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Brett Favre (sniff) Calls It A (sniff) Career

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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)

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  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Does anyone else think he’ll make a comeback in a year or two, like Michael Jordan did?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Not seeing it. Jordan’s Third Reich began when he was 38, and before that he was away for four years.

  • Greg S

    Well I agree to point, the state of Wisconsin is reeling. Many of the people affected are much like myself… the only quarterback they knew has finally called it quits. Growing up and loving the game pretending to be Favre in the backyard. In a way there will likely not be another quarteback like Favre someone who truly loves the game. In todays football culture there is little room for people who play the game just for the love of it. The money, the endorsements, the spotlight… they all tend to get to a person and change them. Favre on the other hand went the other way. Sure he had all of those things but he also had major life changes. He changed an alcohol addicted ego-driven person to someone whose focus became family and giving back to the community he served. Favre retiring is like losing a friend to the people of Green Bay. We went through his aches and pains right along with him. We felt his greatest pains and sorrows and his greatest achievements and victories. To the people of Green Bay Favre meant much more than what he did on the field but also his impact off the field. I admire Brett for the man he has become, knowing there is more than football but loving the game all the same. He has become a family man a man of God realizing the blessings in his life and sharing them with others. I admire Brett for that. No other sports figure will ever touch my life the way Favre has. He encourages all of us, those whose heart well outweighs their skill. Its not Brett’s skill that makes him one of the greatest of all time but the tenacity for which he played the game. The records in general mean nothing but I think the one that really places Brett above the rest is his streak of 275 starts. It shows the dedication he had to the game he loved. He may not have always made the best decisions but it was the flair for competition that made him great. Say what you want about his emotions and the end of his career but Favre is a class act and being able to see him develop is what made him like one of us. And each of us can see a little of ourselves in him. That is what makes Brett Favre great!

  • http://www.dorksandlosers.com Tan The Man

    @Greg S: “The records in general mean nothing but I think the one that really places Brett above the rest is his streak of 275 starts. It shows the dedication he had to the game he loved.”

    You could also call him one lucky SOB to not fall on the wrong end of a few big men. Although having such big men as your linemen doesn’t hurt as well.

  • emily j

    Way to go greg s!!
    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    My Dad and brothers/sister grew up in Green Bay, and I have spent a lot of time there…. and you are exactly correct. He did something for that city that probably no one will ever do again.

    There should be more players like Brett. Or not, then he wouldn’t be as special as he is;)

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    RJ is March: “Does anyone else think he’ll make a comeback in a year or two, like Michael Jordan did?”

    Favre in July: I want to return.

    Geez…I thought he’d wait at least a full year before crushing Aaron Rodgers’ hopes and dreams.