Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Not now, Brett!

Brett Favre is walking away from football. It's a sad day for Green Bay fans and for fans of professional football in general. We all make fun of John Madden's love for the guy, of all the tired clich├ęs that are trotted out year after year -- he's a gunslinger! He loves to play the game! He's like a kid out there! He's got the mind of a linebacker! -- but Brett Favre is (was? was!) the face of Packer football, of Green Bay, of all of Wisconsin for 17 years. From the high of the Super Bowl victory to the lows of the dazzlingly horrible interceptions that seem to be too many to count to the smile his antics brought to our faces to the concern we shared during the numerous personal tragedies he endured, Brett was everything to us. And while it was true that he never liked to spend more time than he had to in Wisconsin, preferring the rural life of small-town Mississippi that he loves so much, he truly was one of us. We wouldn't let him be otherwise.

It seemed that Brett had figured something out about himself last year -- the interceptions were down, the touchdowns were up, the win total was WAY up, and the Packers were one overtime win away from a Super Bowl ... and damn, they could have WON that game too! The Giants did! But apparently something led Brett to believe that this was really it, really the time to hang up the #4 jersey and prepare it for immortality, for perpetual veneration at the shrine of Lambeau, to take its place with Lombardi and Starr and Hornung and Nitschke ... or, save for Saint Vince, maybe even above them.

Farewell, Brett. We're sad but we all know you earned it. Come back and visit anytime.

And hey, Aaron Rodgers: start moving out of that shadow ...