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Take THAT, Cheese Heads!
August 19, 2009 6:10 AM   Subscribe

After ending the 2007 season for Green Bay with pretty much every passing record in the NFL and a Super Bowl win under his belt, Brett Favre announced his retirement in a tearful press conference. He later rescinded his retirement to play for the Jets in 2008. Citing an aging body unable to stand up to the rigors of another season, he retired again after last season. Despite rumors of moving to the Minnesota, he was still officially retired as late as July. Well, not anymore. He’s back, and playing for the rival Vikings. Needless to say, the move has made him an arch- villain in the town that built him into a legend.

I’m wondering if anyone else shares the opinion that this is some sort of deep insecurity of not being able to face up to a life of not being the ‘star quarterback’ anymore. At 39, with all of those records, a Super Bowl win, and a guaranteed spot in the hall of fame, what else could he be playing for?
posted by jadayne (51 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
It was his job since a teenager and he loves it. Plus with a job like that that pays millions, if you can still play, who wouldn't want to keep playing? I would, and I never even played in high school or college.

What annoyed me about the whole thing? As soon as Brett was asked about if he was coming back to beat Green Bay and he replied that the media would know about that more than he would (in other words, they fanned that flame for a story), ESPN started showing 4 missed passes he threw from his practice yesterday with the Vikings. That's so weak.
posted by cashman at 6:17 AM on August 19, 2009


Woman, Cheap Booze, and non prescribed drugs?
posted by wheelieman at 6:18 AM on August 19, 2009


You don't pay a whore for honesty or loyalty, just performance.
posted by adipocere at 6:18 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


At least now we have a quarterback who can complete a pass.
posted by graventy at 6:20 AM on August 19, 2009


As a New York Jets fan, I'm really happy for the Vikings. And for us.
posted by papercake at 6:21 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sportsfilter discussion is quite good.
posted by absalom at 6:25 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course he keeps coming back, he's a revenant. Any team that plays against Favre merely needs to send a lineman after the necromancer who puppeteers him from the sidelines (or possibly from a lair below the field). Once that guy's tackled, Favre's mortal shell will collapse in a heap of dust and shoulder-pads.
posted by sleevener at 6:29 AM on August 19, 2009 [11 favorites]


Sigh. So rare when the greats quit at the top of their game and stay quit.

Keep on tainting that legacy, Brett.
posted by davelog at 6:48 AM on August 19, 2009


It was his job since a teenager and he loves it. Plus with a job like that that pays millions, if you can still play, who wouldn't want to keep playing?

He can't still play a whole season. He's basically admitted as much in interviews. On top of that, he purposely didn't sign until after training camp, so he wouldn't have to go through it. So the Vikes have signed somebody who will play half a season before getting worn out and/or injured, and pissed off their (now) backups in the process.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 6:50 AM on August 19, 2009


One of my friends pointed out last year, I think accurately, that this is the unpleasant downside of all the media attention he got for "being like a kid out there" and loving the game so much. The media spent a bunch of time fawning over him for his childlike exuberance at the prospect of playing football and saying things like "look at him, he'd keep playing if they didn't pay him". Now, it may be true that he loves the game and is just like a kid out there and is still in it, but seriously, it's time to stop playing and, at the very least, it's time to stop jerking everyone around.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:54 AM on August 19, 2009


I’m wondering if anyone else shares the opinion that this is some sort of deep insecurity of not being able to face up to a life of not being the ‘star quarterback’ anymore.

I don't agree. Watching the guy play, it's easy to see how much fun he has playing, how much he plays just for sheer enjoyment of the game. I don't know of any other current player who enjoys the game as much; certainly no other QB. I think he'd play for the league minimum if that's what was necessary to keep playing.

