As football season is approaching, NFL teams are preparing for the opening of training camp and the commencement of preseason schedules. Soon it will be time for players to fight for a spot on the roster, teams to decide who those players are and for prognosticators to sit on their lofty perch and tell us whether or not the Patriots are going to be able to go undefeated without their top videographer.
Emerging from this hum and chatter is the rumor of Brett Favre’s return from a short-lived retirement. So far, neither Brett nor the Green Bay Packers are saying a whole lot of anything of substance, but this thought has been lurking just beneath the surface of the fond farewell that Brett has been receiving over the past few months.
I am a bit conflicted about this. I am a big fan of Brett Favre and have been for several years. When I watched him play I was reminded of what the NFL was like when I was a kid. I loved his gunslinger’s mindset and his winning attitude. He played the game as it was supposed to be played, for the fun of it. There is a big part of me that would love to see my favorite player return and lead his team to one more year of glory.
That is the idealist in me.
The realist in me says that this is a game for young guys. Aaron Rodgers has been the patient understudy for three years now. Everyone close to the situation says the kid is more than ready to step onto Lambeau Field and begin another brilliant chapter in the Packer’s illustrious history.
Favre has absolutely nothing left to prove. The only reason for coming back is the aforementioned love of the game. The old warhorse still has the heart for one more charge. Yes, he would still be better than probably two-thirds of the quarterbacks currently starting in the league, but not that much better. The years are starting to catch up.
He has a stellar legacy that is sure to land him in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He has the Superbowl rings, the awards, the accolades and the cherished memories of millions of fans, some as far removed from the frozen tundra as myself. We remember him as being great when he left. If he returns now he risks being remembered as being great “in his day”, joining the countless number of veterans whose desire for one more season caused them to discount the diminishment of their skills. He risks being scrutinized and second-guessed every time he tries to force a pass into double coverage. He risks the humiliation of a cold shoulder from the Packer’s brain trust at best, or a mid-season benching at worst.
Don’t do it, Brett.