Friday, January 16, 2009

What Does Brett Favre Have to Do with Margaritas in Heaven?

A reader of my blog article, “Margaritas in Heaven?” must have noticed the Brett Favre stained-glass window graphic off to the side. It depicts a saintly Favre in Packer uniform being adored by cheesehead-haloed fans. She closed her comment with this P.S.: “and Brett Favre has been a HUGE disappointment, hasn't he?

Here is my reply:

No, Brett Favre hasn't been a disappointment at all. What you see is what you get. And what you get is everything he has on every play. Sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes that's too much. But in any case it is refreshing. Furthermore, have you ever heard Favre bad mouth a teammate or coach? I have not.

And as to his last couple years with the Pack, if the truth were known, I think you would find that management was trying to make him retire when he didn't want to--thus all the unseemly indecision and blubbering. I'd be the same way if my congregation told me, "Pastor, you're a great preacher and we appreciate everything you have done here, but we have found a younger man who preaches almost as well and we don't want to lose him to another congregation. Would you mind, terribly, taking your pension and never preaching for anyone else again? Thankyewverymuch, have a great life!"

Think about it. The Pack basically offered him full salary to not play and retire as a Packer. Favre preferred to earn his keep and continue to do what he does best and loves most. But is it ever reported that way?

Would every Packer backer have preferred Favre never play for another team? Certainly! But how selfish is that? What you had was a bunch of armchair quarterback wannabes expecting a man who loves the game of football and still plays it like a kid, and better than at least 50% of the other starters at his position, to stop playing when he had just led a darkhorse, undermanned squad to the NFC title game.

I only know of one man who seemed to take the objective angle on Favre--Mark Belling of WISN radio in Milwaukee. He called it straight, whether as to Favre's still above average yet fading talent, or to Thompson's disingenuous way of spinning the situation. Thompson wanted his man, Rodgers, in and the old man, Favre, out. Fair enough. Just say so. No, not wanting to take the heat for being the big fat meany who got rid of the hero who restored the glory to Title Town and the cheeseheads of Wisconsin, he spun it so Favre would be seen as the petulant ingrate. Favre's mistake was to take the bait and play the part that was written for him.

Now in New York, he is getting dumped on for the fact that he energized a Jets team that was moribund in 2007, revived the hopes of their disaffected fans, but stumbled as he was about to carry them over the threshold. Jets' management, however, seems to get what Thompson ignored. Favre put fannies in the seats. Some to see the miraculous, some hoping for a train wreck. He also inspired his teammates to do things beyond what they normally would do. When they were winning, a lot of it was because of spectacular plays made by the same guys that were there before Favre but didn't seem to rise to the moment until his arrival. For all the reports of ingrate teammates complaining he didn't hang out with them off the field this salient fact is overlooked--Favre had virtually no pre-season preparation and practice time witht he squad. Thank you Mr. Thompson. You did everything you could to set Favre up for failure in order to make yourself look brilliant. Yet isn't it amazing how successful he and the Jets were anyway? Maybe, just maybe, Favre was spending his time off the field studying the playbook and learning the new system.

Favre a disappointment? Only if one is disappointed by hard work, dedication, perseverance, passion, courage, and a relentlessly joyful pursuit of excellence regardless of the circumstances. Win, lose, or draw, love him or hate him, Favre played the game with everything he had.

Oh, and he never called in sick. How many of you who are disappointed with Brett Favre can say the same?

Now go have a Margarita!

3 comments:

Lisa-Milwaukee said...

"Favre a disappointment? Only if one is disappointed by hard work, dedication, perseverance, passion, courage, and a relentlessly joyful pursuit of excellence regardless of the circumstances. Win, lose, or draw, love him or hate him, Favre played the game with everything he had."

None of those things are disappointing. That is why I admired the man for years and wished that we were among the relatively wealthy who could purchase a ticket to see him play at Lambeau. However, for me, truthfulness trumps all those other qualities. His "unseemly indecision and blubbering" now seem like a lack of honesty.

"if the truth were known, I think you would find that management was trying to make him retire when he didn't want to"

Maybe you're right. It certainly seems possible. Does anyone know this for sure? If indeed he played "the part that was written for him," again, he was not being truthful to himself or others.

I am disappointed that a man who for many years was such a straight shooter decided to be less than that. I don't think he was forced to lie. I realize he may have been put into a very uncomfortable situation, but it's not as though his ability to provide for his family was in jeopardy. His was not a life-or-death predicament, and I just wish he had told the truth.

I. M. Abaldy II said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
I. M. Abaldy II said...

Fair enough, Lisa. I do not disagree. I would rather if he had just called the bluff, so to speak, and take the loss if his hand wasn't strong enough.

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