July 15, 2008

Happiness Doesn't Last Forever

When I was a child, I remember watching "The Majik Hour", a local Wisconsin TV show featuring Don Majkowski, the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers at the time. I was a bit sad, as Don Majkowski had been injured in a game, and the show was going off the air. Some young quarterback, named Brett Favre, was going to take over as the starter. Seventeen years later, I'm the biggest Brett Favre fan most people will ever meet.

Brett Favre has given the Packers and their fans sixteen great years. Last year, against most predictions, the Packers came within inches of the Super Bowl. So, it was a big surprise that Favre called it quits and retired. However, I don't think many believed that he was actually retiring. The Packers needed an answer from him, and Brett gave them the one that fit the moment: retirement.

The Packers are in a transition period and moves have been made for years to ensure the club could stay a float when Favre did retire. Those moves came to fruition after Favre announced retirement. Up until that point, the Packers team belonged to Brett Favre. Sadly, it is clear that is no longer the case. Favre didn't just retire from the Packers, he retired any claim to leadership within the organization that he had gained over the past two decades.

In the entirety of the Favre retirement saga, Favre NEVER lost the fans. However, as more revelations come to light and Brett fleshes out more of the troubles he has had with the Ted Thompson Packers, Brett is losing ground. Favre is going to be gone at some point no matter what, so it is natural for fans to stick with the team. Too many fans are Packers' fans first, Favre fans second.

Favre has handled his career with grace and tact. He has been a role model, not just for NFL quarterbacks, but for sports stars of all games. But not being happy, and facing the possibility of not playing the game he loves, Brett's hand has been forced. He is going to throw his weight around and try to get what he wants. I don't blame him, but it is not going to look good in the eyes of those that have supported him for so long. They want Favre's legacy to end as honorably as possible, and the current saga is anything but.

I caution Brett Favre. The fans booed you on the way in, they can and will boo you on the way out.

Without the Packers organization and fans, he is going to find the landscape far colder to him than last year's NFC championship game at Lambeau Field. History is a great teacher, and it has taught us that Favre's comeback is going to fail. However, if there is one guy that can make history, it is Favre.

14 comments:

sid67 said...

Speaking as a sports fan with no vested interest in Favre (quite the contrary since he sent my Seahawks home…again), I think he’s being unfairly mistreated by the Packer’s organization. He is your Hall-of-Fame quarterback, you can’t simply IGNORE him. The Packers can move on, if they choose, but they can’t simply ignore the man because they neither want him on the team nor on any other team. I don’t think it sullies Favre’s legacy in the least that he’s pissed off about it. Honestly, if I am a Packers fan, I’m pretty pissed off that they aren’t bringing him back to camp. Let’s see… Hall of Fame QB coming off a pro-bowl season or eighteen minutes of NFL experience?

sid67 said...

I‘ll put this another way… Do you give the Terrell Owens treatment to arguably the best player in your franchise history because he decides to unretire? Now consider that he is un-retiring after having an all-pro year!! In my mind, that’s cause for celebration, not scorn.

heartlessgamer said...

Favre will be remembered as a great quarterback, maybe the best ever for Green Bay. I don't know, but it definitely is leaving a bad taste in my mouth so far: ON BOTH SIDES. I just think, in the end, history and the fans will judge the team for what they did and if Favre is shown to have potentially caused problems... then Favre could suffer a hit to the legacy.

Werit said...

I will likely be hated for this, but I do not like Brett Farve. The reason for it is really nothing he did, but the over the top love of him by announcers and sports media. He was a good quarterback, no doubts about it, but great? eh. He had longevity, which is impressive, which allowed him to break the records (along with some skill).

He retired on top in a way. He should leave it at that. He cried at his press conference announcement about retiring, great moment , yada yada... it is over.

What he should do is try to come back as a coach or to the GB organization in another facility.

I can't take another season of Brett goodbyes. :)

sid67 said...

The reason for it is really nothing he did, but the over the top love of him by announcers and sports media. He was a good quarterback, no doubts about it, but great? eh.

I understand the sentiment, I have the same dislike for Joe Montana and Tiger Woods for the exact same reason. Of course, they are still great even if I don't like them.

My definition of great is simple: Winning. Brett Favre is great not because of any record he broke, but because his team had a much better chance of winning in the 4th quarter if he was on the field. The guy is simply a Winner, as he once again proved last year.

It's a real travesty that such a person is being treated as a malcontent like Terrell Owens. I'm not saying that Favre is a saint with all the waffling, but Packers fans should be outraged that he is not being invited back to camp with open arms.

heartlessgamer said...

werit,

I would rather have you not like him than blindly love him. That irritates me more than anything. I wear Packer t-shirts religiously, because I can get away with it at my job, and I can't stand the Favre comments I get sometimes, especially during football season.

I hate hearing "OMFG did you see what Favre did?". Yes I did, but lets talk about what the Packers did. I am the biggest Favre fan you will ever find, have met the man, and truly enjoy watching him play, and survive the media circus that is his personal life.

