Note from the Luke: this post was written one year ago, but it's somehow even more accurate now. I can't believe we're really being taken down this road again by an indecisive, selfish asshat.
Look at him. Different number, comically large face, and he has no idea what he will one day become.
I'd like to start by saying that I called this from the beginning. When Brett Favre first retired, I had a discussion with one of my die-hard Packer fan friends, who we'll call Even Berard for anonymity's sake. I said that Favre would be back, the Packers wouldn't want him, and he would eventually be traded to Minnesota. That's right, I predicted this from the get-go. I'm a badass.
Well, Even Berard nearly passed out when he heard me say this. A long-winded, albeit eloquent, tirade soon followed. "Brett Favre is the best quarterback of all-time! How can you possibly say the Packers won't want him back? He would be welcomed with open arms! I ask you, Luke, who will be the Packers quarterback if Favre isn't there? Aaron Rodgers? (Here Even laughs condescendingly, which makes me want to punch him squarely in the face) If the Packers turn away Brett Favre, I will no longer follow the team."
This conversation occurred a week or two after Favre's retirement press conference, which can now officially go down as one of the biggest wastes of time in the past few years. More on that later. But first, back to Even. I can't blame him for being so loyal to his boyhood hero. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, folks. It's the reason we pine for the days of the NES, we remember our first girlfriends fondly even though they were likely two-bit hoochies, and little things that are meaningless to everyone else have profound truth to us (for example, the smell of Watermelon Bubblicious instantly transports me back to sunny summer days in Little League).
Sadly, if you're an NFL General Manager, nostalgia cannot enter the picture, ever ever EVER. Ted Thompson knows this, and it seems he's wanted Favre out ever since #4 started toying with the franchise every offseason like an over-excited cat owner. "Am I coming back? Am I retiring? Play with this string while I decide!" The Packers are ready to move on. How ready are they? They plan on starting Aaron Rodgers over him. Yikes. And oh yeah, there's also this: They just offered Brett Favre 20 million dollars to stay retired.
That astounding figure isn't too shocking when you consider that Favre will make $12M simply by putting on a uniform this year, with possible salaries of $13M and $14M in 2009 and 2010. He wants to play, folks. You could see it during his fake retirement press conference that came with readymade fake tears. In that two hour debacle, I got one worthwhile piece of information from Favre when he said "I know I can still play." Right there, I knew he'd be back.
By the way, Brett: you're kind of a moron. Of course you're going to want to retire immediately after a long season! You just froze your ass off in a losing effort in a home playoff game! You're too old for this, right? Yeah! But then...weeks and months go by. Your aging body slowly recovers. You stop thinking about the weather in your last game and start going over and over that last pass you made in your head. Shit. You've made a huge mistake. It's okay, they'll take you back. They always do.
But they won't take you back this time. They're finally moving on. So now what? Well, after whispers of New York and Tampa Bay, it appears that you have 3 current options. Take your 20 million and stay retired, play for the Vikings, or play for the Bears. Just as I predicted. Many people thought the Packers would never trade you to a rival. Turns out those are the only places you'll go. Why? Obviously, you could stick it to Green Bay twice a year.
A lot of people might say that John Elway handled retirement right, and Brett Favre handled it wrong. But this is comparing apples to oranges, success to failure. Elway went out a repeat Super Bowl champion. There's not much more you can do at that point. Favre went out by throwing one of the worst passes of his career. I think he wants to prove that he's still got something in the tank. And Chicago's a good place to prove it! Come on over, Brett! We're happy to have you! And when you do, I'll drive up to Wisconsin and walk around in my new Favre jersey, give Packer fans the gun show, and wave a sign that reads "ENJOY THE AARON RODGERS ERA!"
In your face, Even Berard. You can hop on board as well. It seems that you're looking for a new team to root for, anyway.