Would you really rather see Babe Ruth weighing 300 pounds and struggling to GET to first base when he doesn’t hit a home run – or corkscrew himself into the ground swinging and missing wildly at a mediocre curveball? Would you pay good money to see him use his bat as a cane to hold himself up? Who would choose to see the Sultan of Sloth over the Sultan of Swat?
Would you choose to see over-the-hill Johnny Unitas a once great field general, struggling to make reads downfield or escape from a much faster pass rush? Would you like to see 70-year-old Gordie Howe struggle to skate around the rink just to say you saw him skate?
Would you really rather go to a Yankees Old-Timers Game to see Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford and Goose Gossage playing slow-pitch softball?
I for one would rather watch old film of Michael Jordan or Johnny Unitas or Wayne Gretzky when they were on top of their game. I’d rather watch a film of the 1975 World Series than see Ted Williams in a golf cart parading around Fenway Park. Who wants to see a bunch of overweight, turkey-necked octogenarians wave to the crowd wearing their old jerseys over hospital gowns. NFL Films and MLB Network offer us Willie Mays or Dwight Clark making “The Catch” in their heyday, not some Washington Generals exhibitionary reenactment. The memories are entrenched in the moment, in their time… where they belong. Admire the achievement, respect the man. Don’t look to embarrass Yogi Berra at age 80 by making him squat behind the plate!
Brett Favre has been a huge part of the tapestry of the NFL for 20 years, but Aaron Rodgers now looks a lot more like Kid Favre we remember from 1996 or even 2007 than Grandpa Favre we see in 2010. That doesn’t take anything away from his accomplishments nor does it diminish those memories. Sport is something we all love, perhaps because it is fleeting and in a constant state of change; perhaps because the Game remains essentially the same but every individual game is entirely unique and unpredictable.
Favre will retire but the NFL doesn’t afford the option of a Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Farewell Tour with Rocking Chairs and denture cream and ceremonies at every venue. Football, like hockey is a sport for the young and there is no place on the field for anyone who is not operating at 100%. Injuries happen to the young and healthy but it is irresponsible to put someone like Favre on the field. He could be injured permanently and at what cost? The Vikings are going nowhere at 3-7. Favre simply can’t take this team to the promised land and he knew this was a very real possibility when he returned this season. His 2009 season was a modern fairytale and that fell one play short when the Vikings lost to New Orleans in the NFC championship game. Still a great story but that was last year. The franchise need to know what Tavaris Jackson can do and they are painfully aware of what Brett Favre cannot do.
If you respect the memory and legacy of Brett Favre then you have to let him fade into the sunset. If you love someone, set them free. All that is to be gained by leaving Favre out there is to get him hurt, to denigrate his legacy and to wind up carrying him off the field rather than let him leave on his own.
Brad Childress is leaving town against his will for the good of the team. Brett Favre should follow suit as he was “Chilly’s” hire. The franchise has to do what they can to prepare for 2011 – if there is football – which Brad Childress and Brett Favre will not be a part of for certain.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org