And That Is Why You Stay Retired

You smell that, Brett Favre? That distinct odor wafting into your aging nostrils means you're in New Jersey, where your celebrated career is going to die.

Go ahead and cry. We understand this time.

Yes, if you haven't heard by now (which would be astonishing, seeing as how even Beijing knows what's up), Brett Favre is now a quarterback for the New York Jets of New Jersey.

I don't even know how to feel about this whole thing, mostly because I was in the office until nearly 4 a.m. dealing with the saga and now seem to be experiencing some sort of post-traumatic annoyance disorder.

Let's see what the guy who gets paid to know how he feels about this whole thing has to say:

Mike Wise writes: "There should be a manual for sporting deities called 'How to Step Away Gracefully,' written by maybe Nolan Ryan or Jim Brown or Larry Bird, and it should be a must-read for every icon like Brett Favre before he retires. Because this unseemly saga that pushed into early this morning, with Broadway Brett headed to the New York Jets, severely damaged the myth of the heart-on-his-sleeve hayseed who restored glory to Green Bay."

Yeah, totally what he said. After the jump, some most excellent reader comments.

josefmahoney: The game is a corporation. It's richer with soap opera. It's richer with Favre playing. Madden will now get two Favre's in his next video game. Anyway, while this all seems quite fascinating because of its supposedly human dimension, its really a "tyranny of things." Welcome to the sophisticated fetish.

Indeed, friend.

AnthonyHeaden: Who are we, especially you sports writers, to tell a person they can or can't play a sport, A GAME, if they are still able to do so? As far as a legacy or whatever, do you really think the 1, 2, maybe 3 years he will play in NY will determine who he was as a player..........nope, not at all. Do we remember Jordan for his Bulls years or his time with the Wizards...........HISTORY CAN'T BE ERASED!

Nice theory, but tell it to Wikipedia. Or Google, for that matter. And wait a doggone minute here! You're trying to tell me that Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls? I thought he was just some dude who wears dangly earrings and makes poor draft decisions for the Bobcats.

Reader pgiaquinto brings us back to reality:

pgiaquinto: What a pathetic ending to a great career. Favre in New York is Bob Dole for Viagra, Martha Ray for Polident and John McCain for President......sad, sad, sad.
donmac1: No one can blame Green Bay. Enough is enough! I am so sick of seeing Favre's crying mug on every sports show I could hurl! Brett have a great season with the Jets! At this stage either win another super bowl or retire with a broken leg. Other wise no one cares!

I was with you all the way until "broken leg," donmac.

WiltonManorsSteve: Sportswriters are, in general, whiners. The problem with Favre was that he wasn't articulate enough to sit in the broadcast booth, so he needs some more coin in the bank before he goes to work for RE/MAX.
jhpurdy: Wow! Some people sure can get worked up over a sports column. Look, Favre told the Packers he was done, formally retired and then said, whoa, I want to come back. If I quit my job, tell my employer I'm done, you think he would automatically take me back if I changed my mind? We'll see how he adjusts when he goes from being a small town darling in Wisconsin to playing in the glare of the New York media spotlight. If he re-retires half way through the season, I won't be shocked. It seems like everyone here has forgotten, but Favre had a terrible season in '06. At 38, he's more likely to have another terrible season tha another great one.

And finally, my personal favorite:

dmyers53217: Thanks to West Side Story, we know this will end when they cart him away:
When you're a Jet, You're a Jet all the way From your first cigarette To your last dyin' day.
When you're a Jet, If the spit hits the fan, You got brothers around, You're a family man!
You're never alone, You're never disconnected! You're home with your own: When company's expected, You're well protected!
Then you are set With a capital J, Which you'll never forget Till they cart you away. When you're a Jet, You stay a Jet!

What do you think? I'll be writing more on Favre, the Packers and the Jets over the coming days, but not in the annoying way that everyone else will. Think contests, pointing fingers, laughing and linking to YouTube videos like this one.

By Lindsay Applebaum |  August 7, 2008; 2:03 PM ET  | Category:  NFL
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

...Chad Pennington is going to lead the Vikings to prominence and resurrect his career.

Posted by: Andy | August 7, 2008 2:58 PM

Thompson got what he wanted: Favre buried in a place where he doesn't have a chance for revenge, let alone getting to a Super Bowl.

Favre's agent must be ecstatic over what his bank account is going to look like after he negotiates all those TV commercials.

The Jets ownership is doing their Happy Dance, now that someone's actually going to buy their merchandise.

Brett, forget about the Elway-style good-bye. You're not going to get it in this lifetime.

