His statistics and accomplishments cannot be taken away, but many of the warm and fuzzy feelings fans had for Brett Favre during his career seem to be quickly fading.
When Favre announced his retirement from the NFL in March, the timing appeared perfect. He was going to walk away from the game on a high after helping his team reach the NFC Championship game.
With a Super Bowl ring and his name atop several lists of NFL records, he really had nothing more to accomplish on the field.
A legend in Green Bay, Favre was going to be an icon forever in that football-crazy city.
But the cheese heads don’t seem to be as fond of Favre now that he wants to come back. According to several media reports, a “Bring Back Brett” rally in Green Bay this week drew only about 30 people.
In the span of a few days, Favre’s legacy has already lost some of its luster. I always looked at Favre as the ultimate professional. He played the game the right way, he said the right things and he played through pain.
It seemed impossible for someone not to like him.
Suddenly, though, Favre has showed a selfish, me-first side. He has ripped Packers ownership, he has said he is above being a backup quarterback (even at age 38) and has demanded Green Bay release or trade him.
It is understandable that he is having second thoughts about retiring. For a professional athlete who has played the sport since he was a child, it has to be extremely difficult to call it quits.
Favre is not the first star athlete to want to hang on a little too long. Emmitt Smith did, Jerry Rice did, and even Michael Jordan should have retired earlier than he did.
Unfortunately, Favre did not learn from those who made the same mistake.
How many people will remember Smith as an Arizona Cardinal, Rice as an Oakland Raider or Jordan as a Washington Wizard? Not very many.
Favre has had an honorable career. He is one of the best quarterbacks ever to take a snap. He deserves to be remembered that way. But every day this comeback saga continues is another that he tarnishes those great memories.