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Tuesday, 04 March 2008

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Funny thing sports. It's full of life-sapping corporate commercial interests, boring cliches, intolerable TV announcers, drugs, arrogance, crime, you name it. But at some point, that nonsense all stops and with some luck you get to watch superb athletes doing things that are so amazing that they can lift your spirits the way art, literature, and science can.

Maybe not the best quarterback I've ever seen, but certainly the most exciting to watch. Whether you were pulling for the Pack, or for their opponent, Favre would keep you on the edge of your seat.

Many people may question the timing of Favre’s decision. His team is on the rise and he clearly has not lost the ability to perform at a high level. I don’t. Favre was always a player that poured his heart and soul into the game and when that no longer was in the game, the essence of Favre was gone. Some say it is a shame to see Favre fade off into the sunset having his last pass thrown being an interception. But what better time is there for Favre to ride off into the sunset? It would be more of a shame to see Favre play a season when the one thing that made him special was no longer in it—-his heart.

I live on the Minnesota side of the Wisconsin-Minnesota border (literally: I live on the St. Croix River, and look out my back windows at Wisconsin.) As such, I'm virtually required by state law to support the Vikings, but they are a very hard team to like. The Packers, on the other hand, are very easy to like, especially during Favre's run. The guy was from the south, but he seemed to like the Wisconsin folks, and actually appreciate his fans, and go out and try hard and take risks. He was a guy you could identify with and grow with, rather than some traveling pro who'd move on the first time somebody offered two more dollars on a contract. If I lived a mile away, on the other side of the water, I'd have been a longtime Packers fan.

JC

BEAST!

If he takes up photography I hope he doesn't become one of those blasphiends who crunches the quarter tones...

BEAST!

Whats a quarterback ?

Yes, great quarterback, but...

Not to nitpick, isn't he also the league leader in career interceptions?

And surely he's not the only 3-time MVP in league history? How about Jim Brown, Johnny Unitas and Otto Graham (I looked it up).

Ultimately, I think it's a good thing that the Aaron Rodgers era can finally get started.

Speaking as an Atlanta Falcons fan, you're welcome!

"Whats a quarterback ?"

It's what you get when you tendered a buck but only owed six bits. It's an American thing.

Mike J.

Well, Brett was a great quarterback & seems like a great guy, and I'm sure he'll get a nice TV-commentator gig worth a lot of dough if he wants it (though I'll be glad we don't have to hear the will he/won't he retire story next offseason). It seems like the right time.

Heard something this morning that made me laugh: in the time he's been QB in Green Bay, the Chicago Bears have fielded 21 quarterbacks!!

"I'm sure he'll get a nice TV-commentator gig worth a lot of dough if he wants it..."

I have to say I doubt that will happen. He's not glib. One might even go so far as to say not very articulate....

Mike J.

"Maybe not the best quarterback I've ever seen, but certainly the most exciting to watch."

John Elway when he was on his game was the best I've ever witnessed.

Mike J.

I remembered an apropos blog piece that I wrote about sports a couple of years ago: http://roberts-rants.blogspot.com/2005/08/why-men-talk-sports.html

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with Canada, the CFL is the Canadian Football League and Mississauga is a suburb of Toronto.)

I've always liked Favre. With the exception of the recent playoff game against the Giants, I usually rooted for him, too. I generally find it hard to dislike the Packers, but Favre made it easy to actively like them!

On a side note, football (especially college football) is the only thing I really miss about the US. I've never been a huge basketball fan (the fact that the Knicks suck now, have sucked for the past few years, and are likely to suck for the foreseeable future has made this easier) and I can watch baseball on MLB.tv (which I highly recommend, despite the occassional frustration. The quality is much better than I ever would have thought possible for Internet TV and I can watch any game I want at any time). But football is only available during the playoffs, at 4am and with German commentary. While the quality of the commentary has improved over the years, it's just. not. the. same!!!

All the best to Favre and congratulations on a wonderful career.

Best,
Adam

There are lots of Packers fans here in MS because of him. I think the thing I'll miss most is his youthful exuberance for the game. I believe he would have played for free because he loved it so much. It was sandlot football taken to the pro level. By the way, he was just as much fun to watch when he was in college.

Randall Teasley

"Not to nitpick, isn't he also the league leader in career interceptions?"

True, but you live and die by the same thing. Brett's constant drive to make plays out of nothing did cause him to give up the ball a lot, but it was the same thing that made him such a sensational player and so much fun to watch. He could plunk the ball straight into the waiting arms of a DB or he could pluck a miracle out of thin air. It was never boring!

Mike J.

The phrase 'passing of an era' is appropriate. As a Wisconsinite, and lifelong Packers fan, I can honestly say that I am glad to see him go. Before you shout WHY?, it is simply because he has the class to go out on top. There's nothing worse than a player beyond his prime, trying to re-live his glory years for just one more season.

Brett is retiring at the end of possibly his most exciting season yet. There have been super bowls, and many an exciting game, but this season past was something special for him and for us fans. With no expectations, and the youngest team in the league, he brought us to the edge of the biggest game of the year. But for one bad pass, it would have been GB in the big bowl this year. Ahh, what might have been.

Thanks for the memories Brett.

Pat J. in Milwaukee

I found these comments he made at his press conference very interesting, especially the butt slapping phrase:

"Football, I think is very unique in that of all the sports because you have to rely on one another so much more than the other sports and it's a physical sport, which I think in turn mentally challenges you more so than any other sport. And I am a little biased, but I will miss that. Sitting in those meetings with the receivers and figuring out how we're going to beat the upcoming team and challenging each other and doing it in a fun way, slapping our big linemen on the butt, which I don't think I'll be doing that anytime soon. But all that stuff, man that's just what it's all about. And I will miss that stuff."

Mike,
This saw this commentary on Brett Favre today in the Clarion-Ledger and I thought you might like to read it.

http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080309/COL0202/803090324/1144

Randall Teasley

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