Running the Longest Yard

7 08 2008

This is a special written for me by a friend who is a keen NFL fan in Australia. And a copper (policeman) – I have to put it up!

What is Brett thinking? He went out of the game a living legend in every sense of the word. He has the most TD passes in history. Apart from being a Giant last year, what more could Brett Favre wanted? To go out on top of the heap, to go out with such respect and dignity. To go out a winner, a legend, a king amongst kings of NFL. I will gladly take a day like that in my life, without a thought of trading it for something else.

So what does he do? He throws up a 180. Gives in to the temptation that only a true champion can resist. He comes back. I won’t go into the whole “Play for Green Bay or not?” thing, but I cannot begin to justify this decision with a logical argument.

The fire may still be burning. The hunger is eating at his stomach. But, at the end of the day, is it worth putting an entire career on the line for one more season, two if he’s lucky?

I’m not in any way diminishing Brett’s achievements on the field. He will always be remembered as a legend. But instead of Brett Favre – The Legend, it’s Brett Favre – The Legend*. That * will never appear physically, but it will be in the mind of every single NFL fan. There will always be a shadow of doubt cast over Brett’s decision to come back, in my opinion.

A true champion is one who can dominate his game, but can also know when it is time to step down. To be content with one’s self. Brett did this. Then folded. He gave in to the disease that has plagued so many – Michael Jordan, Evander Holyfield and The Greatest, Muhammad Ali. These absolute superstars could not walk away from what they loved. They will never lose the incredible legacy each have built, but it will always be a sore point in the careers. It will always be part of a gathering of minds at the local pub.

It could never be easy to give up something you love so much. Those tears showed how much NFL meant to him. How much Green Bay meant to him. How much the fans meant to him. But the time was right. He could go, knowing that if he said “I gave my everything for Green Bay, for the Cheeseheads”, and no one would have blinked.

Not now. He’s gonna wash those tears away with the handkerchief of another team. With the Number 4 jersey of another team. In a day where loyalty is rare, Brett Favre was the four leaf clover of the NFL. To give up so much, for so little in return, is astonishing. To risk a legacy most people would literally die for, for one last long shot at glory, makes the mind boggle.

Hopefully he’ll realise this before it’s too late. Hopefully he’ll realise that, at this stage of his decorated career, it’s better to be sippin’ on Corona and lime instead of running the longest yard of his life.




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