One word. Spotlight.
Brett Favre is used to being the center of attention when it comes to football
and it is hard for him to relinquish that position.
For more than a decade, Favre has been the point of conversation when
quarterbacks were being discussed. His name has become synonymous with the
position. You just couldn’t talk about quarterbacks without mentioning Brett
Favre. He was the measuring stick for anyone lining up behind center.
When the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl in 1997, Favre was at his peak as
a player. He was twenty seven years old with what appeared to be several years
of playing ahead of him. Naturally, anyone who wins a Super Bowl wants to win
another one if at all possible and that is what Favre set out to do.
Over the next several years the Packers posted respectable records but did not
come close to their Super Bowl season in 1997.
Favre continued to play for several more seasons hinting at various points that
he might retire but never did.
In 2005 Brett Favre had one of his worst seasons as a professional. Although he
threw 20 touchdowns he also threw 29 interceptions. Many speculated that he
might retire after such a disappointing showing especially since he had made
comments earlier in the season, that it could be his last. Favre did not retire
and continued playing for the Packers until he formally announced his retirement
in March 2008.
Brett Favre’s retirement did not hold for long, however. In July of 2008 Favre
applied for reinstatement back into the NFL. In an interview with Greta Van
Susteren on Fox News, Favre revealed that he was never fully committed to
retiring but was forced by the Packers to make a decision about his return
before the upcoming draft and free agency signing period.
Having already committed to Aaron Rodgers as their next quarterback, the Packers
left Favre as a player without a team. After some wrangling with the Packers to
get a release from them, Favre was signed by the New York Jets and played for
them in 2008.
Brett Favre’s arrival in New York revived a slumping team which was not expected
to do much. With Favre at the helm the Jets almost managed to make it to the playoffs,
eventually losing to a resurgent Miami Dolphins team.
Although the Jets started 2008 like a house on fire they finished the season
losing four out of their last five games before losing to Miami. In that stretch
Favre threw only two touchdowns while throwing eight interceptions.
After the season Favre told the Jets that he was going to retire but again
changed his mind asking them for a release in July of 2009 which would allow him
to play for another team.
That team turned out to be the Minnesota Vikings. It is reported that Brett
Favre will be in the Vikings training camp at the end of July to play yet
another season of football.
In his prime, Favre was as dangerous a quarterback as there ever was to play the
position. His late game theatrics were legendary. Favre’s teams always felt that
they were in the game no matter what the score was. As long as number 4 was on
the field there was a chance to win.
Presently, Favre is 39 years old. He will turn 40 in October or about
mid-season. Although he may still have some gas in the tank it is clear that the
skills that got him rave reviews in the past have eroded.
It is unfortunate but it seems that Brett Favre has joined a long list of
professional athletes who continued to compete beyond their productive years.
Favre has been an iron man in a game that sends many into early retirement after
only a handful of years. He holds the record for consecutive games started and
played while playing the position that is probably the most susceptible to
He has achieved the ultimate in his chosen sport, winning a championship. He has
broken records that may not ever by broken again but like Muhammad Ali, Michael
Jordan and others he is diminishing his legacy by refusing to give in to Father
It is time for Brett Favre to hang up his football cleats and get on with the
rest of his life but he won’t because the spotlight that he has grown so
accustomed to is still shining bright in his mind.