Sunday, November 1, 2009

Is Respect Too Much To Ask For?

Brett Favre was once again starring on a Sunday afternoon in November at Lambeau Field. All of his balls had that famous Favre zip to them that we have all came to admire over the years. He was marching his offense down the field time after time, scoring touchdown after touchdown. His offense could not be stopped, coming only two points shy of 40. Favre was the main story on Sportscenter for his big play in a big game. On this day he had thrown for over 200 yards, four touchdowns, and most importantly zero interceptions while beating a division rival. Favre had a record tying performance, but that seemed to happen about every Sunday at this point in his career. He had tied the great Dan Marino for the most four touchdown pass games in NFL history with 21. He would spend the moments after the game downplaying the victory by explaining that it was still early in the season. Nothing had changed for the last 17 seasons; this is the same thing that happened every year. Well, I guess something had changed; Favre was not wearing green (the season before he still wore green by playing with the New York Jets). In fact, Favre was playing the green at the green. Yes, by the green, I mean the Green Bay Packers. If you have been alive during the last five months then you know that Brett Favre now plays for the Minnesota Vikings. This was his first time on Lambeau Field as a visiting player. This just did not seem right.

Brett Favre’s journey to get to this point has caused a lot of controversy, and changed a lot of opinions about him. He has always been a love or hate kind of guy, but with the recent happenings it is now to the extreme. There is nobody in the middle on the Brett Favre topic. Either you LOVE him or you HATE him. He has even split up a Packer fan base that is known to be one of the best fan bases in the NFL with its signature Lambeau Leap. A lot of turmoil has gone on since Brett’s departure, including fans wanting Ted Thompson (the GM that is blamed for Brett Favre no longer being a Packer) fired. Favre spent last season playing with the New York Jets, but now that he plays for the Vikings things have understandably gotten uglier. After another off-season of retiring, but then later deciding to come back has caused even more hate against Favre. He has been labeled selfish and a traitor by many. Regular football fans are tired of hearing about his every move, while Packer fans are now furious about him playing in the same division. Favre is now a rival to them, and I think even they understand that that is not a good thing for the Packers’ playoff hopes.

Brett Favre was a Packer at heart. His first start came in the fourth game of the 1992-1993 season and he was their quarterback until 2008. With free agency, Favre could have looked for more money elsewhere but he never did. It is easy to see why the fans fell in love with him; he was their quarterback for 16 seasons! Now days that just does not happen often because of all the money hungry players that are out there. As soon as their contracts are up, they are trying to go where the most money is. I cannot blame them kind of players, but it makes it easy to appreciate somebody like Favre for staying with a team through the thick and thin. The Packers’ GM, Ted Thompson evidently did not see it the way I did. With a very emotional press conference, Brett Favre retired following the 2007-2008 season. He had just come off a Pro Bowl season that ended in a very tough playoff loss. Favre still had the ability but some were wondering if his age had finally caught up to him. At the time he was 38 years old, so imagine how his body felt right after the season. As time went on, his body started to feel better and he started to show interest of coming out of retirement. Ted Thompson told him that if he came back there would be a quarterback competition between the old backup (Aaron Rogers) and him. This is a slap in Brett Favre’s face because of everything he had gone through in a Green Bay Packer uniform. The fans’ were behind Favre but the Packers ending up trading him to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth round draft pick. Good job Ted Thompson! Way to go through thick and then with your quarterback! Brett Favre could have taught Thompson a few things about loyalty.

Brett Favre makes it easy for all of us fans relate to him in a remarkable way. Look at him, he looks like just a regular guy standing at 6”2’ and weighing 222 pounds. Usually professional athletes of his caliber have a superhuman look to him that we as fans cannot relate to. You see Brett Favre at the press conference with gray hair and a non athletic look, and then you see him out on the field making plays that those other superhuman humans make. He also has a very relatable private life for most of us. You never seen him with anything flashy on; it is always the same ole Wranglers. Outside of football, he loves working on his farm and mowing his yard. Those are very regular things that people of his stature usually do not do. These are just the things that he loves doing. In the summer, a lot of times he works out with the local high school team. You will not find many NFL players that workout with high school kids on a regular basis, but Favre enjoys it. This gives the kids’ a wonderful experience that they will remember for the rest of their life, and gets Favre ready for the season upcoming season.

