Thursday, August 7, 2008

Is this how it will end for Favre?


The classic photo shown above, taken by Morris Berman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, depicts New York Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle after he was crushed to the turf and left bloody and beaten by Steelers defensive lineman John Baker in a 1964 game at Pitt Stadium. Tittle was among the elite quarterbacks in the game but was nearly 38 when this play took place, and he was finished at the end of that season. I bring this up because the New York Jets just traded for the legendary Brett Favre, who has set numerous records and won a Super Bowl during his years with the Green Bay Packers but is now approaching his 39th birthday. Are the Jets getting the Brett Favre of 2007, who had a great year and led the Packers within a game of the Super Bowl, or will they get the Favre of the two prior seasons, who gave every appearance of being washed up? Favre might very well have made the correct decision in March when he announced his retirement, only to waffle and waver, screwing his longtime employers in the process and eventually forcing the team to cut its ties with him. Old quarterbacks don't have a great track record in the NFL. There have been graybeards such as Earl Morrall and Youngwood's own George Blanda who defied the passage of time, but they, like Vinny Testaverde more recently, were largely relegated to backup roles, with the occasional start. Favre is being counted on to be a savior for the Jets, who haven't been successful in a long, long time. The history of sports is littered with cases of athletes who stayed on past their primes, and some of them were painful to watch. There were Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson in boxing, Willie Mays and countless others in baseball and, since we're speaking of quarterbacks, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas in football. Favre could be just what the doctor ordered for the Jets. Or he might need a doctor, as Y.A. Tittle did.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It just makes me crazy that Farve brought all this media hype on himself. What happened to making a decision and sticking to it? Was he bored? Feeling needy for some attention? Sure, the guy can throw a ball.. but this yo-yo stuff with player that retire and come back is stupid. Make up your mind.

August 7, 2008 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

This Farve thing has gotten way out of hand. It demonstrates the sad state of our culture on why this stuff gets so much press. There must have been a huge press caravan, starting last night, moving from Green Bay, to New York -- just like the circus trucks, taking the performers to a new venue. The circus has moved out of Green Bay to New York.

I used to respect Farve for his athletic accomplishments and for his attitude of courage, longevity, and hard work. But, all that is now out the window. I agree with your initial commentary about old QBs just wash up on shore.

I believe there is one focal point for all this hoopla -- Farve's ego. He has demonstrated to everybody that he is sure the world revolves around him. And, if there were any doubters in the audience, then he wanted to show them how he could get national attention with his antics. He has made himself look like a total fool. He has damaged his reputation and legacy. He will not be known for all this athletic accomplishments with a Green Bay uniform, but rather how he yanked Green Bay around with his on again, off again, on again, expressions. He should be ashamed of himself. Rather, he is on front, center stage in NY, with a Jets uniform, embolden with #4. And, all the NY media and fans are flocking to see him.

Brant, you cited several others who had tried "one last time," and made themselves to be doormats. I never like to wish anybody ill, but I hope he starts out the season with an abysmal performance. He needs something to quench the huge flames of his ego.

Perhaps also this is a classic example of somebody letting their work, career, or sports achievements define themselves. For a couple of years, he dabbled with retirement, but "letting go" was impossible. Those close to him, such as his wife, must not have been able to talk sense into his head. He just was too full of himself to say, "it is time to leave." He may not have anything "on the other side." He may have done nothing to prepare himself for the day he stops playing, and cannot emotionally deal with not being in uniform, hearing the cheers of the crowd, the pats on the back, the SportCenter highlights.

He has degenerated to a very sad, unhappy person, to put so much of life into this canister called professional football. As somebody in Pittsburgh said to Mr. Bradshaw many years ago, "it is time to get on with your life's work." Farve doesn't get it.

August 7, 2008 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I used to love Favre, the grit with which he played, the unparalleled talent, the way he ran down the field after each touchdown with that look of glee on his face...

But after all of this crap this summer, I have to say that I hope he crashes and burns like the Hindenburg. Kudos to Aaron Rogers for maintaining a level of class that Favre used to possess. Rogers must have inherited that from Favre as well as the starting QB job.

August 12, 2008 at 5:45 PM  

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