Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Brett Favre

With all of the varied commentary regarding everyone's (or not) favorite quarterback I thought I'd take a moment to explain the C&P official stance on the whole Favre retirement/legacy thing.

I've been very fortunate. I first became a Packer fan over the summer of 91. Still young enough to be a fan in the truest sense but old enough to understand that these were real people with real lives that I was watching on the field. I grew up in Minnesota and to that point I had only known indoor football of the mediocre variety. I remember going to see the Vikings in a playoff game against the LA Rams and wondering why everyone cared so much. I just didn't get it.

I took a trip with Lil Majikman and his folks to Green Bay. Saw the sights and went to Lambeau for part of training camp. We took a peak at the field and cheered the punters working on their coffin corners. It was a beautiful day and I was hooked.

I also was fortunate in that I didn't really know the team very well and as I was trying to learn who everyone on the team was Majkowksi went down in a heap. Majikman (the friend not the player) was obviously vexed. Very vexed. But for me it was an opportunity. Favre came in and lit it up and generally played like a chicken missing it's head. I had someone to latch onto and someone worth watching. I still feel that way today.

I write this because of all the annoying talk that gets thrown out about Favre thanks to 24 hour news channels and multiple resources online to review rather than just having your local paper to flip through. I love Favre. I hate Favre coverage. It's that simple. It's sort of the same thing as that bumper sticker imploring God to protect the person from His followers.

Favre isn't perfect, he never was, and that's what made him great. Even when he loses it's memorable and that's all I ask. Just don't be boring and average. Dare to dream. He's always done that.

As he's gotten older and his career is in decline (not over, just not peaking anymore) fans and commentators have turned on him a bit. I don't think he's changed. He's successfull because he always believes he can win. He's also made plenty of mistakes because of that belief. I don't know why we expect him to change.

And yet we have to deal with one of two accepted broadcasting/writing positions. Favre is either God's gift to us and must be worshipped accordingly (the Madden plan) or he he is past his prime and hurting the team (the Collinsworth plan). I find both to be equally irritating.

All of the preening of Madden and his ilk just turn normal fans away from Favre because no one likes to hear that much praise heaped on someone. It's awkward and mindless and, if anyone in TV/print had half a brain they'd knock it off. The Collinsworth plan basically just calls for the mocking of anyone who has had success and is now in decline. I'm sure Cris thinks he's showing his integrity but he's not, he's just reminding everyone that his ego is more important than the truth.

I don't know if this adds much to the conversation. I just think people should consider Favre for who he is and what he's done and NOT for how he's covered in the media. You separate those two elements and you're left with a colorful character who happens to be a hall of famer. I'll take it.


Majikman said...

M.F. Pack I agree. Although the tender side of you came out talking about the past, I'll choose to comment on the Favre issure right now. I agree with you 100%. We have both always felt strange when Madden or other people would gush over him, and I'm sure it drove other fans even more crazy.

What happens in America (land that I love) is that they build up someone so great that they can only come down. A few people can come out clean if their timing is right. John Elway came out like everyone wanted him to. He won on the way out. Most people aren't so lucky. Jordan, Montana, and Marino all went through what Favre is going through.

The national sports writers have nothing else to talk about, so they find out what Favre is up to, and toss some more dirt on him. But I am a Packer fan like Favre plays his game: I'm in it through thick and thin. I'm in it when others think I'm crazy. I might look stupid having a Packers credit card or a wear a Packers t-shirt on the Sunset Strip, but ask yourself....does Favre care what others think about him?

Anonymous said...

You won't get an argument from this quarter either. I think that BF should just be left to play the game, withut EVERY word he speaks (or doesn't speak) being dissected and interpreted or only partially reported, such as the recent "Favre would accept a trade" stories that the press has been tossing around.
This is one of the sad consequences of the Watergate generation...that there has to be something bad happening all the time...things can't be as they seem on the surface. And I believe that the press tries to MAKE things happen as well.

Leave the future HOF quarterback alone. I can only imagine that's it is tough to be an icon...but he has earned the right to just be a guy sometimes...

TBSGC said...

Amen brother, great post. The only other thing I have to add is to let you know how much I loathe Chris Collinsworth. Why do they let that guy on tv? One of my greatest thrills was the day I was on the Lambeau tour last year during training camp and Brett came walking up to our tour group and stood there while we were near the locker room. Freakin' amazing.

MF said...

I'm not one for starstruck moments but I will admit that meeting/seeing Favre up close would probably do it to me. I can't imagine that happening with anyone else (other than maybe Kent Hrbek of the Twins, the closest thing to a sports hero I ever had). A big part of that is just being an adult now, it's okay to stare awkwardly when you're 13 and dreaming but it's another thing entirely when you're 30.