Favre retires (again) as most selfish athlete in history

Good morning. Brett Favre is still retired.

Favre called it quits (again) Tuesday. He told his broadcasting arm, ESPN, that saying goodbye to the Minnesota Vikings “was the hardest decision I’ve ever made.”

And then we heard crickets.

I guess this was even harder for Favre than when he cried at his retirement press conference in Green Bay, claiming he was done with the game forever, absolutely, that’s it, which prompted the Packers to make an internal and public commitment to Aaron Rodgers. Then a few months later, Favre (not crying anymore) whined that he wanted back in, right before the Packers were preparing to go to training camp with the quarterback they had committed to (and not everybody breaks commitments).

And of course it was harder than this past February when Favre told the New York Jets he would retire, which prompted them to release him, which gave Favre the freedom to try to come back with the Vikings, which was the team he really wanted to play for this past year (or was it two years?), in part because it was in the NFC Central, where he could stick it to the Packers. But, well, the Packers preferred to maroon him in the AFC East, and good for them.

And so this led Vikings coach Brad Childress (sucker) to do a spring-summer-long dance with Favre, while at the same telling his two incumbents quarterbacks, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, “You’re my guys! I’d run through a wall for you!” even if he didn’t really mean it because by romancing Favre for several months, all Childress succeeded in doing was erecting a wall between him and every player in the Vikings locker room. And then finally — two days before Vikings have to report to training camp! — Favre says he can’t do it, he’s out, Childress looks like a fool, and Jackson and Rosenfels are in therapy.

So congratulations, Brett. Enjoy retirement. Stay there.

Favre spent most of his career gaining a reputation as the ultimate team guy, the ultimate winner, the ultimate competitor. He started 291 straight games as an NFL quarterback, which is absolutely unheard of.

But he leaves (again) as arguably the most selfish athlete in sports history. His Hamlet acts threw three franchises in disarray, and that’s what I’ll remember him for. At least until November when some starting quarterback gets injured and Favre is sitting on a porch in Kiln, Miss., and thinks, “Hmmm. I can do this. I’m Brett Favre. There are no rules for me.”

Maybe there should be. Now why can’t Roger Goodell suspend THIS guy?

99 comments Add your comment


July 29th, 2009
7:25 am

I agree…enough is enough


July 29th, 2009
7:30 am

“Now why can’t Roger Goodell spend THIS guy?”
Do you mean SUSPEND, genius?


July 29th, 2009
7:32 am

You gotta remember you’re dealing with an egotistical, immature, narcisstic individual who thinks the sporting world really cares if he plays or not. What a sad and pitiful portrait of a one time fierce competitor.

Pigskin Politics

July 29th, 2009
7:35 am

Favre and Palin should get together and do a roadshow. Quitters stay together.


July 29th, 2009
7:36 am

You know what? HOF voters should vote him in, then changed their minds. Then vote him in again. Then change their minds. Then, you know, finally vote him in. And if it takes 15 years to induct him, so be it.

I’m so tired of Brett Favre. But, my Rosenfels Vike’s jersey just went up in value!


July 29th, 2009
7:39 am

Michael Vick is available.


July 29th, 2009
7:40 am

Hey, I love the idea of the Hall of Fame waffling on whether to induct him!


July 29th, 2009
7:42 am

Hey Pig’s Butt, you are a moran.

[...] Looks like Farve is finally aciting his age and has decided not to play in the NFL anymore. Favre retires (again) as most selfish athlete in history | Jeff Schultz [...]


July 29th, 2009
7:45 am

Good piece. I also am one of apparently few who think Favre is one of the most overrated QBs in history. I particularly liked the line about ESPN being “his broadcasting arm.” The “S” in ESPN stands for “suckup”.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

July 29th, 2009
7:51 am

Finally, now on to bigger and better things and speaking of, Jeff check out the photo of Kim K on the Falcon Blog. Dam

John McMillan

July 29th, 2009
7:53 am

well, the other Vikes QB’s will get over it soon enough or they’re just not men…39 isn’t as old as it used to be with the nutrition and smarter training they get, but Favre’s window for playing is smaller of course. He’s still got value but it’s weird he waffles so much, hard to think he’s really a drama queen….maybe he has aches and pains that give him doubts he could play. ???


July 29th, 2009
8:06 am

Dear Minnesota: hope you enjoyed the flip-flopping as much as we did. Love, Wisconsin. And Brett: STAY HOME. You can play with those high school boys, the rest of us are tired of watching this.


July 29th, 2009
8:09 am

I don’t care if Favre decides to play or retire and I don’t care if he leaves these primadonna teams in disarray. What I do care about is some two-bit writing hack who has never played the game criticizing him for it!

Dave in Marietta

July 29th, 2009
8:10 am

Hey Joey, what’s a moran? Or did you mean maroon or perhaps you actually meant moron?

Steve Gordon

July 29th, 2009
8:11 am

I am hoping that Brett and Roger Clemens end up starving to death, huddled together, on an ill fated hunting trip. “I just can’t quit you Brett”

[...] Brett Favre’s gone, so Michael Vick talk dominates. [...]


