t in our face every day on ESPN. When he came back he wasn’t as good and then the photo. He could come back again next year but this time I don’t think he has a choice – I can’t think of one team that would take him after this last season and more injuries. He’s done.
Thanks Brett for all the good times and bringing the level of the game you did. Do us all a favor and accept the obvious. Retire and keep what Legacy you have left.