Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Favre Rules

Dear Brett,
Seriously? Well, at least we've got you pegged now. We can stop debating what exactly your reasons were for the waffling, for playing well past the point of peak performance or sanity or your own safety. It's all so clear now.

Even when you were a fresh-faced kid, you weren't who we thought you were. (Apologies to Dennis Green).

It wasn't about the game, was it? Not really. Not the way you'd like us to believe. All the gun-slinging, grin-on-your-face, Wrangler-wearin', supposedly-unbridled joy was a facade. Oh, I've no doubt the game was fun for you. If it wasn't, you'd have been doing something else for a living. But it'd wager your favorite part was winning when you were the cause of victory. "I'm just happy we got a 'W'" was BS if that win was off a last-second field goal, or a punt return TD, or any other play in which you weren't involved, wasn't it? You wanted to be the dominant gladiator, the guy with all the media coverage, the guy whose skills got the acknowledgement and praise they deserved. Throwing a touchdown was just a way of telling the world "Eff You!", wasn't it, Brett?

Without hacking into your home, which would be highly illegal and I wouldn't know how to do it anyway because I'm pretty bad with technology, I have no way of knowing the contents of your DVR. But I'd like to take a guess at one thing you've probably got preserved on there: Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame induction speech.

In fact, I bet you watch it once a week. And I bet you take notes. "Ooh, he totally slammed a kid who laughed at him once in the third grade!!!! Nice. I hope Timmy Parker is watching when I get inducted, I can't wait to let him know I haven't forgotten that one time be beat me in a game of H.O.R.S.E. Eff you, Timmy. See where I am now?!?!?! DO YOU SEE?!?!?!?"

It turns out you're a lot more like MJ than we could possibly have imagined, Brett. You kept coming back not because you couldn't let the game go, but because you weren't ready to cede the attention, the love, and most importantly, the opportunity to keep sticking it to people. You only walked away for good (God we hope!) when you were sure you couldn't kick anymore ass or take anymore names. Like Jordan, you're just smart enough to know you couldn't play a full season again. But I bet you still think you could go out for one game and hang 400 yards and 3 TDs on anybody.

Those comments you made about Aaron Rodgers were just plain idiotic. You didn't want the Packers fans to forget about you just yet, did you? Denigrate the new kid so that your reputation as some sort of mythic figure can be preserved. "Hey, hey!!!! He's not that great! Remember me? Remember how awesome I was?!?! Rodgers ain't that great!!! He just got lucky!"

Two things, Brett:

1. Aaron Rodgers could win 3 more Super Bowls in a row and it wouldn't diminish any of your achievements. You own every bloody passing record in the books. You own a consecutive starts streak that no one is ever going to break. You will be in the discussion pretty much every time anyone brings up all-time legends of the game. Please quit acting like a petulant child.

2. You said Rodgers was lucky to have such a great team around him; the implication being that you didn't have the benefit of such great teammates, and that you could have won many, many championships if you had. Donald Driver and Reggie White would like me to tell you that you're a jerk.

In the most MJ-like part of all this, I actually do have to applaud your timing. Jordan was famous for messing with people any chance he got and being an incredible manipulator, and you pulled off a two-fer of malign subtlety here. Not only did you throw some hard digs at your replacement, but you knew he'd be listening. Rodgers' response was to demure away from your comments, but you know they put a chip on his shoulder. You alley-ooped the man some stellar bulletin-board material for this week's game. Against the Falcons. The team that traded you away. The team that didn't know your worth. And you did it on an Atlanta radio station, no less! You sly dog, you. That was some positively Jordan-esque "eff-you" manipulation right there. (That's complete conjecture, obviously, but the timing was ... strange, to say the least.) But you know what? You didn't do yourself any favors with this. At all.

So Brett, let it go. Have the grace and decency to stop this nonsense. When Jordan made that HOF speech, we didn't stop thinking of him as the greatest of all time, but we did think "man, he really is a pathologically-competitive A-hole! Seriously, he's messed up a little bit in the brain!!!" It's not too late for you. Just fade quietly into the background. Don't say anything else to the media, don't text anymore illicit cellphone pictures. Play some golf, dirty up some Wranglers in pick-up games, enjoy yourself.

And when you get your first-ballot induction in Canton, please, don't be like Mike.

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