Of course, I'm playing armchair psychologist here based on what little I see of him on the field and in press conferences, so who knows?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:55 AM on August 19, 2009


You know, as recent as 2000, I was commenting to friends about Favre's status as a football legend-in-progress, and that he was the kind of man who would never leave the game, even if he left the field. I remember thinking that by 2010 someone would hire him up as an offensive coordinator, a head coach, a major commentator, or a replacement for Sam Elliott in films.

I remember the exact phrasing I used was 'that they're going to have to carry him away from the game in a wheelchair or a bodybag.' I'm starting to think I might have been more right than I thought possible.
posted by Reth_Eldirood at 7:00 AM on August 19, 2009


Thanks for posting this. I don't really pay attention to sports, but Favre's name has been in the news a lot, and I was wondering who he was and what he did.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:11 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sigh. So rare when the greats quit at the top of their game and stay quit.

This is why the legacy of my favorite quarterback since I was a kid, John Elway, continues to improve as years go by. He timed his exit perfectly.
posted by greasepig at 7:14 AM on August 19, 2009


A sign outside of a church near Green Bay: "Jesus will never leave you for the Jets."
posted by cimbrog at 7:26 AM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sigh. So rare when the greats quit at the top of their game and stay quit.

Jerry Seinfeld. I would love to have more Seinfeld episodes to watch, but really respect the decision he made to walk away when the show was still so popular.
posted by marsha56 at 7:27 AM on August 19, 2009


"He now holds the record for most incomplete retirements."
-Stephen Colbert

A 39 year old QB coming off surgery and not in football shape? My Packers should pay the Vikings to hire him.

It's not about payback or getting even. We'll never forget you, Brent!
posted by badger_flammable at 7:29 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Elway wasn't exactly a spring chicken when he retired. Same age as Favre.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on August 19, 2009


Yes! a quarterback controversy that takes out two long-time rivals in the NFC North? Awesome!
posted by Ironmouth at 7:33 AM on August 19, 2009


I still don't get why the Vikings signed him. They won their division last year with Gus Frerotte and Tavaris Jackson -- who had the same completion percentage and essentially the same yards per catch, though Jackson's QB rating was almost 20 points higher. The backfield is essentially the same, the OL is essentially the same, and the only major change in their division was the Bears getting a real QB, though one with an attitude problem.

So one would think the Vikings would be in decent shape for making the playoffs, and with a little luck, maybe getting to Miami, even with someone as "bad" as Jackson under center.

Instead, they sign Favre, who threw as many TDs as interceptions last year, whose advanced passing stats are at best equal to Jackson's, and is 39 -- 14 years older than Jackson -- and breaking down in a hurry. But that's not what's important, of course. What's important is that Jackson was 2-3 last year in 5 starts while Favre has won a Super Bowl (11 years ago) and thrown for 65,000 yards (that's a lot of mileage on one throwing arm) and is a proven winner (which counts for something in the NFL, but he's 39, after all).

After watching his body betray him time and again last year with the Jets, it's pretty likely that he won't play all 16 games and may be too beaten up to be effective in a playoff run. He's a shell of what he was. But the Vikings, in their wisdom, see "Favre" and think he's worth taking a flyer on. Maybe it's delusional. Maybe they're thinking Favre can push Jackson to be a better QB and finish the job when Favre's arm falls off in Week 7. But this is a team that once passed on a draft pick thanks to their own idiocy.

All things considered, though, the idea is incredibly dubious. Favre now is a middling QB on a good day. Of course, middling QBs have value -- Kerry Collins is just below him in QB rating last year, and his Titans won their division. At the same time, the main QB for Minnesota last year was 37 year old Gus Frerotte. So maybe having a middling QB is all you need if all the pieces are there.

