Brett Favre’s transformation from easy going, just one of the guys, to diva, attention craving, all about himself is officially complete. On a day when the biggest NFL story should have been remembering the life of Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, Favre coverage dominated media outlets national and local.
Were there any two guys that were more polar opposite than Johnson and Brett? Johnson loved being a defensive coordinator; he was out of the spotlight and was one of the best in the game. Favre wanted all the limelight, very ironic that the day Favre retired was the day that Jim Johnson passed away.
In the movie “American Gangster” Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) was a drug dealer who made a point not to draw any unnecessary attention to himself. He attended the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden in a glitzy fur coat and hat that his wife bought him and Lucas was seen. From then on Frank Lucas was on the radar of law enforcement which led to his eventual downfall.
Brett Favre’s ruined reputation started with his indecision on whether to retire or not. The last couple of years he was apart of the Green Bay Packers it seemed like he wanted each season to be a farewell tour, all about him. #4 really made himself look bad when he put the team and city that had worshiped him in an awkward position last offseason. Favre tried to orchestrate a trade to the division rival Minnesota Vikings, stabbing every Packers fan in the back. Eventually he did un-retire and played for the New York Jets. The Jets started off the season 8-3 and then fell apart down the stretch. Favre was terrible at the end of the season swoon and long after the debacle he admitted he played hurt. The “old warrior” put himself ahead of the team, caring more about his personal accomplishments than the Jets getting into the playoffs.
This offseason we all went through the same process we did the one before. Favre announced his retirement then started to show up at a local high school where he lived in Mississppi. Brett and his agent Bus Cook leaked stories to all the media outlets keeping Favre in the headlines day after day. The long drawn out soap opera came to an end Tuesday when he told the Minnesota Vikings he would not come back.
I have no problem with an older player who is indecisive on whether to continue to play professional sports. Being an athlete, while fun, is a very physically and mentally demanding job. The games are the easy part, all the work to get ready for the games is the hard part.
The way Brett Favre went about the last two years really bothered me. I know media coverage wasn’t the same, but when Michael Jordan made his two comebacks I do not remember it playing out in the public eye like the Favre drama did. MJ decided to return and he was back, there was not all this waffling that Favre did in the media everyday. Two years ago Brett used the media too try and strangle hold the Packers into giving him what he wanted. This year the only reason I can come up with was because Favre could not live without the cameras.
Just like Frank Lucas, Brett Favre’s demise came when he started to draw attention to himself. Favre pulled off the impossible; he found a way to make it uncomfortable for the Green Bay Packers to retire his jersey. He should be remembered with all the great cheese heads; Vince Lombardi, Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, Jerry Kramer, and Paul Hornung. Favre could have a statue of himself at Lambeau Field. Lucas went to jail, but cut his time dramatically by helping Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) capture corrupt law enforcement officials. Brett Favre will need to do something similar to repair all of the damage he has done in the place he was once loved and respected. Only problem is Brett does not have any corrupt general managers to rat out to decrease his sentence as the bad guy. Brett Favre will have to serve his jail time before he is endeared by the Packers fans once again.