July 29th, 2009
8:22 am

brett favre, roger clemens, keith jackson, etc. the yo-yo retirees.

had a great deal of respect for those guys until they started pulling this crap.


July 29th, 2009
8:23 am

Too bad about Favre’s quitting. I was hoping to see him throw one more ridiculous pass for an interception, and hearing the announcer again say, “boy, you won’t see that very often.”

Jason in Michigan

July 29th, 2009
8:24 am

If he really misses football this year he can just do another “Fruit of the Loom” promo where he gets to be QB in a pick-up game with actors pretending to be his “buddies”

Scott Lewis

July 29th, 2009
8:25 am

Great editorial Mr. Schultz!
For the Love of God I am so sick of the antics of this self-centered cry-baby.
And I do mean baby.
He has the maturity of a 6 year old.

I used to admire Favre so much. He was the ultimate team player.
This Drama Queen act he has been running for the past 3 years is pathetic.
What was that they used to do in the old vaudeville shows, if a guy was really bad, the pulled him off stage with a hook?
For the Love of God, get the hook for Cry Baby Favre.

Jeff Schultz

July 29th, 2009
8:29 am

Bull-Gator: “… egotistical, immature, narcisstic individual..” Wow. That was really good.

Pigskin: That would be a nice vaudeville act. At least Favre didn’t leave during his first term, though – only between terms. But both have ethics issues.

Theo: I like it. The HOF can just keep issuing statements, “We’re still thinking about it.”

Kaweem: I know. And Vick to the Vikes is a rumor that’s gaining steam right now.

Sharecropper: I know some have weighed in with the “overrated” comments but it’s hard to argue with his success and his numbers – and he did win a Super Bowl. And the starts streak is amazing.


July 29th, 2009
8:30 am

Josh, You are probably the biggest Idiot that has made a comment! STAY HOME!? Obviously he wanted and did get the hell out of WISCONSIN! Minnesota fans enjoyed watching Favre and GB Execs FLIP FLOP as you say right before he left! I bet you cried didn’t you?!!! The funny thing is i’m not even a MN fan, your just a DUMB SH#T.


July 29th, 2009
8:31 am

You could turn off ESPN, you know. You would have thought he was selfish if he decided to come back, so what exactly was the point of the article?

Slow news day is slow. Except, you could have written an article about Jim Johnson. How selfish.


July 29th, 2009
8:31 am

Great article! I can’t stand that crybaby Brett Favre. He is so obnoxious. He just needs to stay home and suck his thumb like a good little baby.

Jeff Schultz

July 29th, 2009
8:32 am

Jason in Michigan– Maybe he can do a new Fruit of the Loom commercial where he asked to be released from his team so he can play for the other side.

Scott Lewis — ah yes, the hook. We could use one of those.

Jeff Schultz

July 29th, 2009
8:34 am

Chris — he was selfish regardless of how the Minnesota thing unfolded. The fact he didn’t make a final call until 2 days before players had to report to camp is what made it even worse. But I blame Childress/Vikings for giving him that much rope.


July 29th, 2009
8:37 am

Keep in mind it was the Vikings that held his hand and tried to drag him out onto the dance floor. I would like to see anybody here give up the one thing they love most, have a chance to get it back, and not consider it.


Billy Bob

July 29th, 2009
8:38 am

Lots o’ hating going on there, Sgt. Schultz. Now, I realize you’ve got a column to produce and so many words to arrange so I don’t want to seem, well, too critical.

Maybe you could just keep in mind that Favre’s not running as THE perfect player, he’s not Jesus-in-training-camp, but he is definitely conflicted about playing the game. A game he’s been playing for eighteen odd years.

It’s just harder for some to let go of long-time friends, wives and sports careers. But sometimes you have to.

Eric Statt

July 29th, 2009
8:39 am

C’mon, o.k. so maybe Favre has a ego, let’s remember he’s a professional athlete at the top of his game. The NFL is notorious for being a team league instead of a players league. So Favre took his time deciding whether or not he was going to play, he’s earned the privilege. Who else ever stood in the pocket and gave that much, very few at the most.

I live in Minneapolis (Lions fan though…Michigan born) and have watched with interest where this was going to go. It seems that everyone is jumping Favre. Let’s remember, it is the media outlets that take events and create news. Favre sold a lot of magazines and ad time by keeping some intrigue, and that was not even his intent. The decision to make this page 1 in July (the worst sports month of all) was theirs…and they enjoyed condemning him all the way. The hammering on this guy has gotten too heavy handed. Always “hated” the guy when he was a Packer, wish him well in retirement. The very psychology that made him so great also makes it damn near impossible to leave…

Judy Hagen

July 29th, 2009
8:45 am

I wanted to see Brett Favre playing again, I would not have become a Viking fan (choosing them over the Green Bay Packers), but he was an exciting player to watch and would have brought a great element back to the games. I believe he waited so long, hoping his body would perk up a little more. Have any of you ever had the surgery he did? Do you know about recuperation time? Give us a break with all your negative comments. Quit kicking somebody when they’re down. Pick on somebody your own size. Oh, yeah, none of you are Brett Favre’s size, are you?!!

