Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I may actually subscribe to The Sun Herald when this is all over...

Because it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Local sports columnist and acclaimed fictional character Jim Mashek weighs in...

In the end, Brett Favre was on no one's timetable but his own.

That's true, but that sorta completely and utterly misses the point. Let me try to explain this as simply as I can...

Other people's timetables that Brett Favre was on: 0
Other people on Brett Favre's timetable: the Green Bay Packers organization, the state of Wisconsin, Peter King, tractor manufacturers everywhere, fat people, the families of Aaron Rodgers, Craig Nall, and briefly J.T. O'Sullivan, Joe Buck, Peter King, every other sportswriter in the country, Peter King, and Peter King

Oh, and I imagine Brett Favre's family, although I'm not convinced that they exist as independent entities. I'm pretty sure they're purely plot conveniences cooked up to have tragic shit happen to them so that Brett can gain additional motivation to find the courage necessary to do the toughest thing a man can do when he's staring death in the face: be paid millions to play football.

The Green Bay Packers' legendary quarterback, the Coast's most celebrated athletic figure ever, has decided to retire.

And you know what? That's fine. I honestly know it's a little unfair of me to rip to shreds The Sun Herald for honoring what is easily their most legendary representative. But I'm a very petty man, and some of this shit is just too ridiculous for words.

Few of us saw this one coming.

Yeah, I pretty much expected him to slowly replace himself with robotic limbs as his body started to wear down so that he'd never have to retire. By 2020, robo-Favre would be complete, and except for that minor interception glitch, utterly unstoppable. Of course, when a distraught Brooke King honors the memory of her late father by stitching together the discarded pieces of the original Favre to create zombie-Favre...well then, who truly will be the original? Thank god we dodged that metaphysical bullet.

By the way, if you predicted I was going to reference the Ship of Theseus paradox today...well then, I'll just send you my money now.

Favre guided the Packers to within an eyelash of the Super Bowl in his 17th NFL season

I guess "an eyelash" is what they call "a career-ending interception" in Biloxi.

a couple years after his performance dictated maybe it was time to hang 'em up.

You mean when he threw 29 interceptions? Dude, if he's not Brett Favre, no fucking maybe about it. Hell, if he's anyone other than Brett Favre, no way he's even allowed to play long enough into the season to even be able to throw 29 interceptions.

The former Hancock North Central star, who learned the game from his dad, his high school coach, wanted to keep playing.

So he did.

But what about when he didn't want to keep playing, which meant he let an entire franchise twist in the wind as to whether he was even coming back during the prime offseason shopping period in multiple years? WHAT ABOUT THAT!?

That's what separates Favre from his peers.

Also that drug addiction to painkillers.

He kept playing. Injuries,

I bet those painkillers helped him with that one.

Father Time, family tragedy, it seemed almost nothing could stop him.

I think Father Time gave him a free pass when Favre threw the sack record to Michael Strahan in a manner that would have been totally scandalous if, say, Peyton Manning pulled that shit. Because if I know anything about Father Time, it's that he's totally a fucking Giants fan. Admittedly, he thinks he's rooting for the Willie Mays outfit, but cut the dude some slack. He's really fucking old. Not unlike Brett Favre.

Oh, and if you think I'm going to make light of the "family tragedy" aspect...eh, I'll leave that to someone who is an even bigger asshole than me. I really need to believe such a person exists.

Once he succeeded Dan Majkowski as the Packers' quarterback, he never missed a start. Never. That's the record that means the most to him. That's the record that showed how much his teammates could count on him.

That's also the record that demonstrates how selfish he was towards the end, how obsessed he was with maintaining a bullshit record even when there were definitely times it would have been better to rest up and let others play.

Actually, the truth lies somewhere in between. But if I answer out-and-out Favre hagiography with reasoned, mild-mannered analysis, they'll still average out to hero worship. So I've got to go pretty far the other way just to restore any sense of balance.

That's the record that will pretty much define his career.

Can't it be the 288 interceptions? Please?

Favre almost walked away after the 2005 NFL season, when his numbers fell significantly and the Packers' fate followed suit.

I'm not sure "fell significantly" does his 2005 numbers justice. Just saying.

He hinted after the 2006 finale, against the archrival Chicago Bears, that he might have had enough.

Man, what a fucking retire-tease.

But a couple months later, he came back rejuvenated and pronounced himself ready to get the Packers back to prominence.

That's what he did.

Yeah...along with an improved defense, better offensive weapons, a weaker division, a clearer offensive scheme...no, wait, that would imply the Green Bay Packers actually put a team around Favre. I'm pretty sure he just threw the ball to himself and improvised all the plays (little known fact: Brett Favre, Second City alum) and played all twelve defensive positions. Sure, you might think there are eleven. Shows how non-gritty you fucking are.

