I’m standing in line at the local grocery store when out of the corner of my eye I spot a misplaced magazine.
As I move toward the rack, one hand carrying tonight’s chicken dinner the other a baker’s dozen cookies, I inch my way toward the rack careful to leave one foot in line. I don’t want to lose my spot.
The cover of the magazine shows a green sleeve designed with a nonchalant yellow stripe, a tattooed No. 4 on the jersey.
I know this jersey.
“Miss?” the cashier calls out to me.
I hear her, but I’m trying with all my might to grab the magazine.
“Miss, are you ready?” she asks again.
I look behind me and see the just-out-of-work folks falling into place in a line where the wait time has crept up to ten minutes. Instinctively, I nod for the lady behind me to go ahead.
I must see that magazine.
Brett Favre may not be the most well liked quarterback in the current scheme of things.
After all, it's tough to love a guy that decides to break the hearts of millions (yes, males included), make a sudden comeback the following season, re-retire, un-retire only to (almost) sign with a team Green Bay Packers’ fans can only describe as the epitome of rival, and then do an about-face and claim he’s not coming out of retirement after all.
Can someone say indecisive?
Alas, my point isn’t to write another “Dear Brett” letter nor is it to write about the sour taste he’s left in the mouths of many Cheese Heads.
Bear with me while I strive to make a case for a man I can sincerely say I still respect and admire in spite of the sour taste this Cheese Head has had in her mouth.
For those who have read my pieces (all eight!), my initiation into the Bleacher Report sphere began with an article originally titled, “Mike, Brett: Retire to Un-retire No More.” It was later retitled, “Players Who Declare Retirement Should Not Be Allowed to Play Again” by an intern editor, whose work I didn’t know I could reedit.
In this piece I was angry, bitter, and upset. To put it bluntly, I was being a girl.
While my draw to most athletes usually stems from their troubled past, Favre didn’t quite fit the mold of my favorite player. He was a genius on the football field and quite frankly looked like a Greek god in his green uniform. All sexism aside, the guy was undeniably great.
Say what you will about him, the guy has a track record like no other. He’s currently the only player with three consecutive AP Most Valuable Player awards, most career touchdown passes, and most consecutive starts as quarterback in the NFL. He led his Packers to seven division championships, four NFC Championship games, and achieved the ultimate in Super Bowl XXXI, where he led Packers Nation to a win.
A few other notable stats for the awesomeness that is Favre: he has the most career passing yards, most career pass completions, and most victories as starting quarterback.
He did all this in 17 seasons with Green Bay and as far as the media are concerned, only had one wife. Talk about committed, huh?
All humor aside, while his indecisiveness isn’t my favorite part about being a Favre fan, like everything else you have to take the good with the bad.
Yes the man also holds the record for most interceptions. No he didn’t win more than one Super Bowl.
But you can’t complete a pass unless you risk the interception. And the number of rings doesn’t equate the memories, stats, and dedication.
And the man did commit 17 years of his life to a nation that honored that committment with dedication, loyalty, and such an incredible fanhood it can only be described as scary.
While I at one point argued Favre should never have left, I can’t say I wasn’t happy just to watch him play when he did return, even if it was in a white uniform with a green stripe.
And with news breaking out today he will not, as previously thought, be coming back to play for the abominable men in purple, you have to respect Favre.
In an effort to sidestep the bitterness I may have had at one point, I have to admire a guy that won’t come back, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t guarantee 100 percent. You can’t be upset at someone who demands perfection of himself, not for himself.
At one point I thought he was unwilling to let go of the fame, but now I realize more than ever it’s not about the fame—it’s about the passion.
In terms of relationship, Favre is doing what’s best for the fans even though we may not recognize it right now. Because it’d be too easy to come back, become a sell out, and feed the greed and need for his passion. Instead, he’s letting us go to be free to find another who is able to give us 100 percent.
And you know what? We deserve it.
And on the fateful day at Albertson’s, as the cashier announced my total was $20 and some change, I stared at the crumpled $20 bill in my hand.
I knew I should have brought my wallet.
I ended up losing my place in line and trading in my cookies for the magazine.
But those are the sacrifices one makes for those you love. And, as I’ve said a million times before, while Favre is the only person who can break my heart into little pieces, I can’t hate the guy for it.
He’s done it for the betterment of the relationship.
So Brett, in the words of Sir Elton John, “Don’t go breakin’ my heart.”
But in case you do—thanks for the memories.