Sunday, July 13, 2008

Off Topic: Is Brett destroying his legend?

I told myself that I wasn’t going to write about Brett Favre, but that came about as easy as not hearing about him. I can’t help but think where the saga has gone in the past few months. We’ve gone from teardrops to demands. We’ve gone from the Packers removing and mailing his locker to his home address, to Favre requesting the entire stadium. And in the view of some, four months have transformed Brett Favre from most honorable to most selfish. I would be included in the “some”.

I’m certainly hoping that ESPN and the Green Bay Packers didn’t put too much thought or effort into the planning of the Brett Favre retirement bash, scheduled to open the season on a Monday Night, and highlighted with the retiring of his number four at Lambeau. Hopefully they didn’t spend much time booking guest speakers, performers, and splicing together career highlight reels to be shown on the Jumbotron and aired nationally throughout the game. The planning phase comes to a screeching halt, as Mr. Fav-RAY wants back in.

During a retirement speech in March, a nation and fan base felt for him, and even cried with him. It was the end of a chapter, from a book of legend. Only 4 months have passed, barely giving time for a handkerchief to dry, and now Favre cries for his return. The legend established him as the heart, soul, and face of a Green Bay era, but a return will likely tarnish the past. Brett Favre requests his release, and in doing so, whether people see it or not, he’s asking to play anywhere, and not just in the arena that created him. What becomes of a legend, when playing for anyone is more important than playing in Green Bay? What happens when the hero of the frozen tundra is willing to clad himself in enemy colors? Doesn’t it say he doesn’t play for you or anyone that supported him throughout the years, but selfishly shows that he plays for himself? What happens, when a teary eyed figure of Wisconsin football, returns in the colors of Chicago Bears? Do you think Favre would reject an offer from Chicago, if it meant playing another year? What then becomes of legend?

What about the selfishness, allowing the Packers to go into the 2008 draft with a feeling that legend is gone? If not for Favre’s retirement, does Green Bay use a draft pick on QB Brian Brohm? If Favre doesn’t retire, what direction would the Packers have taken, in terms of drafting for necessity? What is the feeling of Aaron Rogers, who took snaps with the first team in OTA’s?

Now I’m reading about groups in Wisconsin staging protest to bring Favre back. I’m hearing about websites being launched, asking that Favre be released. How many of those same people were running Brett out of town and into retirement in 2005, when he threw 29 interceptions and finished with a passer rating just over 70? How many of those people were telling Brett to hang them up, after the Packers managed to only go 8-8 in 2006, and Favre’s 18 touchdowns matched the number of interceptions?

Michael Jordan once passed a bronze statue in his own liking, entering his workplace each day. He once played on a floor, with his retired jersey hanging from the rafters. That fact never dipped into his legend, but can Favre’s legend survive the same? I guess that is a question still waiting to be answered. But in the case of Michael Jordan, the Bulls were without a single legend before his arrival. In the case of Brett Favre, he played each game shadowed by the ghosts of Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. Jordan is the greatest player in the History of the Chicago Bulls. Favre is just one of many in a long history of the Green Bay Packers. The current events, and the probability of return, certainly won't gain any support for his name topping the list. And depending on how ugly the situation may become, expect his name to fall.

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