Or maybe he just impressed the refs into playing for the Packers like the French and British with American sailors before the War of 1812. That's actually pretty close to the truth.

The Packers went 13-3 last season and got the NFC championship game at home, against Eli Manning and the surging New York Giants. The game was played in brutally cold conditions - it was January, after all, in Green Bay, Wis. - and the Giants escaped with an overtime victory.

Right, the underdog "escaped." OK. And it sounds like you're somehow excusing Brett Favre's poor play because it was cold. How the fuck is that not considered one of Brett Favre's biggest advantages in these games? I mean, I don't know how much cold weather really matters (assuming you're not the Buccaneers playing in Chicago), but I don't want to hear any apologists citing that as a reason for why Favre shat the bed in his final game.

Oh, and the Giants definitely escaped, if by "escaped" we mean "intercepted the last pass of Favre's career." That joke is NEVER getting old.

Favre's last pass in that game was intercepted by the Giants' Corey Webster. It led to the winning points, a field goal by the Giants' Lawrence Tynes. My thought then was this wouldn't be the way Favre wanted to go out, that he'd played too well for five months, that he was having too much fun playing football.

Few men had as much fun as Brett Favre playing football.

Way to brush over the career-ending interception as quickly as humanly fucking possible. Just bravo, Sun Herald columnist Jim Mashek.

But Favre never gave an indication one way or another. He always liked to think about it, on his own terms, after getting away from football to his Hattiesburg home. Maybe he decided the Packers were on stable enough ground for him to finally make the move.

Yes, Brett Favre, great humani-fucking-tarian. Because if there's one thing that's defined his conduct over the last few years, it's the long-term well-being of the Packers.

He certainly isn't leaving them in a lurch. They drafted another quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, with their first-round pick in 2005.

Yeah, who is still almost completely untested and by all accounts Favre refused to give much help or mentoring to. Also, Aaron Rodgers totally sucks. C'mon, he's from Cal.

Favre played quarterback with abandon we seldom see in this day and age.

And said abandon was coddled with a lack of rational criticism we see way too fucking often in sportswriting in this day and age.

He was willing to run when the play broke down and few could improvise the way he could under pressure.

Yeah, like this one time he was playing the Vikings in the playoffs (it was the Moss Moon game), and when the play broke down, he ran past the line of scrimmage and THEN threw the ball. The broadcasters laughed this idiocy off as just Favre being Favre. And yeah, I know that's dangerously close to being Simmons-esque anecdote arguing. But I'm not claiming that proves some larger point here. I'm just trying to be a dick.

He won games at Southern Miss and he won a lot more games with the Packers. He played in two Super Bowls and brought Green Bay its first NFL championship in almost 30 years, winning it in the Superdome, about an hour's drive from his childhood home.

Aw...that's sorta sweet. Don't go melting my cold cybernetic heart now, Jim Mashek.

Favre showed amazing will under the most difficult of times, leading the Packers to an emotional victory on Monday Night Football less than 48 hours after the death of his father, Irvin Favre.

Really? Because that's the first I've ever fucking heard about this. I mean, sure, it was moving and all, but not the fifty-thousandth time you hear about it.

Some will measure Favre's career by his numbers - 61,655 yards, 442 touchdowns,

288 interceptions,

10 playoff appearances,

1 career-ending interception in said playoffs,

countless endorsements

countless Mississippi tractor dealers looking for a new chairman of their boards of trustees...

but it might be easier to gauge by his impact.

True. What was his impact, Jim? I'm a little unclear on that part. Was it the way he played?

Favre's impact will not be tempered by his retirement.

Right, right, but what was his impact? Maybe the Super Bowl?

Brett Favre's impact will be with us for a long, long time.

The records? The consecutive games streak? Seriously, what was his impact?

Well fuck me, that's the end of the article. I guess I'll just have to decide what his impact was. And for my money, it was all the puppies he electrocuted.

Wait, wrong former Falcons QB?

1 comment:

Djmmm46 said...

Something just occurred to me-- Brett Favre = Bizarro Dan Marino? I remember everytime Marino did something good (i.e. break a record, lead the 'phins to a comeback, etc.) it was all, "Well, yeah but he's never won the Super Bowl." And the Dolphins have, not coincidentally, pretty much sucked since he retired, especiall offensively.

With Favre, it's been just the opposite. Everytime he blows a game, it's "Well, he's a gunslinger!" I wonder how different things would be if Miami had won the one game against the Niners and Green Bay had lost that one game to New England...