DUH. Brett Favre is going to play for the Minnesota Vikings. Shocker.
I don’t blame him a bit for wanting to play, but I’m not cool with the way it’s gone down.
For starters, does every retirement/unretirement/retirement/unretirement press conference have to be such sentimental garb?
We didn’t summon our collective fanpower to bring him back to “fix” football. He’s not Captain Planet.
For me, the real crux of the press conference came with this question: “Do you think Packer fans will feel betrayed by this decision?
Favre’s response: “No. I think true Packer fans will understand.”
EARTH TO BRETT: you are dead wrong.
Yes, there was some management controversy surrounding his first return. Maybe the Packers didn’t want him back. You can’t blame a guy for not wanting to be forced into retirement. But don’t confuse the fans with the management. Any faithful Cheeseheads who stuck with him through his Brett-the-Jet phase are sure not going to follow him to a division rival. Yes, it sounds harsh and irrational to scorn a guy your team didn’t want just because he wants to keep playing. Welcome to professional sports: this is how fan loyalties work. It’s why I hated on Thurman Thomas (juuuust a little) for signing with the Dolphins for a season after 12 in Buffalo. (I let it go when he came back. After all, I have a stuffed animal named after him.)
But then, on top of it, Brett used the worst catchphrase ever: “I’m doing this for the right reasons.” So were all 30 guys on The Bachelorette, as they told the cameras repeatedly, which only meant they were there to win the hot girl, and the hot girl alone. Noble.
In football terms, returning for the wrong reasons would be returning for what – fame? money? records? spite? So returning for the right reasons means returning for…what? A Super Bowl ring? He’s got one. For his teammates? Nope, they’re brand new.
The right reason is clearly that he wants to play, period. The right – and realistic – answer to that question was, “Yes, Packer fans probably won’t love this. I love Green Bay fans – they supported me well throughout my career, but if I want to keep playing football this is the right step for me. I’m not ready to call it a career, and I’m thrilled to be a Viking.”
But that’s not what he said. Instead he played the situation like it was neutral, though he’s the only one who thinks it is. He treated us all with tact and diplomacy, but what fans needed to see was a little extra honesty and heart.
I would have said that maybe when he’s all done in Minnesota, Favre should have pulled a Thurman, but with that one simple answer Favre essentially indicated that he has wiped Green Bay from his slate. I bet Packer fans will do him the same favor.