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?