Matt Winkeljohn

July 29th, 2009
8:48 am

Loved him as a player; way over him as an entertainer.

BTW, these shoes work with any outfit.

And why don’t you write more frequently?

Jeff Schultz

July 29th, 2009
8:53 am

Billy Bob — I have no problem with the whole tough-to-let-go concept as long as you’re not screwing up other people’s livelihoods in the process.

Judy — Don’t kick on somebody when they’re down? Dude, he’s not in a hospital bed or destitute.

Matt — Love the shoes. Now come over and shine mine.


July 29th, 2009
8:57 am

Brett Farve’s reluctance to retire will be forgotten. Just like MJ’s Baseball/Wizards, people will forget about it and remember him for being a great athlete. He didn’t owe the media, the Vikings, or NFL anything.


July 29th, 2009
9:01 am

Jeff- whose livelihood is he screwing up? The Vikings knew that there was a chance that he wouldn’t play and they still went for him because he’s better than anyone else they have. Is it any different than trying to go after a free agent who ends up elsewhere? If the Vikings were blindsided by this retirement then their front office was doing it wrong.

everyone else

July 29th, 2009
9:04 am

I’m not as tired of Favre as I am the whiny reporters who insist on covering this story. It was, is, and always will be the player’s decision as to when he walks away from the game he’s played since he was a kid.


July 29th, 2009
9:05 am

Jeff Schultz “both have ethic’s issues”? you need to stick to football dude, if you want to see ethic’s issues check out Obama, Binden, Dodd, etc, al.

All I'm Saying Is...

July 29th, 2009
9:14 am

“BullGator: You gotta remember you’re dealing with an egotistical, immature, narcisstic individual who thinks the sporting world really cares if he plays or not. What a sad and pitiful portrait of a one time fierce competitor.”



July 29th, 2009
9:15 am

He’s not screwing up anyone’s livelihood. If the Vikings had a real QB, it wouldn’t have even been entertained. That’s not Favre’s fault.

Braves Mom

July 29th, 2009
9:15 am

Favre is the Roger Clemmens of football (w/o the roids hopefully).
Neither can stand to be out of the spotlight.

He will be back in the news w/in 6 months, somehow, someway.


July 29th, 2009
9:26 am

If I’m the Vikes, I sign Vick. They have a potentially really strong team and Tony Graziani and Doug Johnson as quarterbacks. Who cares if Jackson and Rosenfels get upset? They both stink!


July 29th, 2009
9:28 am

Which is worse?…A player who can’t give up a sport, or reporters (and fans) who can’t give up talking (or writing in this case) about that player. Looks like Mr. Schultz is making a living out of not letting something go. HMMM sounds familiar. Who is selfish again?


July 29th, 2009
9:28 am

I sense money troubles here with Favre. The next Bernie Kosar.


July 29th, 2009
9:30 am

Sooooo sick of Brett and I used to really like him. What a little “me monster.” Good riddance.

Herschel Talker

July 29th, 2009
9:31 am

Schultzie – Indeed you are correct. He is evil.


July 29th, 2009
9:32 am

You guys are unbelievable! Favre is not selfish. He’s just a guy who has an immense love for the game and isn’t ready to be done. The Vikings are the one who called Favre and turned the media on to this story. He’s never been one to seek the lime light and I’m sure he would rather of had this whole thing kept behind closed doors. The Vikings created this drama and now they and Favre have to deal with it in the wake of this decision. At 39 Favre can still do what 95% of active professional quarterbacks can’t do. If any of you guys had success at anything in life like Favre had in his sport you would think twice about retiring when others are courting you to stay. As a Packer fan I think the worst thing he did was alienate a few Packer fans who wanted to keep the Favre legacy in Wisconsin by leaving and playing for another team. I detest the Vikings but I would rather watch him play for the team I hate than not have him play at all.


July 29th, 2009
9:34 am

Conor….FANALLY someone with some freakin’ sense!


July 29th, 2009
9:43 am

What a shame that sports writers so often have to help sell news (sporting news) by bashing athletes. Favre is going to be in the Hall of Fame. He won a lot of games, threw a lot of passes, and became the subject of uncounted articles. Does he have an ego, without a doubt. Was he ambivalent about retiring? He loved the game he tried to leave. He loved the attention that comes from playing the game. He has more talent in his little finger than most of us want-a-bes and never-have-beens have in our whole body. To attempt to discredit Favre’s ambivalence as selfishness is its own kind of selfishness and arrogance. How many people don’t even have the gumption to try?

mr. mike

July 29th, 2009
9:53 am

Enter your comments here
Jeff, kudos to you & Pigskin Politics. Two quitters(Favre & Palin); both with selfish, “it’s all about me attitudes”.


July 29th, 2009
9:56 am

Conor – I don’t disagree – he’s awesome to watch (competitor, winner, longevity, blah, blah, blah). The part that makes everyone sick is the REPEATED tearful press conferences where he says, “I’m done for good.” Why not just have a press conference and say, “this situation isn’t working out for me, so I’m stepping out of the way for now. I’m retiring for now, but who knows down the road, if a situation presents itself, I might be interested. Never say never?”