Al Jones, would you like to add your tuppence?
What I feared for a month and a half came true Tuesday when Brett Favre decided it was time to walk away from the NFL.
Dude, I really hope you didn't lose sleep over this. I'm just trying to be concerned here. Honestly...
From a statistical standpoint, Brett will go down as the best quarterback of all time.
Questionable. That's only really true if you go by counting stats, which aren't the be-all and end-all of judging a quarterback's statistical performance. Especially considering his counting stats are inflated by his playing style, which tended to be high-scoring, and his long career, which gave him a ton of time to accumulate all those touchdowns. And interceptions, of course. But I think I've made myself clear on that.
Granted, his current NFL records will fall eventually, but for now, Brett is the best.
Dude, let me quote you one sentence ago: "Brett will go down at the best quarterback of all time." So, he'll be the all time best...until someone else (probably Peyton) passes him? He's temporarily the best forever? I mean, way to acknowledge the insanity of instant history in sportswriting...but seriously, I feel like I've fallen into a metaphysical minefield here. Possibly epistemological as well, but I'm not sure.
Before the 2008 Super Bowl, I felt Brett would step aside and ride off into the sunset.
Is there a missing scene in the middle there where Brett gets on a horse (or maybe that *TRACTOR* of his that I keep hearing about!), hence explaining how he first steps aside and then rides off? Because otherwise I'm calling mixed metaphor on that sentence.
After all, Brett is a man who has earned everything that life has sent his way. When describing Brett, words like integrity, honesty, friend and father come to mind.
WHERE THE FUCK IS GUNSLINGER?
Seriously dude, this is the last fifteen minutes of fame "gunslinger" is going to get for what could be quite awhile. We might seriously be down to just Jay Cutler now in terms of future employment opportunities for "gunslinger." And he only threw 14 picks last year on a 7-9 team. What the fuck kind of gunslinger is that?
On the football field, the man knew how to win and elevated the play of his teammates like no other.
Hasn't Tom Brady elevated his teammates to three Super Bowl wins? Didn't Big Ben Roethlisberger know the only way to beat the Seattle Seahawks back in Detroit was to post that sick 22.6 QB rating? And what about Johnny U? You telling me he didn't know how to win? Look fucko, Johnny U majored in winning back at the University of Winchester. He didn't like the snotty Britishness of a name like "Winchester", but he liked the part where it started with the word "Win." That's how committed he was. Also his minor was economics.
My real point is that this is such a hacky reason for why Brett Favre was good. Is that honestly the best you can do?
When the team lost, he never pointed fingers. Whether it was a receiver running the wrong route, a linemen missing a block or a back fumbling the ball, Brett never singled anyone out.
Right, unless that receiver asked for a better contract, in which case you can bet your ass Favre was going to be calling out more than a class troublemaker when there's a substitute.
That last joke apparently brought to you by myself at the age of 12. Well, maybe 14.
Instead, he put the team on his back like a leader should.
Hey, you think that's why he got addicted to painkillers? Because he was constantly supporting multiple tons worth of linemen and backs? Unless he was using some sort of pulley system, of course, but then he really wasn't putting it on his back, now was he? I mean, pulleys are for sissies. Sissies and Manning brothers, that is. Eh, same fucking thing. Bunch of Louisiana dandies, the lot of them. Not true Mississippi grit, no sir. Sorry, I mean, "no sah."
Shortly after a disappointing loss to New York in the NFC Championship Game, Favre hurt like never before from an emotional standpoint. Brett, who remembers each loss whether in high school, college or pro, had a tough time dealing with the Giants going to the Super Bowl instead of the Packers.
In retrospect, I wonder whether Pats fans feel the same way. I'm just saying...
To some, his last pass, an interception that sealed New York's win, might be the cause for the end of the season pain. He didn't deliver like he did so many times in the past when the game was on the line, but Brett was the reason the team was in the title game.
That's pretty much the problem with all Favre-related journalism in a nutshell. Everything good the Packers accomplished in 2007 was due to him, but when he very clearly made a huge mistake that cost them the season, you can't blame him. There's just no accountability here whatsoever.
I really hope Aaron Rodgers leads them to a Super Bowl next year. That'd be tre-fucking-mendous.
Nonetheless, Brett hurt and to use a hunting comparison, he went into hibernation.
I know nothing about hunting, but what the fuck does hibernation have to do with hunting? Do you shoot bears while they're hibernating? Because I might actually have to agree with those PETA assholes if that's what you guys are up to.
Brett, with the pain showing on his face as he left Lambeau Field for the final time, felt the season was unfolding for him to play in one last Super Bowl. After all, New York beat Dallas the previous week to give the Packers homefield advantage.
Al Jones, don't use the perfect tense when you mean the pluperfect. You're describing how Brett felt things were going to go before he left Lambeau for the final time. You know, before the loss. Earlier in the past. Hence, pluperfect.
Yep, me and Ken Tremendous, captains in the grammar police. Well, I'm only a lieutenant, but I'm gunning for a promotion.
You might wonder how I'm going to get there when I'm writing stuff like "me and Ken Tremendous." Well, I'm a loose cannon grammar cop. Better fucking deal with it, because I'm the thin blue line standing between you and linguistic anarchy.
Sorry, all this talk of awesome police corruption puts me in the mood for a random sampling of the BBC's hit 1970s time-travel cop drama Life on Mars:
And if you have no idea what just happened...well, I suggest you investigate further. You're welcome.
Sorry, that was way too pleasant a diversion. Where was I? Oh yes...
Things, through Brett's eyes, were scripted out for his third appearance in the Super Bowl.
