When I found out about Brett Favre’s retirement on Tuesday, I thought it was unfortunate to see one of the best-ever leave the game. And then I turned on ESPN – the worldwide leader in torturing sports news until it dies a horrific, gruesome death. Multiple analysts sat around a table, discussing the retirement, and taking calls from former players who told about their favorite Brett Favre moment. If it wasn’t for the “BREAKING NEWS: Brett Favre Retires” headline, I could have assumed he died. It’s not that I have a real problem with the way the media handles things such as the retirement of a great player, but it is certainly laughable at the very least. I’m questioning the fact that an entire day’s worth of programming was dedicated to Brett Favre, his decision, and a lengthy roundtable discussion about how great he was and the moments when he was at his best. If you were able to record the broadcast, you can go back and notice Trey Wingo almost shedding a tear.
How will we move on? How can I love the game now that the player who arguably loved it the most is gone? Do you think I want to watch Aaron Rodgers come to Cleveland in 2009 and not Brett? Of course not, but I’ll have to accept it for what it is. He had a magnificent career that is almost beyond words right now; only time will tell just how great he really was. I am honored to say I got to see one of the best-ever play, but that will sink in even further later on as his records (particularly that consecutive games streak) remain intact.
I have to admit, though, that it was moving to see Brett cry at his press conference. It’s a general occurrence for great players to cry when it’s all over, but this one had the feeling of legitimacy, and it was genuine, much like his enthusiasm for the game. That is what I wanted to see. I don’t need analysts reminiscing, as if they couldn’t just call Brett on the phone and say hey.
Say, ESPN loves vapid gimmicks now, so maybe they can literally stage a funeral for Brett Favre’s career. At least it would be better than their “Who’s #1?” competition. Keep in mind that Kelly Slater was in that…