Time to Hang Em Up, Favre

By Stephen Sellner

As Brett Favre was helped off the field last Sunday, I couldn’t help but think to myself:  “Man, he looks old and miserable.”

Courtesy of NFL News World

The saga that is Brett Favre’s career has taken an unfortunate turn.  He’s gone from football’s beloved icon to an annoyance, like an ear infection that refuses to go away.

Let’s go back to March 2008; the days when Favre was still loved by all and hated by few (with the exception of Bears and Vikings fans).

He announced his retirement from the NFL, walking away from the game and team he loved so dearly. Then Favre uttered a phrase to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that would ultimately ignite the drama and confusion that unfolded next:  “If I felt like coming back…the only way for me to be successful would be to win a Super Bowl.”

However, the Packers were not about to dwell on the past and beg Favre to come back.  Aaron Rodgers, the 2005 first-round draft pick out of California, was next in line to bring glory to Green Bay.

And everybody knows the story from there.  The insulted Favre goes to the New York Jets, tanks towards the end of the year, retires, and comes out of retirement, signing with Minnesota. Even a child at an ice cream shop is more decisive than that.

Favre’s legacy has taken a crushing blow.  Many fans resent the formerly adored pro, claiming that all the magic in his career has been overshadowed by his unending need for attention and drama.

“Now every time someone brings up Favre, phrases like ‘annoying’, ‘old’ and ‘sick and tired of hearing about him’ are commonplace,” explained Walker Teso, a freshman at UMass.

Nobody can argue against the future hall-of-famer’s toughness.

Sunday marked his 292nd consecutive start in the league, a record that appears to be unbreakable with the increased likelihood of injury in a league showcasing stronger and faster players.

However, there is a reason why 40-year-olds are rare in the NFL today.

The physicality of the game is excruciating, and as aging continues, the body cannot recover a quickly to injury.  It’s remarkable that after shoulder surgery a year ago, a pair of fractures in his ankle and eight stitches in his chin, we are still talking about Favre being under center this Sunday.

From last year’s heartbreaking loss to New Orleans in the NFC Championship game to this season’s injuries and disappointment, it’s hard to imagine what is going through Favre’s head.

The aged veteran is not the missing piece to a future Super Bowl contender, contrary to what he may believe.  All the top-tier teams in the league have elite quarterbacks, such as Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.

The Favre sweepstakes may be up and running again this offseason, as another team may take a shot on the 41-year-old, hoping the gunslinger has one magical season left.

But the fairytale has to end at some point, doesn’t it?

Stephen Sellner can be reached at [email protected].