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Goodbye for Brett Favre might be short & bittersweet

Posted by centered2 on December 27, 2008

Brett Favre’s completion percentage may be high this year, but his arm strength might be at all-time low.

Brett Favre’s completion percentage may be high this year, but his arm strength might be at all-time low.

Well, of course we know how big this Sunday is for the Jets. If good fortune and better football prevail, the franchise might yet wriggle its way out of the bad ending it has penned for itself.




But there is another important bit of closure up for grabs, and that involves the quarterback. Brett Favre is not just another mercenary temp. He is a beloved, longstanding figure in the NFL, known for his straight talk and his straight-arrow spirals. He’s been playing in this league since 1991, started every game since the Packers’ fourth one in 1992, and led Green Bay to four NFC Championship Games.

Like Favre said this week: He holds the record for all the good and bad things a quarterback can possibly accomplish. New York gets to view his work right now, the way the Met features a special exhibition by Gustave Courbet.

But this game on Sunday against the Dolphins is different for Favre than all the others. In some ways, it’s more important than those postseason showdowns he’s directed. Because Favre can still leave his sport one way or the other, on his feet or his belly.

Way back in the offseason, Favre waffled about coming to the Jets, just because he feared a lousy coda. He had every right to be afraid. We tend to remember people on their gingerly creep out the door, not their fanciful, energetic entrance. It’s just the way we are, fickle to a fault.

A legacy of great accomplishment, a life of great meaning, can be too easily smudged by an extended, unworthy exit. If you don’t leave the stage gracefully, you’re bound to hear the walk-off music. And it will be loud.

Favre, too, may have overextended his welcome and his arm. He may become just another cautionary tale about a Hall of Fame quarterback who didn’t know when to quit. We’ve had plenty of them, great ones, from Johnny Unitas to Joe Namath.

It’s not a done deal, though. Favre just might do something special against the Dolphins, surprise us all. The right shoulder may heal just enough, converge at last with the coach’s game plan at the Meadowlands. If that happens, then anything may follow. Maybe Favre plays into January and comes back in July.

So far, it has seemed almost irrelevant to discuss Favre’s future with the Jets. Eric Mangini endorsed his return this week, but then nobody knows Mangini’s own future here. Favre seems reluctant to talk about this stuff until the season is done and his aching shoulder is thoroughly examined.

“During the course of the year, there were numerous times where I had been asked about my shoulder,” he said. “It had been hit a couple times. I don’t know. I mean, just knowing my body, there may be something …

“I don’t want to go through what happened last year, for me and everyone else,” he said.

If he is willing to swallow his pride, then Favre probably owes the Jets one more season in which he allows the team to transition to a younger quarterback. He hasn’t served that purpose at all this season, nor was that his mission. If he leaves now, the Jets will be starting from scratch at that position.

That’s asking a lot from a 39-year-old man concerned with his image and with no extended ties to this organization or its fan base.

Instead, prepare yourself for a short goodbye. Four more quarters against the Dolphins. Some scoreboard watching. If everything doesn’t go exactly right on Sunday, Favre will likely leave the wrong way.




One Response to “Goodbye for Brett Favre might be short & bittersweet”

  1. […] Goodbye for Brett Favre might be short & bittersweet « A Different … […]


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