Much like we all predicted, the news impacted the city of Green Bay worse than mad cow disease. Brett Favre will not play football for the Green Bay Packers next year, or any year after that. He's just as sad as you are, Wisconsin.
Favre's press conference on Thursday afternoon was just as teary-eyed as one might expect. The 38-year-old man's emotions flowed forth almost immediately, and even though he promised he wouldn't cry, everyone knows what happens when a sporting legend shows his face for the first time as an ex-athlete. He and Michael Jordan would do well to form a support group for future generations of retiring sports superstars.
As a quarterback, he has done everything. Literally, everything. Touchdowns, interceptions, Super Bowls, passing records, a 13-3 season, a 4-12 season, playing after his father's death, playing after finding out his wife had breast cancer, playing after his home in Mississippi was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, playing after this bozo just stole the ball from him, and … well, okay, not literally everything. He never got injured to the point where he missed a game. But still, that's a lot of football experience.
I'd retire too. I'd probably cry, too.
It takes a lot of internal meditation to accept the fact that oneself is no longer the man of the hour, but rather the mentor for the new kid. In this case, it's Aaron Rodgers, who spent three years as the second-string quarterback and first-string spectator to No. 4. Rodgers's career numbers are 31 completions, 59 attempts, 329 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. For Favre, that's a single game.
Yeah, the tears shed by Packers fans might be due to growing pains. Of course, since it's Green Bay, the tears will stick to their eyelids.
But we all remember the quarterback who succeeded Joe Montana in San Francisco — a guy named Steve Young. Like Rodgers, Young was a highly heralded college quarterback drafted in the first round and had tremendously huge shoes to fill after Montana's retirement. Steve Young didn't win four Super Bowls and three Super Bowl MVPs for the 49ers, just one measly Super Bowl, of which he was MVP. Yet nobody looked down upon him, especially the men who voted him into the Hall of Fame. Rodgers is probably not only aware of this story, he's likely made it his motivational mantra.
See, we're already talking about Aaron Rodgers as the Green Bay Packers quarterback. That's how quickly the page can turn when a person's turn in the spotlight is over. Think back to Quiz Show when Herb Stempel gave way to Charles Van Doren. Or Van Doren giving way to whats-her-name.
There are those who will say there will never be another player like Brett Favre, but that goes with any player. There will never be another kicker like Bill Gramatica, another linebacker like Bill Romanowski, or another lineman like Johnathan Ogden. That's kind of the point, and it's unlikely that the next quarterback to break Favre's passing records will have nearly as much fun, but perhaps a future quarterback will figure out how to convert fun-ness into renewable energy, saving this world billions in electricity bills and preserving our earth's fossil fuels.
For the fans, there's no reason to cry, because there are still tons of electrifying, thrilling, and fun players in the league, like Tony Romo, Steve Smith, Adrian Peterson, Ed Reed, and Josh Cribbs. But for Favre, he has every reason to cry, because the one thing he was best known for — playing football in the NFL — he will longer do.
(Photo credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)