Why Brett Favre Needs To Stay Retired

“…the itch”

Two little words that started a frenzy in the sports media yesterday.  It seems as though an unnamed source of ESPN’s Chris Mortensen told him that Brett Favre has “the itch” to play again, despite his announcement that he was retired in early March.  And, it was those two words which then caused the surge of articles, radio shows, and talking heads all to ask the same question: is he really going to come back?  Is he?  Is he???

My opinion?  If he knows what’s good for him, no, he’s not.

The first thing I’d want to do is look at the legitimacy of the report itself.  Chris Mortensen is an excellent sports journalist, and his name is regularly attached to dozens of huge breaking news headlines throughout the sports world, but Mortensen knows quite well that we’re in the midst of the slowest time of the football year.  Minicamps are over, training camps don’t start until the end of the month, so what is there to talk about?  Up until Brett got his little itch, it was nothing but too many player arrests and a few minor contract signings.  Mortensen also knows that nobody draws attention to the NFL like Brett Favre does, and if sports journalism is a business, which it most certainly is, then a nice, juicy Favre story right in the middle of the NFL doldrums is going to drum up quite a bit of business for ESPN, which just so happens to sign Mortensen’s paychecks.

Now don’t get me wrong–I’m not at all saying that Mortensen’s report is in any way false.  I’m just saying that perhaps it’s a bit more inflated than the actual circumstance requires.  Mortensen’s article on ESPN.com about Favre’s itch is over 1,000 words long, and only seven of those words are from the mouth of Brett Favre.  “It’s all rumor” are the three that stand out to me. (“no reason for it” are the other four, which is Favre’s response to the media speculation surrounding his return)  Sure, Mortensen’s got quotes galore, from Favre’s brother, his mother, his coach, his agent, whoever.  But I’d venture to say that the person who knows what Brett Favre is thinking most is Favre himself, and as he said, “it’s all rumor.”

And it better be.  Favre would be doing himself, his teammates, and his many, many fans a massive disservice if he decided to come back.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Favre fan, and will tell my kids and grandkids with great pride that I was lucky enough to see him play his greatest game live.  But in early March, Brett told everyone he was leaving, and so he needs to stick to his word and leave.  Ever since March 5th, the Packers organization and its fans have been preparing for life without Brett Favre, and it wouldn’t be fair to those people for him to come back with what would essentially equate to a big ol’ “gotcha” attitude.

In all honesty, the Packers may have a better shot at winning if Favre came back, and that’s fueling a lot of the fire surrounding his potential return.  But for four months, the Packers have been preparing for the future, a future that revolves heavily around Aaron Rodgers, and to postpone that future after all the preparation that has already been done is unfair to Rodgers, and it’s unfair to the teammates that have already begun to rally around him.  Watch any sports movie, and you’ll find the same moral: the team that functions best off the field functions best on it.  Bring Favre back, and no matter how much your chances of winning improve, you’re looking at a divided locker room and a very unhappy Aaron Rodgers.  To me, that doesn’t spell winning.

The Packers are smart enough to know all that, and my guess is that if Favre actually did reach out to contact them, they probably told him that outright.  Now, Favre needs to take that advice and just stay retired.  An option perhaps worse than coming back to the Packers would be coming back to some other team, which would be Favre’s only option if the Packers did tell him no.  A lot of folks can remember Joe Montana playing the last of his career in Kansas City.  Did that tarnish his legacy in San Francisco?  Depends on who you ask.  But that was Joe Montana, and while he is a legend in his own right (perhaps even a bigger one than Favre), to most football fans, Favre in any uniform other than a green and gold one borders on blasphemy.  And considering two of the most quarterback-needy teams in the league (Minnesota and Chicago) are in the same division as the Packers, Favre would do himself a big favor to leave himself off the market.  Can you imagine seeing Favre play against the Packers for two games next season?  The suicide rate in Wisconsin would skyrocket.

So do us all a favor, Brett, and stay retired.  You told us you were done, so stick to your word.  And just because we may say we don’t want you back doesn’t mean we didn’t love you when you were around, we just want what’s best for the team, and what’s best for you, and that means that the next time you step on that Lambeau turf, we’ll hope to be honoring your legacy as we say goodbye one last time and retire that iconic number four.


2 Responses to “Why Brett Favre Needs To Stay Retired”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    July 12, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Set him FREE…..

  2. 2 Anonymous
    July 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Brett – come back so we do end up like the 70/80’s

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