undefinedFran Tarkenton, Cris Carter, and everyone else needs to shush …
Playing in the NFL is not a privilege nor is it a right. It's hard and a tremendous pain in the ass, and anyone who has covered the game or played it knows that deep down inside. Of all the guys in the league, there only a handful who have any real leverage even though they are the true commodities the game has to offer. For all the bluster of Jerry Jones and Al Davis and Dan Snyder, no one comes to games to see them. People come out to see Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre. Beyond that, except for writing the checks for all of their terrible personnel moves, no one cares about them even when they fleece municipalities and states for stadiums their teams don't need. However, when Brett Favre hems and haws over the end of his career and uses every bit of leverage he has, people begin howling as if he's somehow broken a covenant with the game and the fans, which is odd since he is the reason the Packers became relevant again, won a Super Bowl, and were able to raise the funds to improve Lambeau Field. Without him, it's plausible that the team would have been at best mediocre and possibly worse. Do you really think God would have told Reggie White to sign with them had Favre not been there?
Fran Tarkenton, a bitter loser in his own right, came out on Sirius Radio today slamming Favre. “I think he has been a great flamboyant quarterback, but he has made more stupid plays than any great quarterback that I've ever seen,” said the three-time Super Bowl loser. “It's an absolute circus, and it takes away from all the other things that are going on with the Vikings, with the NFL. We're getting ready for a football season and this is a circus and I just have no interest in it.”
Could have fooled me Fran. Sounds like you're simply jealous you didn't have that much juice left at the end of your own overrated career. The former host of the investigative news show That's Incredible and a respected motivational speaker in high demand at Kawanis Club meetings around the midwest pontificated on Favre's betrayal of Packers fans and sounded downright incoherent with rage over Favre changing his mind and – gasp – getting away with it.
Favre is and always has been a rare talent. Ever since his first full year with the Packers, he's been an icon in the NFL. One could argue that he helped do more for the league's bottom line than any 10 teams combined. The bottom line is that Favre is one of the few players in football to have earned the right to call his own shots, and after 19 years of leaving pieces of his body from Green Bay to Los Angeles to Dallas to New York, he deserves a little more respect. It astounds me that folks are jumping all over this as if he had somehow just screwed up the middle east peace process or somehow insulted all the talking head ex-players who sit in booths with makeup on discussing whether or not Jay Cutler is a whiney little girl.
Favre has done nothing more than exert his leverage. Had he not, I would have zero respect for him, and I think deep down inside, no one else would either. I sincerely believe his emotionally charged sentiments about leaving and coming back. I mean, seriously, the guy has played football his entire life and has never done anything else for a living. From a professional standpoint, this is all he has. To give that up is almost impossible. Imagine being told that the one thing you're really, really good at is over when you're 40? Now imagine the opportunity to extend doing that for one or two more years on your terms when everyone else has to follow the dictates of the game?
Bottom line: Favre is good enough to play another year or two and regardless of how he does it, he's earned the right to do it however he wants, and if a team like the Vikings wants to deal with that, more power to the guy.
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Written by Sean Neumann