Still, it seems to me that the Vikings would rather go 7-9 with team turmoil but with FAVRE than go 10-6 and have a shot at the playoffs. And that just doesn't make much business sense to me.
posted by dw at 7:43 AM on August 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


you ready for it? here it comes:

Retirement. That's where Brett Favre is a Viking.
posted by shmegegge at 8:00 AM on August 19, 2009 [35 favorites]


My favorite comment about this came from a tweet I saw, I think from Bill Simmons, the gist of which was that this whole ongoing saga with Favre sure isn't much of an endorsement for hanging out on the farm in Mississippi.
posted by penduluum at 8:00 AM on August 19, 2009


waitwaitwait...

that implies that all this religious fundamentalist hate-mongering doesn't actually serve the interests of Republican ideals so much as it serves the interest of Republican politicians. that... that can't be right, can it? SAY IT AIN'T SO!
posted by shmegegge at 8:03 AM on August 19, 2009


Pffft, he's no Chris Chelios
posted by crashlanding at 8:09 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


As a lifelong Packer fan I say 'best of luck Brent, Vikings suck'.

When he plays Green Bay at Lambeau the 2nd biggest crowd reaction will be when he steps onto the field. The fans will let him know that they still love him and that they appreciate everything he meant to the team.

The biggest reaction will be when he throws that first interception.
posted by Bonzai at 8:13 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Elway wasn't exactly a spring chicken when he retired. Same age as Favre.

Elway retired right after winning his second-in-a-row Super Bowl. The same will not be said of Favre.
posted by greasepig at 8:18 AM on August 19, 2009


I lost all the respect I had for favre when he deliberately let himself get tackled so the opposing linebacker, a buddy of his, could set a record.

Everything he has done since then just seems to logically follow.
posted by srboisvert at 8:26 AM on August 19, 2009


Cynical conjecture: signing Favre has nothing to do with trying to build a better team in order to win football games; it has everything to do with trying to excite a fanbase in order to build support for a new stadium.
posted by nicepersonality at 8:29 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I, for one, am pleased as punch that Favre is a Viking.

As a Bears fans, it just didn't feel right when he was with the Jets. Oh, I still cheered every INT I saw on SportsCenter and found myself caring about AFC games for the first time, but it felt...hollow somehow. My catcalls lost their 'oomph' as New York's mounting losses still meant nothing for my own team.

But now he's back in the NFC North and my 15-year hatred can blossom anew. Once more I can mockingly ask the TV is he "still feels like a kid out there" when Brian Urlacher or Tommy Harris runs his gimpy ass to ground, or loudly remark how nice it is in Mississippi this time of year when his pick count reaches the double digits, or make inappropriate painkiller addiction jokes until my wife leaves the room in disgust.

So thank you Brett Favre, for bringing schadenfreude back into my life. And for guaranteeing no one will want to be around me on Sunday afternoons for the next few months.
posted by total warfare frown at 8:41 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just transferred out of UW-Madison to UVA.

Oh fuck, I bet they're hopping mad in Madison about this. Brett Favre is nothing short of a celebrity there.
posted by kldickson at 8:42 AM on August 19, 2009


Needless to say, the move has made him an arch- villain in the town that built him into a legend.

The thing I think that's most interesting about the NFL is how perfectly it mirrors superhero comics. It's all about very muscular men in bright, tight clothing who're looked at as larger-than-life characters locked in titanic struggles, subject to sudden, shocking reversals and turnarounds. Not saying that's a bad thing at all (I've spent time as a superfan in both worlds), just very, very odd and kind of awesome.
posted by COBRA! at 9:03 AM on August 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Jerry Seinfeld. I would love to have more Seinfeld episodes to watch, but really respect the decision he made to walk away when the show was still so popular.

