Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Know When To Hold ‘Em but Definitely Know When to Fold ‘Em

“You know what I think is the saddest thing about sports? People who stay too long at the party.”

This quote is from one of my favorite cheesy chic flicks, The Cutting Edge and partially sums up how I feel about this whole Brett Favre debacle. Anyone who knows me understands that I am pretty much a walking billboard for Favre; I even posted how sad I was about his retirement back in March. Regardless of my personal, selfish feelings about wanting Favre to stay on the field forever however, there also comes a point in every sport where even the most renowned stars must admit that it is time for them to leave. Admit it to the world but most importantly, admit it to his or herself and bow out, hopefully gracefully. I had incorrectly assumed this is what happened with Favre this past spring when he officially got on television and cried for about six minutes of a ten minute press conference explaining how he had made the decision to retire.

His lifetime stats are impressive with about 260 games started in his seventeen year career he has 5,377 completions for 61,655 passing yards, and 442 touchdowns. Sure he threw a lot of interceptions and got sacked a lot as well but in a lifetime career there are few who could touch his level. Consider how Favre compares to another top rated QB, one of the top ten of all time who played eighteen seasons in the NFL, Johnny Unitas.

Unitas, just like Favre, played his career years split between two teams, the Baltimore Colts (for those of you under 25 the Colts were moved to Indianapolis in 1984) and the San Diego Chargers. Unitas spent 17 seasons with the Colts and finished his career in California for just one season the year I was born. He started 211 games, threw 2,830 completions for a total of 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns. His overall rating? 78.2. His interceptions? 253. His sacks? 230.

Favre is rated at 85.7 although in his lifetime he threw 288 interceptions and was sacked 439 times. Obviously that is a huge jump from the numbers put up by Unitas but Favre’s rating was achieved with one less year in and throwing for 21,416 more yards than Johnny. Divide Unitas’ total yards in half and Favre’s difference between their totals is more. See, impressive.

Lots of people far less publicly renowned than him have retired in this country; many of them were likely on the same day that Favre handed in his televised resignation. Those people may have received a nice cake, maybe some cards of encouragement and possibly a few tears from co-workers who had known them for years. I find it difficult to imagine that any of these people would come back to their place of employment just over three months later and express their interest in having their old job back, telling the employer they changed their mind and explaining they would have gone somewhere else if it was not for that pesky non-compete agreement (read: contract). On the overview of the past few weeks this is essentially exactly what Favre did and it is really time to pin down why.

Here we are. We are all waiting with bated breath to see what will happen to our favorite right arm from Mississippi. Will number 4 start with the Packers or be traded to a rival team? If traded what are the chances he will start there? When Favre went to Green Bay from Atlanta in the 1992 season he was about to turn 23, now at 38 I have to wonder, is this going to be his banner year or simply a publicity stunt by the Packers for reasons unknown. Regardless of what all this is about, it sure will be fun to watch it unfold on Sports Center where there has been a separate ticker category created just for Favre.

EDIT: Its the Jets. Now what? I am a Pats fan. I am a Favre fan. At least Green Bay was neutral. How can I possibly watch the JETS as a fan of New England. Fuck.


Judi FitzPatrick said...

It's hard to give up something you've been doing well for so long. I hope it plays out in Favre's best interest.
As for tomorrow, and you know I'm not a fan, "go Pats".
Peace and Love, Mum

draagonfly said...

So funny, I'm reading and thinking, what is Favre, like 45 or something? He's younger than me! LOL I wish *I* could've retired at 38! Sheesh! I understand how hard it is to give up what you love doing, although I think I'd want to go out on top and be remembered that way instead of risking looking like an ass - like say, Roger Clemens. ::rolls eyes:: Too bad the Red Sox have to claim him from way back. I surely hope he doesn't go in the Hall of Fame under our good team's name!

Rosebud Collection said...