Posted by: approximate | August 7, 2008 3:33 PM

Lindsay, is Bryce your brother?

Posted by: Cart | August 7, 2008 3:41 PM

I don't think anyone is telling Brett Favre he should or shouldn't play (well, maybe wise is), but the truth is if these sportswriters weren't ignoring the other 31 teams in the NFL (and every other sport for that matter), to talk about Favre, everyone would be much less upset.

And about his "legacy", that has absolutely no place in this discussion.

Players don't play because they want to establish / preserve their legacy.

Players play because they want to win.

Whatever happens in NY, I'd much rather have 24/7 Redskins coverage than Favre coverage.

I'm going to RI.... peace out.

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | August 7, 2008 3:53 PM

@ Rep. Shuler:
I generally agree with what you wrote, but if Favre wanted to play because he wanted to win, he would have stayed in Green Bay when they invited him back last week. Unfortunately, little Brett's feelings were too hurt to stay.

@ Lindsay:
You say you were in the office until 4 AM in the morning? That's violating the first rule of any job: never talk about how hard you're working--you've got to make it *seem* easy.

Posted by: EK | August 7, 2008 5:06 PM

@ Cart - Nope.

@ EK - Working late and working hard are very different things.

Posted by: Lindsay | August 7, 2008 6:41 PM

@ EK.

Good point. Players have all kinds of reasons to play, but I guess my point was that they don't take their "legacy" into account.

But I suppose us fans and sportswriters never get that.

We say that players should or shouldn't retire based on their legacy.

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | August 7, 2008 10:32 PM

i don't get how you or mike wise think or view this situation. Frankly Farve can come back as many times as he wants. The packers own him via the contract, so they could have done what they wanted. If they thought he wasn't good enough to get them a championship, and rodgers was.. then let the two compete. If they really thought he was so washed up then they would have no problem either letting him compete or releasing him, or trading him to whom he asked for.

But no, they wanted to stone arm him into staying retired, at one point offering him a 20 million dollar bribe to go away. Well farve called there bluff and this is where we are now. Frankly i could care less about favre's legacy, and if he's out there doing something he wants to do, and he can do it at a competative level.. so be it.

Oh and for the record.. no one remembers or talks about jordan playing for the wizards, not even wizards fans.. and is still regarded as the best player of all time. What farve did for green bay is never going to change, and neither will his records there. He could be the worst qb ever in NY and he would still be a first ballot hall of famer, so spare me your he should know when to retire speach. He was SECOND in mvp voting last season so he clearly still has something left in the tank.. this post and wise's article are a joke.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2008 1:03 AM

"But no, they wanted to stone arm him into staying retired, . . ."

How does one "stone arm" one into doing something? And would the procedure involve mineral projectiles or blazing mary jane?

Posted by: Rick James | August 8, 2008 7:32 AM

I could have stone handed him into retirement, all they had to do was ask.

Posted by: Carlos Rogers | August 8, 2008 9:27 AM

"no one remembers or talks about jordan playing for the wizards, not even wizards fans.. and is still regarded as the best player of all time. What farve did for green bay is never going to change, and neither will his records there"

I agree 100 percent, anonymous. That's why I can't stand when people talk about ruining a legacy. It's almost like the media and fans give themselves too much credit.

Really, when was the last time you heard someone say "That Johnny Unitas WOULD have been the greatest quarterback of all time if he hadn't played that terrible season with the Chargers at the end of his career."

What's done in Green Bay is done and can't be erased.

I think my frustration comes from the fact that they dedicate over half of freakin' sportscenter to this guy every night. He's not even the best player in the league. He's not even the best quarterback in the league....

Posted by: Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) | August 8, 2008 10:49 AM

You are wise beyond your years, Lindsay.

"@ EK - Working late and working hard are very different things"

Posted by: Lindsay | August 7, 2008 6:41 PM

Posted by: flynnie, from work | August 8, 2008 6:54 PM

Lindsay - Tried to post some more, but only got a white screen every time I clicked your blog. Is the transmigration of data like the transmigration of souls, so that you see a white light at the end of the post? Does mean I'm going to heaven? It' also happened on the the SportsBog and the Nats Journal blog to people other than me. Just couldn't get beyond the home page to read great thoughts you have thunk.

Posted by: flynnie | August 9, 2008 10:07 AM

The only reason the Jets signed Favre is so Brett can be the one who discovers Jimmy Hoffa's body at the Meadowlands, kicking off his glorious second career as "Brett Favre, P.I.".

Posted by: Anonymous | August 12, 2008 12:30 PM

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