I wish the producers of M*A*S*H had done the same after season three.
posted by Zambrano at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2009


His best days are long behind him, as his stint with the Jets amply demonstrated. Other than shaking up the locker room, he's not go to do much for the Vikings. He's slow(er), his arm is shaky and his questionable judgments can no longer be overlooked now that all of his skills have eroded. Add to that his missing of almost all of training camp, and you have the Vikings paying a lot for little more than a name on a jersey. As a Giants fan, I look forward to seeing them lose.
posted by tommasz at 9:35 AM on August 19, 2009


His name is Brett, not Brent. I can maybe, sort of, see one, but TWO Packers fans making the same mistake in the same thread? Weird. Or is it some sort of dig?
posted by yiftach at 9:47 AM on August 19, 2009


Duplicate ... not the post, the retirement, unretirement, repeat
posted by ElvisJesus at 9:54 AM on August 19, 2009


Dig. Dig?
posted by josher71 at 10:00 AM on August 19, 2009


Farve's job is Minnesota is going to be essentially: hand off to Adrian Peterson or Chester Taylor and try not to get hit. Sometimes he'll have to try to throw one long. I'm not getting my hopes up, though.
I don't understand why some other Viking's fans I know are so excited about this. Yeah, the guy was a good quarterback, once upon a time. That time has clearly passed. Maybe he can mentor Jackson and Rosenfels, maybe he's healed enough from his surgery to have a moderately successful season, and maybe his presence will allow the Viking's staff to finally pick one of their young QBs to be "the future". But again... too many maybes.
I've always thought Brett Favre was giving far more credit in the media for his "legacy" and "toughness", etc., than he had really earned. They fawned over him so much, while treating other players, who had overcome much more difficult obstacles to get where they are, very poorly. As a life-long Vikes fan, I've never liked him, this changes nothing, and at least I've got a lot of practice in being disappointed by my team.
posted by amarie at 10:17 AM on August 19, 2009


you ready for it? here it comes:

Retirement. That's where Brett Favre is a Viking.


If it had been a snake, it would have bitten me.
posted by vibrotronica at 10:29 AM on August 19, 2009


The Favre signing, like the Michael Vick one, mostly reminds me that the NFL is a business. Neither one of those dudes is going to win you a Super Bowl, but they'll damn sure put asses in the bleachers.
posted by box at 10:47 AM on August 19, 2009


All things considered, though, the idea is incredibly dubious.

That's pretty much Vikings strategy in a nutshell.
posted by nanojath at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2009


The Vikings have regularly broken my heart season after season for the last 35 years. I see no change this season. /Flings off horned helmet in disgust
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:11 AM on August 19, 2009


His name is Brett, not Brent. I can maybe, sort of, see one, but TWO Packers fans making the same mistake in the same thread? Weird. Or is it some sort of dig?

They sell t-shirts in Wisconsin proclaiming "WE'LL NEVER FORGET YOU, BRENT!" It's a dig. I want one of those shirts.
posted by desjardins at 11:15 AM on August 19, 2009


This is a good a place to ask as any: fellow cheeseheads, do you really hate the Vikings more than the Bears? I'm from Milwaukee and we hate the Bears with the fire of a thousand suns. The Vikings are a blip on our radar compared to those FIBs. Yes I know I live here, blame my husband. So is it the rest of the state that hates the Vikings?
posted by desjardins at 11:17 AM on August 19, 2009


Brent T-Shirt

This is a good a place to ask as any: fellow cheeseheads, do you really hate the Vikings more than the Bears?

Sort of. I consider the Bears to be our ultimate rivals. The Grendel to our Beowulf. But I also have a begrudging sort of respect for them. They have after all won 9 NFL championships, the 2nd most of any NFL team.

The Vikings I just pure hate. They are losers who have never won it all.

It's more important to beat the Bears but it's more satisfying to beat the Vikings.
posted by Bonzai at 12:17 PM on August 19, 2009


This is great news... for John McCain!
posted by drezdn at 12:25 PM on August 19, 2009


Seriously though, as a Packer fan by birth location, I can't say that having Favre will really help the Vikings that much. If anything, the recent dealings with him prove that the Packers made the right decision in dropping him for Aaron Rodgers.

