Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On a fond Favrewell

Okay, so I know I haven't posted lately--I've been up against deadlines like whoa at work--but I did want to observe one passing that pokes me in the heart just a little bit with a stiffened, jabby fingertip.

Enjoy your retirement, Brett Favre. You've earned it.

Now, don't go telling me that Favre is hardly the NFL superstar that he used to be, or that he might have become, or that he might have once been, or that he might have once been positioned to be, or that he could have at one point been positioned to have beecomen. A three-time AP MVP and two-time Super Bowl winner, he did slow down just a scootch in the end, probably because he'd been playing the game professionally for 17 years and was kind of tired. He still has a buttload of QB records to drag into sunny retirement with him.

I guess I'm just kind of boggling at the thought of a National Football League without Brett Favre in it. I was ten years old when he was drafted by the Falcons in 1991, and I know I hadn't yet discovered the addictive wonder that is football, so pretty much the entire time I've cared about the sport, he's been in it, kicking behinds and chewing bubble gum.

But what's always gotten to me is the way he's just a solid guy. Despite having a heck of a time of it at various points throughout his life, he's never (with the exception of his Vicodin rehab in '96) really gotten himself into Michael Vick-levels of trouble. And despite being the consummate badself, he's never really gotten himself into Terrell Owen-levels of ego and self-inflation. He does charity work and volunteer work and actually seems to enjoy it. He seems like a really nice guy, not even by the "I'd like to have a beer with him" standard but by the "I'd like to bring my kid over to play with his kid and we can stand by the barbecue grill and watch them throw the football around" standard.

So although I mourn, on behalf of all pro football fans, his loss to the sport, I can't even resent him his retirement. He said himself that he could continue playing if he wanted to, and he just plain didn't, and I respect that. If anyone's earned a nice retirement, it's him, and I hope he has a good time with it.

And if he'd like to spend it in the announcing booth, I've got to... encourage him not to. Let's just leave our memories the way they are, shall we?

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