In my closet at home, I have a dark green football jersey hanging that hasn’t been worn since January 2008. That was the last time the Green Bay Packers went to the NFC Championship game. That was also the last postseason game for the franchise. That was also the last time Brett Favre played for the Packers. My jersey has a number four on the back of it.
A lot has happened since I last wore that jersey. The Packers, my favorite NFL franchise, have had a tough year and a half. Favre is on his second team in two years and is having one of his best years ever, and I can’t stand it. The man who was once an icon to me is now nothing but a child who retires when he doesn’t like the situation he is in so he can play for someone else.
Now, before I go into more detail about my feelings, I must acknowledge some things. I know that Favre wanted out of Green Bay because of General Manager Ted Thompson and his stupidity. Ted Thompson refused to go after big free agents and elect to use the draft to better his team. Ted Thompson basically chased Favre out of the city that considered him their favorite son.
My problem is, why did Favre feel it necessary to retire, come back, retire and come back again? Why did he retire after one year with the New York Jets and put everyone in the sport on edge with one of the most crucially watched off-seasons of all-time? I guess he didn’t like the set-up in New York and bolted. He probably took so damn long in the offseason to officially play for the Vikings (we knew he was going to end up there) because Favre hates offseason workouts more than I hate listening to Larry Johnson call his coaches gay. Favre should have just told the truth and condemn Thompson to the Packer brass. I’m sure the Packers would have listened to the greatest player in their whole entire franchise. The way he left the Packers is better than them forcing him out — which Thompson did — but he should have said he was looking to play some more instead of crying and saying he doesn’t know if he wants to anymore.
One of the hardest things I had ever watched was when Favre announced that he was basically retiring after a Sunday night game against the Bears in the last game of the 2006 season. His post-game interview moved me to tears. Then, like MJ, Favre just couldn’t stay away after retiring for more than two times. Then there was his great 2007 season. Then there was what I thought would be the last goodbye, but it wasn’t, and he tarnished his legacy.
Sometimes players need to have someone make sure that they stay in line and hold up to their decisions. If Favre doesn’t win a Super Bowl this year (and I hope he doesn’t) then the season will be a bust and all he would have done is beat his old team twice. Oh, I guess he got his revenge on Thompson. Maybe that’s all he wanted. Screw that love of the game crap. It’s all about giving Thompson that proverbial middle finger.
I must admit that I was more of a Favre fan than a Packer fan. I refuse, however, to be a band wagoner and follow a better team. To me, Favre’s only saving grace will be if once he finally decides to retire (for good), that he signs a one-day contract with Green Bay and retires as a Packer. I hope he doesn’t hold a grudge against Green Bay forever.
That green and white number four jersey will be retired in the Packer’s Hall of Fame. Let’s just hope there are no more hard feelings.