Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Disturbance In The Force

The population of the NFC North has been shaken up quite a bit so far this offseason.

In my favorite NFL city, the Detroit Lions have traded away Shaun Rogers for basically a cheeseburger and fries. Or maybe some cornerback I've never heard of was included in the deal, too. Rogers was massive, and dominating...when he wanted to be. Thing is, he only wanted to be maybe five or six plays a season. The ultimate underachiever in Detroit, now he'll probably go be a stud D-lineman in Cleveland.

Offensive lineman Damien Woody also made his exit from The Motor City. But as any Lions fan knows, the offensive line has for decades been the team's most consistent(ly horrible) unit. What's one more hole in the offensive line? The draft is coming up soon, so I'm sure Millen & Co. will address those needs...by drafting a wide receiver.

Sorry. I didn't mean for this to turn into a tirade about how bad the Lions are even when they're nowhere near a football field. Instead, it's supposed to be a tale about the NFC North's elder statesman. Its mayor, if you will.

Today, Brett Favre announced that he's turning in his hardhat, packing up his stuff and going home for good. After the season he and the Packers had last year, I don't think anybody saw it coming. Why wouldn't he want to come back for another year with such a talented young team? Why wouldn't he want to come back to a game he proved he can still play at the very highest level? Why wouldn't he want to come back for another nine or ten mil to pad his checking account?

The answer was one that we mere mortals probably can't understand. He's tired. After 17 seasons, 275 consecutive starts, and more than a few bumps and bruises along the way...he felt it was time.

Being a Lions fan living an hour south of Green Bay poses a strange conflict. If Favre was easier to dislike, then it wouldn't have been such hard news to take. But he's the kind of guy you cheer for. He played the game because he truly loved it. And he just "accidentally" racked up every major quarterback record, and fame and fortune beyond his dreams, along the way.

A buddy of mine who's a Seahawks fan went to the Seattle/Green Bay playoff game in January. And he went as a Packers fan, wanting to see Favre get another Super Bowl ring. As cracked as that logic might seem to some, I knew where he was coming from. I wanted to see No. 4 finish this magical season with the Lombardi Trophy in his hand, too.

Granted...if the Packers had been playing the Lions in that game, I might have been whistling a different tune. But the Lions in the playoffs...ever...is such a preposterous notion, I didn't have to bother dreaming of that scenario.

After Green Bay got home field for the NFC championsip game, I figured it was a foregone conclusion that we'd be watching Favre vs. Brady in the Super Bowl. Talk about must-see TV!

But he looked pretty cold out there that day. And a bit like an aged gunslinger. And he threw that pick.

And now...a month and a half later...he's hanging up his six-shooters. On his terms.

Thanks for it all, Brett.

Should you decide to come back in a year and play some more, there's a team across the pond that could use you. They've got a few pretty good wide receivers. But watch that offensive line.

"It's hard to throw for
4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns
in good shape or bad shape."
—Brett Favre

1 comment:

  1. Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.

    Vince Lombardi