The following are my last thoughts on Brett Favre until the season is underway.
I live in New York City and my brother is a die-hard New York Jets fan. Throughout the day, on ESPN, I kept hearing that Brett Favre's 2008 was hampered by a terrible injury. These words were echoed by Rick Morrissey in the Tribune:
...he is one year from looking awful after hurting his arm with the Jets. That's a roll of the dice the Vikings had to take.
When exactly did this injury take place, I wonder? The team was 8-3 before a humiliating loss to the Denver Broncos:
Brett Favre struggled in the sloppy conditions, finishing 23-of-43 for 247 yards and an interception.
got outplayed," Favre said. "We had plenty of opportunities. It wasn't
like we played our best football and we just lost. I thought Denver
Then they traveled across the country to San Francisco. And lost to a 4-8 team.
Brett Favre went 20-of-31 for 137 yards and ran for a score, but didn't throw a TD pass..."I don't sense desperation," Favre said. "We're still in decent shape
... but if we continue to play the way we have, we won't be."
The Jets moved to 9-5 on a miraculous play by Shaun Ellis against the Buffalo Bills. Favre's response:
"That play that Shaun makes and Abe makes, who knows?" Jets quarterback Brett Favre said. "At the end, we may look back and say that could be one of those plays that catapulted us into something great."
Seems like a player with tremendous confidence to me. The Jets - season on the line - went to Seattle. The opening line of the recap says it all:
spoke softly and shrugged his aging shoulders, saying for perhaps the
last time in his legendary career: "I don't have all the answers."
Suddenly the player is "aging" and the media is writing epitaphs. Bound for greatness has turned to reflective nostalgia. After losing the final game of the season and performing horribly for a month and a half, Favre drops the bombshell:
Monday, he said he'll have
an MRI exam on his ailing right shoulder, saying it would affect his
decision on whether he'll come back for another season. Favre said he
has been feeling discomfort in the shoulder for quite some time.
hurts in the back (of the shoulder), hurts down in the biceps and,
occasionally, in my neck," he said. "Other than that, it's fine."
If Brett Favre's injuries kept him from performing at top level and
subsequently kept the Jets from making the postseason, then he is even
more selfish than I first believed. A coach was fired because the Jets
failed to make the postseason. A family was upended and moved across
the country. A fan base - a loyal and true fan base - was left with
their hearts shattered. Why? So #4 could continue a streak that
Peyton Manning is going to break before his career his out? So the
"iron man" could prove to a former employer he's capable of performing
the entirety of his job? If Favre was incapable of winning ballgames
for physical reasons, didn't he owe it to the organization to say
something and not save it for the year's final press conference?
The answer is of course he did. But don't expect the shills at
ESPN to bring that up. Don't expect Favre apologists around the media
world to even consider the thought. What Favre did in 2008 was heroic,
don't you get it? And maybe Favre is a hero. Anyone who saw today's
press conference knows that his 10 year-old daughter wants him to win
another Super Bowl. "Another" one? Is she still excited about the one
you won when she was negative three years old, Brett? If you saw the
presser you realize that teenage boys on a high school football field
cheered when they heard of his returning to action. He's a hero, damn
it. Can't you hear him telling you that?
I used to think Brett Favre's biggest flaw was the media's
overhyping his fading ability. It's not. Brett Favre's biggest flaw
is much simpler than that: he's a self-obsessed, paranoid liar. He can
see the end of the tunnel and there are no cameras or sycophantic columnists. That horrifies him. Who is going to photograph his worn baseball cap? Who is going to write about his enthusiasm for the game? Who is going to ignore his throwing another season into the hands of a defensive back? Who will be left but himself?
And then he'll learn the lesson of life. You can't blame a receiver for running the wrong route when you're the only one on the field.