Brett Favre is the definition of being a hard worker and durable. He started every Packer game from September 27, 1992 until January 20, 2008. His streak of consecutive starts is still going and was at 277 (298 including playoffs) as of week 8 of the 2009 NFL season. This is a remarkable streak and is of course, the most consecutive starts in NFL history at any position. This streak has earned him the nickname “Iron Man.” To have a streak like this, you have to be lucky but you also have to be tough. To never miss a start (ever since 1992 when he was named the starter) in your whole career in a contact sport like football is astonishing. He has played through a broken thumb on his throwing hand (Favre says what the toughest to play through), a sprained ankle, a separated shoulder, and the death of his father the day before his game to name a few. This shows extraordinary physical and mental toughness along with unbelievable determination. His passion for the game is what mad all of it possible. He knew that his father would of wanted him out there, so Favre went out on Monday Night Football and put on a performance that will always be remembered. Things like this is what makes Favre seem human to us. He has normal problems and is not a “pretty boy” like some of the players. Favre is very stubborn and simply will not take no for an answer. He has a workman like attitude about his job while a lot of his teammates and opponents take their job for granted. Favre realizes that they are lucky to be playing the game they love. Other players would never play through those kinds of injuries; check the injury list this Sunday and you will see plenty of players missing games with lesser injuries than what Favre has played through.

Brett Favre is now 40 years old and is doing things that a 40 year old is not supposed to be able to do. He is the oldest player in the NFL but you would never know it by his performance. His team has 7 wins and 1 loss and is currently leading the NFC North Division. At 40 years old he still has that remarkable arm strength, which is one of the things that sets him apart from the other quarterbacks in the league. How can you blame him for coming out of retirement? If an NFL team would still pay you over 10 million a season, would you retire? Nobody in their right mind could walk away from that kind of money if they still had Favre’s ability. Favre is everything that is right about the NFL. He is a hard working, loyal, honest, and a relatable football player that plays with through heart. Look through the rosters, those kind are not easy to find. For many of us, Favre gives us hope that maybe the impossible is possible. If a 40 year old man can play a game at a high level that is intended for 25 year old boys, then what is impossible? If you hate him I realize that you will never love him, but you cannot deny the fact that the man deserves your respect.


  1. Bravo--well said!! I am still shaking my head wondering how in the hell, we could be so stupid in Wisconsin to ALLOW Ted Thompson to steal our HERO right out from under our noses and give him to our arch rival--THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS!! We need to blame ourselves--the fans should have been picketing in droves when this crap went down--tying up TT's phone lines. TT lied to Brett repeatedly about his Coaching selection process--about Randy Moss--he didn't want Brett in Green Bay--but the FANS did and still do!! If not for the Fans,
    Brett probably would have retired immediately after that last game--but I believe he loves WI and Packer Fans so much--that he considered putting up with another year of Thompson and McCheeseburgers's crap for US, but they forced his hand, and he retired. We all knew he didn't want to after watching that press conference. So he took a couple of months and developed a plan to get back in the game--so what? He obviously can still play as good as or better than any other QB in the NFL.

    It infuriates me that Ted Thompson stole our beloved Hero from us--throw him, his EGO, and his crappy coaching staff out of the state.

  2. Thank You! But exactly how I feel from Kentucky. Although, not a Packers fan, I just love Brett Favre. I get tired of hearing about how Favre is the bad guy in the situation when really Ted Thompson is. You brought up a good point of how Thompson lied to him about the coaching change and the Randy Moss trade. A 16 year veteran like Favre definitely deserves to know what is going on in the franchise, and he deserved to get Randy Moss. Its a shame, I really do feel for you Packer fans.

  3. aksin- I agree with a lot of what you said, the article you read on my blog was from this summer, and I have actually wrote some articles since then writing about Favre. Although I hate how he has flip-flopped with teams about coming back, I have to respect the way he has played this year for the Vikings. Not only has he shown he can still play in the NFL, but he can lead a winning team as well. Thanks for checking out my blog and keep reading!