But I am a Packers fan deep down inside and in twenty years, I'll still be a Packers fan, so my heart lies truly, deeply with the team and organization. I don't ever want to put one guy, even one as great as Favre, above the team.

The Favre years were great, and it is just a bit sad to have a bad taste here at the end, regardless of how it turns out.

heartlessgamer said...

Also, Brett Favre gets a lot of national media love, because too many idiots have made predictions against him only to get literally shot down by the Favre the following week with another winning performance on the field. Favre is a tough cookie to talk bad about.

Werit said...

re: Owens...

I know all about Owens as an Eagles fan :-/

It is sad that he may likely go out like Montana, on another team. I don't see any way the Packers can have him start now. They probably won't release him as he could end up with the Bears. That would be quite strange...

Trade would be the only real possibility. GB, just offer him a job.

sid67 said...

I'll still be a Packers fan, so my heart lies truly, deeply with the team and organization.

Do Packers fans really truly believe that the team is better off under Aaron Rodgers this year than Brett Favre?

I honestly want to know. I mean from an objective point of view, there isn't anyone outside of Wisconsin that believes an unproven player like Rodgers is a better choice than Favre.

Most of us are left to conclude that it's only the hubris and ego of Ted Thompson and the organization that is shutting him out.

You talk about what's best for the team, but have any teammates been shouting down Brett? Has Aaron Rodgers complained?

I ask about how Packers fans really feel because Shaun Alexander took a lot of undeserved shots on his way out here in Seattle. I wonder if this is less about players and more about fans simply not accepting any exit other than the storybook ending.

heartlessgamer said...

This isn't about Aaron Rodgers, this is about a young team that needs to move on. I don't see the Favre controversy helping honestly. Favre is very tough to read in this and I am still not sure what he is getting at. He talks, but doesn't move on the actions required to actually come back.

I think, as a team, the 08 Packers are better off without Favre atm.

syncaine said...

Favre is amazingly overrated, and far from a lock to be called a 'winner'. Yes he won a single super bowl, but look at his overall playoff number. He has a QB rating of 60ish, which is terrible. He is a 'gunslinger', responsible for some of the most god awful interceptions in NFL history.

And worst of all, he has handcuffed the Packers for the last three years, continuing to drag them along, topped off with his crying scam of a retirement.

He is a good, not great quarterback that lasted a long time. Remove any 6 years, and no one is talking about Favre being top 25, let alone top 10.

Hopefully (although unlikely) he ends up not playing this year, and we won't have to read/see a Favre update every single SportCenter.

heartlessgamer said...

Syncaine, a few problems with your assertion that he is overrated.

Problem: he DID play those six years you are trying to remove from him.

Problem: he holds MOST of the all-time quarterback records, without EVER having an all-star cast to support.

Problem: he is the most publicly faced quarterback in NFL history, intensifying any situation that he becomes involved in.

Problem: people will argue blue to the face that Dan Marino is a top 5 quarterback, without him ever having won a championship. So, at some point championships have to be tossed out for all those being considered.

-----

Lets call Favre for what he is: a great player. To be great, I don't think any player can be considered overrated. He threw his fair share of bad throws, but so has every other quarterback. What amazes me, and many others, about Favre, is that he has been able to always come back.

At any one point he could of slid into a funk that could of lead to early retirement, a flaw attributed to almost every other single quarterback ever to play the game. In that respect, through sixteen (+) years, Favre is guaranteed a spot in the top 10.

syncaine said...

Well when you stack his stats against other top 10 QBs, he comes up short all too often.

Again, about the only thing that sets Favre apart from average joe QB is that he stayed healthy for 16 years. It's a great accomplishment, but it's his one distinguishing feature.

All his records and stats are not based off amazing seasons, but rather from 16 average to above average seasons. He never came close to dominating like Brady has, or being consistently top 3 like Marino, Manning, or Young over the span of 5+ years.

And while all QBs throw interceptions, no one is more famous for horrible judgment calls like Favre is. He has carried teams into the playoffs only to single-handedly give a game away. It's hard to justify greatness when you have that on your resume.

heartlessgamer said...

Again, you can't judge him by "taking away" what puts him in the top 10, and that is the fact he has always been there on Sunday.

It is unfortunate for Favre that a few high-profile interceptions and the interceptions record stick out in some people's mind.

"Well when you stack his stats against other top 10 QBs, he comes up short all too often."

I found this one laughable. Stack his stats against other quarterbacks. If you have, you should realize his numbers are higher than any other quarterback, hence how he holds most of the records.

Also, if you watched Favre in his early career, he is easily comparable to Brady or Peyton Manning of this era, but NEVER did he have the supporting casts that Manning or especially Brady. I think the pace will flatten out for Brady and Manning, just as it did for Favre. We'll see what happens when they hit ten years and aren't surrounded by pro-bowlers.

To me, Marino and Favre have the same argument to the top 10 list. They both did the majority of the work themselves, whether through leadership or outstanding play.