I'm not sure the metaphor of there being a script through Brett Favre's eyes is wrong, exactly...but man, that's one hell of a weird metaphor.
New York crashed the party and ultimately, signaled the end of Brett's career.
Damn New Yorkers!!! It's all them damn Yankees' faults!!! And no, I don't mean the baseball team. I mean the side in the Civil War. That's cool, right?
Under no circumstance should anyone remember Brett for that final pass. The man should be remembered for his excitement on the field, his dedication to bringing the best to Green Bay en route to collecting just about every NFL record he could.
Including the interception record. Sorry, sorry, I really should stop pointing that out; it's totally unnecessary at this point.
But seriously, why can't we just remember Brett Favre as the totality of both his good points and his bad points? Why is that so fucking hard for people to do? Eh, who am I kidding - if people did that, I'd have nothing to make fun of. And that scarcely bears thinking about.
In the end, Brett Favre was drained both emotionally and physically and that's why he walked away.
That's actually pretty much how I feel. I mean, this is my tenth post today. Of course, I keep going. Am I more of a man? Only time will tell.
Brett might be Superman to some,
but his body is catching up to his age and he opted to get out with plenty of time to enjoy his family. He stated to me on several occasions that he never really got to see Brittany grow up and all of a sudden, she graduated from Oak Grove High School last year.
With that in mind, he wanted to spend time with Breligh, his youngest daughter, and rightfully so.
Yeah Brittany, you're yesterday's fucking news. Don't matter what the fuck you do now, Brett's got a new project. It's called "Breligh Favre: First Girl Quarterback." You had your chance, Brit, but noooooo, you had to be born before daddy even started playing football. That's Javon-level selfish, sweetie.
To me, Brett Favre can't go wrong when it comes to walking away from pro football to spend time with Deanna, Brittany and Breleigh.
Wait..who the fuck is Breleigh? I thought it was Breligh? Have all the copy editors at The Sun Herald hurled themselves from the rooftops, knowing they'll never again have the opportunity to change "Farve" into "Favre"? Guess you're going to regret all those squandered opportunities now, huh guys?
On the field, however, Brett will be missed.
You know who'll miss him? Opposing defensive backs, that's who (golly, I'm such a dick). Also refs - they always seemed to enjoy rooting openly for Brett so damn much.
Brett's retirement is huge, but the NFL will move forward. How did Atlanta replace Hank Aaron? How did Baltimore replace Cal Ripken? How did the Celtics replace Larry Bird? You don't and that's why we have the Hall of Fame.
That's so true. To this day, the Orioles don't put anyone at shortstop. I mean, what the fuck would be the point? You just don't even try to replace something like that..
(I realize that joke is a little too close to true, considering it's the Orioles we're talking about. I'd like to apologize to our legion of readers who are also Orioles fans.)
Actually, it'd be kind of awesome if the Packers went to a shitty high school team offense next year where they just direct-snapped it to Ryan Grant every down. I mean, why even bother trying to have a quarterback after Brett Favre?
The past week I saw a television show where the host asked the co-host if he could trade places with one person in the sporting world for the day, who would it be?
The answer was Tiger Woods.
My answer would be Brett Favre.
Before I agree or disagree with this...does my day include an evening with Elin Nordegrin-Woods? 'Cause uh...I think I'm going to stick with the Tiger answer, in that case.
What more could Favre achieve in the NFL?
He could have won another Super Bowl. That might have raised him up a notch in the all-time rankings. But eh, I'm nitpicking.
The man won a Super Bowl, made nine Pro Bowls, picked up three MVPs awards and made a nice living for his family.
That, to me, says everything about a man who will reside in the NFL Hall of Fame in five years.
Since this isn't technically a "these are Brett's HOF credentials" article, I'll let that shitty argument for why he should be in the Hall slide. For now.
So what kind of man is Brett Favre?
Look, Al Jones is about to get pretty serious here, so I'll try to deal with this semi-responsibly.
When my family lost my brother nearly four years ago, he was one of the first to call. When Ronnie Hebert was laid to rest this week, Brett was there to say good bye to a dear friend.
When Big Irv lost his life, he cried.
And when Deanna fought breast cancer, he stood side-by-side the lady he so dearly loves.
That, folks, makes Brett Favre human and gives him the right to ride off into the sunset.
I think Brett Favre sounds like an essentially good guy, probably like most people out there. As much as what Al Jones writes there is heartwarming and sentimental and so forth, it isn't necessarily all that different from how most decent people would act in those situations. That isn't really what makes Brett Favre so remarkable. What makes him remarkable is just how good at football he was, and the reason I follow sports is to be entertained by the unimaginable talents of professional athletes.
But all this other stuff? Well, I guess it's got its place, just like the corresponding crazy shit that other athletes get up to (Marques Slocum's Facebook page is a personal favorite). It adds color and can create a fuller, richer story. But when it becomes the story? When it's endlessly repeated and used to elevate people like Brett Favre from mere mortals, albeit of the supremely gifted mortals, to tragic demigods? Well, that's when I start sharpening my blogging knife.
On a personal note, it's been a great ride with Brett throughout his career. We shared many laughs, a few tears and developed several life long memories.
Brett, you are a special person and I wish you well in the new phase of your life.
Now, we have more time to hunt.
You know what, Al Jones? You're all right. This has clearly been an emotional day and I won't hold the lesser points of this article against you. Enjoy your hunting trips with Brett; I think you both deserve them.
But do me a favor; don't shoot any hibernating bears, or else I might have to call those PETA assholes in on you. We can all agree those guys are shitheads, right? Just gotta keep working towards common ground, and someday we'll get there.