What else can I say about Brett Favre retiring that other people haven’t?
I was surprised to hear it today, but at the same time, I wasn’t all that surprised. I heard it on TV when the news first broke. See, I had the misfortune (or luck) in that I had car trouble (i.e. flat tire) and I was stuck at home waiting for DH to put some fix a flat in the offending tire so we could hobble that van down to get a new tire put on it. But I digress…
The Green Bay Packers of my growing up years were not very good. I am 38 years old (had my birthday in January), so I completely missed all the glory years. I remember when I was a kid, after a Packer’s loss, how all the dad’s in the neighborhood would get together in the Dad equivalent of the old “housewives gossiping over the fence” to play Monday Morning Quarterback and grouse about how Bart Starr was a much better quarterback than he was a head coach. I remember how, since Bart couldn’t coach the Packers back to glory, Forrest Gregg surely would save the team (he didn’t). I remember the 1987 strike season when the replacement players played better than the regular team. I remember when the Packers had four different placekickers in the same season. I remember the glimmer of hope in 1989 when the team went 10-6 and just missed the playoffs (which was good enough for us since they were something like 4-12 in the year before. When winning seasons are few and far between, you take what you can get.).
For my entire childhood, those of us who were not around yet or too young to remember the Lombardi era had to listen to our parents and our grandparents, our aunts and uncles talk about the Packers of the 1960’s. They talked about the first two Super Bowl’s, of Starr and Hornung, of Ray Nitschke, and of Vince Lombardi. They reminisced of those glory days, and I suppose it was to help them endure the losing seasons. Or maybe they thought it could help them channel some good luck the Packers’ way.
What Brett Favre helped to do (and he did not do this himself), was to, not only bring back the glory to Green Bay, but he also helped to bring back some respect for the Green Bay Packers as a team. And for an entire generation, for those of us who were not around for the Lombardi Era, we finally got our own “Glory Years”. And for that, he will always have this Packer Fan’s undying gratitude.
I have enjoyed watching Brett Favre play for the past 17 seasons. Whether he was playing good or bad, it was never boring watching him play. I’m glad that he left on top and on his own terms. All of us who watch football on TV and who played the game are lucky to have witnessed Brett Favre play and break records and win. But we Packer fans are blessed and fortunate to have been able to call him “ours”.
I will not be sad today. I will not mourn the end of this era. Instead, I will raise a tall, cold one in Brett Favre’s honor and say “thank you for the memories.”
And see you in Canton.
P.S. Brett, now that you are retired, please, please…PLEASE don’t let yourself go, because I really don’t want to see you pitching Nutri System on TV. That’s one Marino accomplishment that you don’t need to beat. 🙂