You know what I really think..They are use to being popular and when they leave the headlines, they are not in the limelight and can't take it..Maybe I am wrong..Like a good singer, some just don't know when to stop singing..voice is gone, but love the limelight..Now didn't you enjoy my thoughts on this business?

Suldog said...

I think it's tremendously sad and tragic when someone who plays sports "retires" and then decides to come back. Don't they know that trick never works? It always ends up being a major disappointment, to both them and their fans. Why, if I did such a thing, I'd...

Oops! Never mind!

Samantha-Rose Hunt said...

How about I absolutely LOVED reading this...though I'm a HUGE Steelers fan, I've secretly always loved Favre for his ethic, and his ability. He's such an impressive individual...but all things MUST come to an end, and he's really aged out on this one in my opinion...his retirement was sad, but really, what is coming back going to do?

Bridgete said...

This is mostly in response to the edit...I'd say root for him to play well but insist the rest of the team still sucks and root for the Pats as a team...may be your only option...

Regardless, he should have just retired and left it at that. Granted, my uncle got bored after he retired but he didn't go back to his old job, he just decided to drive a school bus part-time.

ginger said...

i don't know anything about the crazy foozball, sorry. i was reading this and the words kept turning into "blah blah blah blah foozball, blah blah blah blah favre." so i'm basically saying i have nothing intelligent to add here. sorry.

i like your edit though. i understood that last bit, haha!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Mum - glad you're rooting even though you don't care :) I'll be watching tonight!

Trayce - yeah he is kind of young but after all those hits to the head a person can age quick

Rose - good point, maybe he is just an attention whore after all lol

Jim - your fans still love you & I bet when you retired it wasn't 6 minutes of teary blubbering on a nationally televised press conference. Although, I could see that...

Samantha - Oh no a fan of the black & gold huh? Well you & I can have some interesting rivalry talks with our way more awesome Pats this fall ;)

Bridgete - BRILLIANT!! That is exactly how I will root for him without actually watching the Jets play mind you. Or I could just suggest to Favre to drive a NYC school bus instead

Ginger - you go play foozball wit'cha friends...basically all this said was Favre kicks ass but it is seriously time to be done. Like Sex & The City, go out while you're ahead

Sahara said...

Gosh, I don't know what to say, all that money and he's SAD about retiring?! Are you joking? Now the party begins! ;)

Chris Stone said...

LOL! bridget... you gave me the wonderful comment to make during a Pats Jets game..."eh, Farve should be driving a school bus!"

Great write up. I wouldn't worry. Farve will get it out of his system... and he should do decently as a Jets QB. The alternatives for the Jets weren't good! It looks to me (based on not much) that there are personal things going on (depression?) and its sad to see it played out in the national media.

Brady has apparently stated that he is going to retire when he's 33. Yikes! He's 31 now. Yikes!

I really enjoyed the Pats game last night. I was mainly interested in the defense and man they are shaping up pretty nice! O'Connell looked good as back up QB but. Its so hard to gauge!

Chris Stone said...

“You know what I think is the saddest thing about sports? People who stay too long at the party.”

great quote, btw. and perfect source!

Moonchild Dancing! said...

Well. I know nothing about Favre or the Jets or anything else. A friend of mine is going to a Seahawks game.. pretty die hard fan of theirs. That's about all I know tho. But! I guess I do now know that Favre is retired! Yay. Learn something new everyday. :) Peace!

Judi FitzPatrick said...

Sorry to hear the Pats lost.

1. Favre should read "Playing for Pizza" by John Grisham. I just finished it the other day, it's a fantastic novel about the real American Football leagues in Italy. Maybe he should consider playing over there? ;-)

2. "When you're a Jet you're a Jet all the way", so it seems it might be time to give up rooting for Favre (ducks)!

Peace, Mum

Shea said...

I like Brett, and the Brett Farve saga has been entertaining, although I'm not really much of a football fan,
Great Kenny Rogers son too