Brett Favre has retired after 17 seasons in the National Football League. He will be sorely missed.
Wow. My wife asked me why I felt sad that Brett Favre retired today. My response? As an avid football fan he’s been part of my life for well over a decade. I just love watching Brett Farve play football. His boyish enthusiasm for the game is infectious. His impishness is infectious. His gunslinger attitude is infectious. And in an era where most professional athletes play for the money, Farve so clearly loves to play the game of football one believes he might even play it for free because he has so much fun doing it. And he clearly brings the fun to football. And that is why I am sad to hear that he is retiring. Even though it was coming, if not this year, then next, or the one after, it was coming and it is hard to prepare for.
The National Football League will just never be the same without Favre in it. He brought more excitement and interest to the game than any quarterback you can name.
Farve can clearly make reservations for his induction ceremony into the Hall of Fame five years from now. He might not be the greatest quarterback to ever play, but he sure is one of the best and one of the most fun to watch. After his father Irv died a few years ago he put on what I consider to be the greatest performance by a quarterback I have ever seen in my life on a Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders. I was stunned and near tears by the end of that game. If anyone can come up with a better performance than that from 1978 to date, then let me know.
I know a lot of critics will talk about how Favre threw tons of interceptions. I recall one playoff game against the St. Louis Rams where I think he had six. And he threw one of the dumbest interceptions I’ve seen against the Philadelphia Eagles a few years ago in a playoff game. But you just never knew with Favre. If you have 30 seconds left in a game to get in position for a field goal or a touchdown? Give me Favre over Bradshaw, Montana, Elway, Manning, and even Brady (I am a Patriots fan). Note I did say 30 seconds. Did you see that pass in overtime against Denver this year when he laid it up for Greg Jennings for a TD and win?
But, now here is where Packers fans will torch me. I also think Favre is overrated. His penchant for interceptions, especially in playoff games, was to me, daunting. I already documented a few above. His gunslinger mentality also cost his team at times, which was his fatal flaw as a quarterback throughout part of his career. But that makes him human. We all have flaws.
Being a Patriots fan I told people going into the playoffs that the team I feared playing most was the Green Bay Packers (I didn’t even think the Giants would get there, which shows you how much I know!). Why? Because you never know if Favre is going to throw six interceptions or six touchdown passes and the game will not be over until the final second ticks off the clock. He is just always going to be there slinging the rock at you.
And it’s well documented what a tough guy he was having the record for 253 consecutive starts by a quarterback that will never be matched.
And didn’t you just love how he jawed and head butted defensive players – especially his interactions with that loud mouth Warren Sapp?
I could gush on about Favre and as a football fan how much I appreciate his contribution to the game. But Tim Thompson, the Green Bay General Manager said it best in his press conference.
“Quite frankly I think it’s the little boy in all of us. I think he plays the game like you would if you were in the back yard like you would if you were wearing Wrangler jeans. He loves to play the game. He loves the competition. I can’t say he loves getting hit, but he’s okay with it. He understands that’s part of the game. He’s never been a fancy pants quarterback that doesn’t like to mix it up. He likes to play the game. And I think he appreciates the people that play the game along side of him.”