One would be hard-pressed to find a bigger Brett Favre fan than myself. I've been a Green Bay Packer fan for the better part of three decades and pretty much bleed green and gold, especially where No. 4 has been concerned over the years.
It's fairly simple: I love Brett Favre.
I love his passion for the game of football.
I love his take-no-prisoners style of play.
I love his toughness, his heart and the joy he provided fans during the 16 wonderful seasons he patrolled the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
Favre is a winner. When he arrived in 1992, he helped revive a Green Bay franchise that had been stuck in slumber mode for far too long. The NFL Hall of Fame-bound quarterback eventually led the Packers to a Super Bowl title and made it fun to be a Green Bay fan again, thanks to his magical arm and boyish enthusiasm.
During the course of his legendary career, Favre rewrote the record book for NFL quarterbacks and won just about every honor imaginable. He is the only player to earn three league MVP awards.
When Favre announced his retirement in March, it was a bittersweet moment for all Green Bay fans, myself included. Selfishly, no one wanted to see his magnificent run end. But the reality was, Favre, like most 38-year-old quarterbacks, was past his prime, and the timing was right to go.
The Packers gave him a great send-off and made plans to celebrate his career during the upcoming season by retiring his jersey. The team also gave him every opportunity to change his mind, just in case he decided to come back for one more season.
At some point, Green Bay, as a franchise, had to move forward and look at a future without Favre, who had done some waffling the preceding two or three off-seasons while trying to decide whether or not to retire.
Even with Aaron Rodgers waiting in the wings for his chance at quarterback, the Packers made an offer to Favre in March, giving him one final opportunity to "unretire."
Favre said "no thanks."
Yet, here we are four months later, and Favre has decided he wants to come back and play another season.
This is where I have a real problem with Favre and a number of other professional athletes, who can't seem to make up their minds when it comes to staying retired. If you are going to call it quits, then please make a graceful exit and enjoy life away from the game.
Just retire already!
The Packers moved on. They drafted two quarterbacks in April.
I moved on.
Most clear-thinking fans moved on.
Why can't Favre move on?
Why can't he just be a man of his word and stay retired?
People are certainly allowed to change their minds, but again, the Packers gave him every chance to come back before they made the commitment to go forward with Rodgers.
Since Green Bay management has not exactly been thrilled by Favre's latest decision, the former quarterback has gone on the attack, using an interview with Fox News to point fingers, lay blame and basically build a wall between himself and the team he supposedly loves so much.
Favre's foolish arrogance has been on display the past few days, and it's an ugly side of the man most people have not seen before.
Since the Pack is unwilling to let him come back and automatically resume the role of starting QB, Favre has asked for his release so he can seek employment with another team.
Of course, that's not going to happen. Green Bay can't afford to let Favre potentially go a division rival or even an NFC rival, even if it is only for one season.
Maybe they can trade him. But does Favre really want to potentially taint all he has done in a Packer uniform? Does he want to be remembered as another selfish pro athlete who can't seem to grasp when the time to walk away is beckoning?
I love Brett Favre. But I do not like who or what he has become over the last few days: a selfish, self-serving jerk, who is willing to throw as many of his old friends under the bus as needed to achieve his ultimate goal. "Jay C. Upchurch