Brett Favre, the nimble white haired beast returns… again. This time there is no green, after playing relatively okay (22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions, no playoffs) for the Jets last year one would have thought that he has finally satisfied any uncertainties about calling it quits. That he can go back in to the helm of retirement knowing that he is done with football. His “retirement/departure” from Green Bay was indeed forced upon him so his angst to return to any kind of football was understandable… last year. But why come back this year? Albeit alone the fact that he is coming back to play with the Vikings is utter blasphemy, what is he trying to prove?
Read on after the break…
I do not blame the Packers for pushing Favre out the door, he himself declared his intentions to retire after the 2007/2008 season so the team was completely within their rights to have moved on. Favre demanded a starting QB position, the Packers could no longer guarantee this because as per Favre’s declaration they had begun development on their new quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If Favre really had so much faith and prowess in returning to football, then he should have fought for his position. He did not, he left to a team that did not know any better and hardly did anything worth mentioning. Where are the Jets now? What have they developed and earned from having Brett Favre there for a year? Compare this to Green Bay, who struggled last year but none the less they developed a year of experience for the talented Aaron Rodgers. They got themselves some fantastic off season acquisitions and are ready to be serious contenders this year. Where are the Jets now, I ask again, what benefit did Brett Favre bring them?
I want to make the point about Brett Favre abandoning the franchise that gave him everything. Whilst others will make the point that Brett Favre is the one that gave the franchise everything, I still feel it to be a pitiful stain on his character for leaving a team that was his only team for the entirety of his then sixteen year career. The argument that the Packers should have respected Favre’s wishes to play on are wrong, as I have stated Favre declared his intention to leave so the Packers accepted this and moved on. Favre has no right to demand a starting return, if he wanted to come back so badly and was so confident in his arm then he should have come back and earned his keep.
Now it is almost written in stone that this man is coming out of retirement once again to play for the Minnesota Vikings. If anything, this makes more sense than last year and is a lot less dramatic to the circles ‘outside’ of Green Bay (Favre was in fact heading towards Minnesota last year but an ugly squabble between the two parties resulted in him settling for the Jets… so as to reduce the ‘insult to injury’ factor). The Vikings are an excellent all round team on the upswing with a best in the league quality running back in Adrian Petersen. Favre will easily be a one up on the error prone Tarvaris Jackson, this move is definitely all good things for the Vikings as they could have a huge year (which would directly hurt the Green Bay Packers). Jackson, if he is patient because I guarantee Favre will die before the end of the year, can learn much to benefit his trade by sitting on the bench. Back inside Green Bay though, the implications of this move are going to be lethal.
Brett Favre has already tarnished his reputation and will not be remembered for being a life long Packers symbol. On top of that, the fact that he is joining the most hated division rivals of his symbolic home team should have been icing on the “Brett Favre cake of s***” but the fact is nobody cares. Nobody cares what Favre is doing anymore. And after what he said last night on live television, I highly doubt the few fans he had left in Green Bay care anymore either. He compared his intentions to join… no first of all he compared himself to Vince Lombardi.Secondly, he compared his intention to join the Vikings as being similar to Lombardi joining the Washington Redskins back in the day. The Redskins/Packers rivalry around 1969 is absolutely meaningless compared to direct division dependent feud between the Vikings and Packers. I’m going to quote Kevin Seifert from ESPN to best explain this:
“…Secondly, the only falling out that Lombardi had with the Packers was over an ownership stake in the team. Lombardi wanted one from the Packers and got one from the Redskins. (At least, that’s what David Maraniss writes in his excellent biography, “When Pride Still Mattered.”) Money was never an issue between the Packers and Favre.
I don’t think Favre is going to have much luck lumping himself together with one of the most legendary figures in the history of the NFL. Responding to our previous post, EXIT_HERE called the comparison “absurd.” I’m inclined to agree. Hiding behind Lombardi’s shadow isn’t going to fly with many people. Apple, meet orange.
If anything, Favre’s answer reveals he doesn’t fully understand the emotions many Packers fans are feeling. Yes, he played in Green Bay for 16 years. But NFL players don’t have the same feelings about rivalries as fans do, or even ex-players from the pre-free agency era. Players change teams too much to truly understand how a word like “traitor” could apply in professional sports.”
I know at the end of the day people will point to things like how nobody remembers that Michael Jordan played for the Washington Wizards. Lest we forget that Favre is no where near the same caliber icon as Jordan, but in any case the contextual difference is that Jordan did not stab his fans through the heart. Favre joining the Vikings is literally like… Paolo Maldini leaving AC Milan after two decades to join Inter Milan, its like Raul Gonzalez leaving Real Madrid to join Barcelona just because he wanted to play some more… completely ignoring what it might mean to his fans. Brett Favre has crossed the line, his fans stuck with him when Green Bay refuted his return… But after joining the Vikings, his Green Bay legacy will be no more. It is over.