From where I stand there is one big thing missing from this ridiculous Brett Favre saga – an acceptable message from him directly to Green Bay Packers’ fans.
Doesn’t anyone think Favre owes Packers’ fans an explanation? Favre has enjoyed arguably the best career of any Packers’ player. Sure, he gave the Packers a lot, but Packers’ fans also supported him through 438 sacks, 314 interceptions, 10 playoff losses, one public drug addiction, and countless awkward touchdown celebrations (my favorite was that weird double shoulder-pat thing from the 90s).
Packers’ fans stuck up for Favre when people said he was washed up. Packers’ fans bought into Favre’s philosophy that it was better to gamble and lose, than to play not to lose. Packers’ fans actually believed him when he gave that teary “I’m just tired” retirement speech (I watched Favre highlights for a week). For 16 years, the Packers and Favre were in it together, and both parties got a lot out of the deal. That’s why Favre owes Packers’ fans at least a few words. Didn’t the fans do the same for him when he left?
I’d like to see Mr. Ego say something that indicates he actually cares somewhat about the misery of having to watch him don the Minnesota Vikings’ purple. I mean, this is a big deal, and he must know it. Nothing is worse than seeing a Vikings’ fan happy, and they are happy (at least for now). I was at the game at Lambeau Field they called “Randy Moss’ Coming Out Party,” and this is worse than that. Way worse.
So what has Favre said to us? Well, apparently he thinks the true fans shouldn’t really give a damn. In the press conference when he was introduced as a purple moron, the Indecisive One told Packers’ fans how to feel.
“If you’re true Packer fans, you understand. Will it be different, sure it will. Is it odd, the way it’s unfolded, absolutely. But, if you’re a true fan, you say, you know what, he chose to continue playing, they chose to go in a different direction. It’s part of the business, he has to play somewhere if he wants to play, and once again, this is a perfect fit.”
Come again? Did Favre really think this line of thinking through? First of all, who is he to say who a real Packers’ fan is? He’s a freaking Viking! Secondly, the whole goal of this “business” is to create fanatical fans. Is he trying to tell us to stop caring so much? If we did, would he still get to make so much money? Definitely not (so that can’t really be what he’s saying at all).
If we go back to June, when Joe Buck asked Favre if joining the Queens was “a knee to the gut to people in Green Bay,” our man Brett took a slightly different angle (which we noted in Brett Favre Thinks He’s Vince Lombardi):
“I don’t know what to tell them. Vince Lombardi went to the Washington Redskins, and his name’s on the trophy. We give that trophy out every year. I don’t hear too many people going, ‘That damn traitor, he went to Washington.’”
Now that’s a real doozy. In this quote, Favre essentially says it all. First off, he admits he doesn’t know what to say. Is that because he hasn’t thought about it? Or because he doesn’t understand what Packers’ fans are all about? Packers’ fans certainly don’t care that much about who joins the Redskins, or the Jets, or even the Seahawks, in the case of Mike Holmgren. Two teams matter more than any others – the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. How can you be the most famous Green Bay Packers’ player for 16 years and not know that? Impossible. So I’ll take that to mean Favre hasn’t really thought about it, and/or he doesn’t really care. And it goes without saying, even mentioning Lombardi at this stage is sacrilege of the highest degree.
So what should Favre communicate to Packers’ fans? I’d just like to hear him say that this was an excruciatingly tough decision. That it doesn’t feel right to be putting on a (goofy) purple jersey. That he agonizes over the pain this causes the people who cheered him on all those years; the great people he met wherever he went. But he’s not going to say anything like that. He doesn’t really give a shit. He certainly appears not to have thought about it much at all. I guess there’s an unfortunate reality here, something most of us have suspected for a long time – Brett Favre is a real douchebag. And that’s what he’s telling Packers’ fans.
Ed. note: Since we have been sifting through the Brett Favre wreckage for some time, and because it will largely come to define the 2009 NFL season, we decided to save this post for the eve of said season. Tomorrow, the Packers will begin their quest for the NFC North crown, and one Brett Lorenzo Favre will be looming the entire way. I, for one, will be raising a glass to his utter destruction and the Packers’ ultimate triumph. And so, on to the task at hand…