The past few weeks have been a little rocky. Silently, I have cheered for you, hoping that somehow I could watch you play in Lambeau Field one more time. In a lot of ways, I moved back here to Green Bay to see you play. I wanted my boys to see the legend that is Brett Favre. Yet, you felt betrayed by the team that gave you everything. You decided you were bigger than the fans that cheered for you when you won, blamed the coaches and receivers when you lost, cried for you when you lost your father, prayed for you when your wife had cancer, and dreamed of you bringing another Super Bowl Trophy back to Titletown. Still, you decided that "personal reasons" were too strong ... and you pleaded to leave. I thought it could never happen (you've said it would never happen in several interviews). Then today, I heard the news that you had found a different shade of green. That you would leave the frozen tundra and move on to Broadway. I saw the picture above, and only one thought came to my mind ...
Brett Favre is dead to me.
The Brett Favre that I know was a hero, a superstar. He won the Super Bowl the first year I moved to Wisconsin. He won MVP awards. He threw touchdown pass after touchdown pass. He would celebrate like a young boy with his teammates. He would take a sack, stand up and say, "I thought you hit harder than that." He dove over linemen, linebackers, and goal lines. He broke records. And then more records. He loved the competition, his teammates, the fans, and Green Bay. Guys in this area dreamed to be like him. Women dreamed to meet him. Men hoped their boys would grow up to be like him. Everyone wore his jersey ... everyone. People named their children after him. He was a part of Green Bay ... and I know that Green Bay was a part of him.
This man I see on TV today is not Brett Favre. Brett would not think the grass was greener in New York. He knows there is no grass in New York. He would know that the Packers were 13-3 last year and the Jets 4-12. He would remember that he was sacked only 19 times last year ... while the Jets QB's were sacked ... 53 times. He would realize that the Jets play the Patriots ... twice. He would understand that the other team in New York won the Super Bowl last season. He would remember that Packer fans are the best in the world, while the Jet fans start booing players from the moment they are drafted. He knows the media in New York beats up stars, chews them up, spits them out, and then puts their picture on the back of the New York Post. He would realize that his likeness is on the cover of Madden '08, and that retirement was his healthiest move. He would see that New York has no Lambeau Field, no Holmgren Way, no cheeseheads, no Brett Favre's Steakhouse, no brats, and no polka. He wouldn't think the grass was greener in New York. He knows there is no grass in New York! Brett Favre would realize all these things and never play anywhere except for Green Bay.
This man who calls himself Brett Favre will play for the Jets this season, but it won't be the Brett Favre that I know. He may even throw a touchdown pass, but to me it won't be Brett. He may celebrate with his teammates and win a few games, but it won't be Brett. He may (will) get sacked from time to time, but it won't be Brett. I may see his face on Sportscenter, but it won't truly be Brett. The Brett that I knew will always be a Packer. Today, the Brett Favre that I cheered for has died.
Rest in peace Brett ... Sunday afternoons will never be the same with out you.