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Retirement To Favre is N.F.L. (Not For Long)

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As a life long Packers fan I have the utmost respect and admiration for Brett Favre and what he has done for the Green Bay Packers, the city of Green Bay and us fans. When the news broke last year that he was going to retire, I, like many other Packers fans, was sad to see the end of a 16 year era that included 3 MVP’s, 1 Super Bowl title and just about every NFL quarterback record with the name Brett Favre after it.

Later that summer it all changed. The rumors were flying that he had “the itch” again. He and Mike McCarthy had spoken a few times after he announced he was finished with football, but the Packers already had moved on. They didn’t want the distraction that came with Favre every off season for the past five or so years. The team was coming off a 13-3 season and was the youngest team in the NFL. The future was bright in Green Bay .

Favre didn’t like being told that the Packers had moved on with Aaron Rodgers as their new starting quarterback. He didn’t like the Packers not calling him and asking him repeatedly to come back and be their starting quarterback for a 17th season. Mostly, Favre didn’t like GM Ted Thompson giving him a deadline to make his mind up on retirement.

Thompson had felt for some time that the Packers were being held hostage by Favre’s indecisiveness. He drafted a quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, in the first round that had shown in practice that he was ready to be a starter in the NFL, and not to mention had two years left on his contract and wanted to lock him up long term.

Then there is also the rift between Favre and Thompson. The rift is kept behind closed doors and no one will officially comment on it, but there is no love lost between the two men. Thompson has said all the right things publicly about Favre and his off again, on again playing career.  While Favre makes no bones about it, he wants to stick it to Thompson.

Last year when Favre retired, then wanted to come back, he called the Packers and requested a trade to one of the following teams, the Bears, Buccaneers or his number one choice, the Minnesota Vikings.

Thompson refused to deal him any of the teams because the Packers would be playing them during the upcoming season. Thompson and “Bus” Cook, Favre’s agent and friend met and discussed a variety of scenarios that would send Favre to other clubs, but Thompson was steadfast that he would not trade Favre to any NFC North team, most notably the Vikings.

Favre didn’t like that. He thought “Why? Are you afraid I will stick it you and make you look bad?” Favre stated publicly that he wanted to go to Minnesota and if he wants to play and the Packers don’t want him, why not let him go where he wants? But he forgot, he was under contract with the Packers and they controlled his rights.

Favre thought that he would be dealt to the Buccaneers, but Thompson got a solid deal from the New York Jets, where he was dealt and we all know what happened in New York  and the events that lead us to where we are now.

For 16 years Brett Favre had a pass from the Packers fans and the organization. He could come and go as he pleased, say what he wanted and even after all the heart breaking interceptions, could do no wrong. After he was traded to the Jets, most Packers fans still forgave him for wanting to go to Minnesota and rooted for him and the Jets. Then came this off season.

I can see why he wants to go to Minnesota . With the NFL’s best running back in Adrian Peterson, an offense that he knows front, back, side to side, a pretty good wide receiver in Bernard Berrian and a very solid defense, the Vikings seem to be only a quarterback away from Super Bowl contention. But more importantly to Favre, he’ll have a chance to show Thompson he was wrong about him and make the Packers GM look bad.

But the problem I have with Favre is his selfishness. Name another profession that will allow you to openly talk about retiring for five years. Then when you do decide to retire, the company says they will have the first day of business dedicated to you, plus offer you 25 million dollars as a severance package. That wasn’t good enough though. After about six months he changes his mind and wants his old job back, no questions asked, which already was taken over by his successor, Rodgers. There is no other profession in which this would happen.

Favre’s love for the game is one that should not be questioned. I can see it being hard for him to retire.  After all, football is something he has played since he was eight years old. What he has done for the NFL and the Packers will forever be remembered and it is legendary. But after seeing his play tail off as the season progresses over the past five years or so, I question whether all the hits he has taken over the course of his 290 consecutive games played has started to take its toll.

Favre has the right to do as he pleases, but at the cost of his legacy? He will forever be known as the greatest Packers player. He will also be remembered as a Packer, whether he likes it or not, which I think he does. No player on the green and gold will ever wear number four again nor should they. 

If you ask people now what is the first thing that comes to their mind when Favre’s name is brought up, most will say it’s his indecisiveness when it comes to his retirement, not the NFL records he holds, the three MVP’s or the Super Bowl that he helped win. That is a shame.

Packers fans have stuck by Favre through thick and thin, rehab, personal tragedies, injuries and interceptions.  But if he goes to the Vikings that may be the straw the breaks the camels back. It would be the ultimate betrayal to a fan base that has put him in elite company. 

I know he wants to stick it to Ted Thompson, but why? For making a tough business decision? Is it worth the hurt he would cause the fans that have been loyal to him and idolized him? I hope not. It would hurt to see him in purple and gold, high fiving the Vikings mascot on the Harley after a touchdown. But it is not my decision, nor is it the Packers front office or fans.

I can only hope Favre knows how much he means to the “G-Force” and the hurt that he would cause by becoming a Viking. Please Brett Favre, take a page out of the great Jackie Robinson’s book and retire rather then play for the enemy. You have nothing left to prove, not to Ted Thompson, the Packers, the fans or yourself. 

This blog is dedicated to my late grandfather Joe Arrigo. You are missed and forever loved.

This is my last blog for the weekend and at this time I would like to wish all the fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers a Happy Fathers Day.

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Written by Joe Arrigo

June 19, 2009 at 23:59

Posted in NFL

2 Responses

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  1. Great article as always Joe.


    June 24, 2009 at 16:34

  2. Excellent Article and I feel that you hit the nail on the head. Favre was and is an incredible player. Time, however, waits for no man. I feel that if he suits up as a Viking, many fans will never forgive him. They will feel that he really isn’t the down-to-earth everyday joe that everyone thought he was. Many allready feel that way.

    I’ve heard the analogies to Lombardi and other players who finished playing elsewhere but I don’t buy ’em.

    I don’t think Thompson pushed him out, but I don’t think that he begged for him to come back either.


    June 26, 2009 at 06:49

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