I lived outside Washington, D.C., for awhile in the early 1970s and was amazed at the fan fervor over the Redskins, but it pales in comparison to Green & Gold mania here in Wisconsin.
So I gotta laugh when all the fussin’ and fumin’ began over news that – gasp! – Brett Favre has reconsidered his tearful March retirement and now wants to play football again.
What makes me giggle is the fact that people seem so genuinely shocked over this development, even though anybody who would remotely call themselves a Favre fan should have known that this day would come.
Should we now scold Favre for displaying the same love of football that we wildly praised him about for 16 years? He can be properly chastised for the seeming imperiousness of his March announcement and all the fuss that ensued (ie. commemorative special-issue magazines, newspaper inserts, etc.), but we ought not be too startled when sports heroes that we have pampered and gushed over for decades should act like spoiled, pampered children.
Heck, we celebrated the child-like qualities of his play on the field, the enthusiasm and recklessness, both attributes that presumably brought a good deal more joy than the anguish attached to those pesky interceptions.
So now what to we do? I think it’s great fun that the Packer Faithful – guilty as charged – can confront all of this with a different perspective than those old meanies who have to actually run the franchise. I want him back, because as long as a player that exciting can still do the stuff that made him famous, I want to watch it being done.
The Packers and Aaron Rodgers have legitimate beefs about all this, but as a fan I want Favre to come back. I felt certain he would have second thoughts, and so the Packers must have, too. I was emotionally prepared for this awkward development, but I don’t know about everybody else.
All the pundits and the great unwashed are embroiled in stating what they want to happen, but I think it’s more interesting to guess about what will happen. That ponderous intro is needed to make it clear this isn’t what I want, but it’s what I think is coming.
The team will hold fast to its commitment to Rodgers, some kind of accommodation will be reached that allows for his release (or through a trade) without enabling the grisly image of Brett turning up at Lambeau in a purple uniform or some other icky color, and so we’ll be subjected to the unseemly scenario of an aging Favre trying to find the magic once again.
My ex-wife used to explain that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. This is the way that many of the greatest players end up bowing out, having the particular ball or bat in question being unceremoniously wrestled from their cold, nearly dead hands.
If I can survive seeing Willie Mays as a Met, I can probably get through this, too.