As far as Vikings/Packers rivalry. Among people I know in Milwaukee at least, the Bears are our #1 rivals, but that might be because there aren't many Vikings fans here.
posted by drezdn at 12:29 PM on August 19, 2009


So the Vikes have signed somebody who will play half a season before getting worn out and/or injured, and pissed off their (now) backups in the process.

This must be part of the reason I don't get sports.....I'd be happy that some other clown took the hits for the 1st part of the season and I got to wear the ring/title at the super-duper-bowl.

And if I'm getting paid for the bench warming - hell ya, let the other guy get beat up.

Although I do like the 'fill the seats' and 'build a new statium' angles.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:32 PM on August 19, 2009


"Statium", heh, heh. I will steal that one with gusto.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:31 PM on August 19, 2009


This Vikings fan has profoundly mixed emotions. I don't like the prima donna act from Favre any more than i did with Roger Clemens, and he's a tool for skipping training camp, but he could be the missing piece for postseason success this season and potentially be a mentor to the Vikings QBs

One approach would be to limit his playing time. Have Favre start, then put in Rosenfels or Jackson in the third quarter if the game's in hand or it's a losing effort. If he works at mentoring the other QBs, his presence could be a net positive even if he doesn't play the whole season. (I would not be shocked if he re-re-retired after the second game against Green Bay, especially if the Vikings win both games.)

The Vikings' management behaved shamefully during this whole soap opera. I completely understand the allure of Favre--they have an excellent team except for quarterback, they have a 1-3 season window, and the current QBs aren't good enough to win it all. But dragging Jackson and Rosenfels through months of publicly saying they aren't good enough is shameful.

It's a sweet setup for Favre. Eight games in a dome, two payback games against Green Bay, and an offense that will be very difficult to defend against.

The Vikings have a pretty sweet schedule this season. They could open 5-0 before tough games against Baltimore (home game) and Pittsburgh (away). Plus, most of their away games are stacked in the first half of the season, so weather shouldn't be that big of an issue in the second half of the season, with only one cold-weather game, in Chicago.

Favre did OK for the Jets last season until he got hurt in the late part of the season.

They are losers who have never won it all.

True enough. One reason I appreciate the Broncos is that they lost four Super Bowls too, which made people forget the Vikings did it first. Every 10 years or so they put together a great team which could win the Super Bowl, then screws it up somehow.

In 1988 they went 11-5, beat the 49ers in the playoffs at Candlestick Park (beating the the 49ers at home in the playoffs was unheard of in the 80s), then lost the NFC Championship game.*

In 1998 they went 15-1, set the record for most points scored in the regular season (since broken by the Patriots), then lost the NFC Championship by blowing a 20-7 lead. The worst part was they were still up 27-20 with two minutes left in the game when Gary Anderson, who had literally made every field goal and extra point attempt all season, missed a 38-yard field goal (at home! in a dome!) that would have put the game out of reach.

So, this year's just about on schedule, and at best I expect them to get tantalizingly close, followed by soul-crushing disappointment.

So the Vikes have signed somebody who will play half a season before getting worn out and/or injured, and pissed off their (now) backups in the process.

Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl as a backup put in for an injured veteran quarterback. Attention, football gods: I am not saying the Vikings will win the Super Bowl.

* The Vikings can beat any team and lose to any team. My brother and I have been fans since the Purple People Eater/Tarkenton days despite not being from Minnesota, and we finally made a pilgrimage to Minneapolis to see a home game for the first time. They barely beat the Lions. The 0-16 Lions.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:20 PM on August 19, 2009


Big Daddy Drew's response.
posted by nestor_makhno at 4:11 PM on August 19, 2009


This should lock Bart Starr in as the greatest Packer. I used to live in Pulaski, and there was nuthin up there big time (okay, seven year old cheddar, melts in the mouth) except that stadium and that team. Nothing in sports compares to how important that team is to those people; most other places with teams are metropolitan enough to have competing entertainments. Up there, the second choice is the Polka.
posted by dragonsi55 at 4:56 PM on August 19, 2009


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