It seems I write about Brett Favre at least once a year. That is mostly because of his waffling on whether he wants to retire and stay retired or play for some other NFL team.
My opinion, and we all know opinions are like a**holes, is that a really great sports star like Favre or a Michael Jordan or Emmett Smith should stay retired once they go out on top. This cuts the risk of their last years of a truly stellar career ending up a stinker. Likewise, I think the waffling appears a little too cute, like it is being manufactured by an agent and for greed. Also, as is in the case of football stars, they stand to get hurt really bad in any game so why push their luck at 39 or 40 years old?
With that said, I still like Favre. He’s a hell of a quarterback. He’s a Mississippi boy. And he was a Golden Eagle from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, one of my favorite colleges I didn’t attend. I did have a great connection with the school though.
While stationed at Gulfport in the Navy I hung out some with my Mississippi cousin Teri who was going to college at Hattiesburg. Being a college town, Hattiesburg had some killer concerts during the mid-1970s. It was there I saw Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review with Joan Baez, the Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, future mystery novelist and Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman with his band, the Texas Jewboys, as well as others on the tour. I think Teri got me a dorm room to stay in when I saw the original Lynyrd Skynyrd, before the plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and the others. Later, I also watched Jimmy Buffett play at the school he attended where he would sing at the university commons and horrify public school teachers from the rural areas there for continuing ed classes by singing songs like “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?”
I digress, but I thank cousin Teri — the last I heard she was a nurse in Alaska — for turning me on to Southern Miss and the fact that Favre attended there makes him somewhat okay in my books.
Favre also had quite a back story before the pros. From his bio in Wikipedia — although you’ve got to take it any bio there with a bit of caution — it said Southern Miss was the only school to offer him a scholarship. He was signed as a defensive back but wanted to play quarterback and was something like seventh-string at first. He had quite a bit of his gut removed after a car wreck that almost killed him. But he ended up with a spectacular history at USM and graduated with an education degree before the NFL draft and a Hall of Fame career with the Green Bay Packers.
As for the waffling on retirement, that can be looked at differently as well. To paraphrase ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd — or so I believe it was him — the other day, Favre lives in a big house in the middle of nowhere. And after having seen the city lights, he gets bored. If he can still play, then why not?
Favre faces some possible concerns including a rotator cuff issue but, waffling aside and the rumors he wants revenge on Green Bay , at least with Favre all the talk will be about football. This unlike the new Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Mike Vick and his past prison stint for promoting dog fighting, or the Cowboys’ QB Tony Romo and whether he will get back with Jessica Simpson, or the latest melodrama involving Terrell Owens and his new team in Buffalo. With TO, there will definitely be some melodrama over something.
Perhaps Brett Favre’s return to football with the Minnesota Vikings will generate a buzz more centered around football than something way out in the periphery. That is, unless Favre gets abducted by aliens who give him a never-seen-before play that wins the Super Bowl for the Vikings. Then, we have a whole new ball game.