Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Favre to stay retired.

So quarterback Brett Favre is staying retired, eh? Regardless whether or not Favre decided to play this season, I'm just glad all the speculation of "will or won't he" has finally ceased.

From a business standpoint, this would have been a great signing! Every home game (regular season and playoffs) would have been sold out. And sales of #4 jerseys (assuming third string QB John David Booty would have surrendered the number) would have rivaled that of Adrian Peterson's #28.

From a football standpoint, it would have been an iffy move. Favre (who will turn 40 on October 10) got off to a nice start with the New York Jets last season, throwing 20 touchdowns passes in the first eleven games. However, the Jets limped to a 1-4 finish with Favre throwing only two TDs and nine interceptions. While I am confident that his arm is healthy now, in what kind of shape would it have been come December? In fact, the Favre mystique in the final month may have faded. In his past two Decembers (covering eight games), Favre had thrown thirteen interceptions.

We all know that Favre would have been brought in for one reason and one reason only: To help the Vikings win a Super Bowl. Once again, that was no guarantee. While he led the Green Bay Packers to two Super Bowl berths (including one championship) in his first six seasons, Favre's postseason performances since then have been rather unremarkable.

In the nine postseason games after the Green Bay Packers' last Super Bowl appearance, Favre guided his team to a mere 3-6 record with more interceptions (18) than touchdown passes (16).

And some of those picks were downright hideous.

Who can forget the 2003 divisional playoff game at Philadelphia? In overtime, Favre threw an interception so ugly that it looked as though Eagles defender Brian Dawkins was making a fair catch on a punt. The Eagles would drive into field goal range and win 20-17.

And many recall Favre's Packer finale in an overtime loss to the New York Giants in the 2007 NFC title game. On the first possession of overtime, Favre totally misfired on an out pass to Donald Driver, resulting in an interception by the Giants' Corey Webster. Shortly thereafter, the Giants earned a berth in the Super Bowl with a 23-20 victory.

A couple of months after the '07 championship game, Favre tearfully said goodbye to his Hall of Fame football career....for about 4 months until he scratched the proverbial itch to play football again. With the Packers already committed to Aaron Rodgers for the 2008 season, Favre was traded to the New York Jets.

Favre being dealt not only marked the end of an era in Green Bay, it also liberated Packer Nation from the continuous alibis. Despite all of the playoff failures and the annual charade of keeping the organization guessing about his future, Favre seemed immune to criticism. Because he lifted the Packers out of the 20-year doldrums upon his 1992 arrival in Green Bay, fans were all too willing to forgive and forget the playoff failures of Favre's final ten seasons. But because Favre had the gall to continue his football career outside Green Bay, WI, it was only then that Packers fans discovered what many outside of Wisconsin have known for the past several seasons -- Favre had not been nearly as clutch in big games as he used to be and had also been a pain in the rear for management. Sure Favre was rightfully open to criticism for "un-retiring" last year. But it seemed many Packers fans started piling on about the diva like behavior Favre exhibited in Green Bay only after he left the Packers.

But I digress.

As I said at the outset, signing Favre would have guaranteed nothing in terms of the Vikings' chances of reaching the Super Bowl, much less improving upon their first round playoff exit of last season. But I believe Favre would have been a significant upgrade over what the Vikings currently have in place at the QB position. And that is the one reason why I'm disappointed the Favre signing didn't happen.

So now the focus shifts to Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels in an open competition for the starting quarterback position. And I have no concern whatsoever if the two QB's felt disrespected over all of the Favre talk. The fact is neither Rosenfels (a career backup his entire 8-year career) nor Jackson have accomplished anything to make the Vikings organization not feel the need to look for an upgrade at the position.

Best thing now is to put the whole saga behind and look to capturing another NFC North championship.



Mark Heuring said...

Sure Favre was rightfully open to criticism for "un-retiring" last year. But it seemed many Packers fans started piling on about the diva like behavior Favre exhibited in Green Bay after he left the Packers.

How did LBJ once put it? He may be a son of a bitch, but he (was) OUR son of a bitch.

Nice post, Brad.

kingdavid said...

It's fun to be able to muse on these types of things as a pasttime until curling season starts; then, it's all water under the bridge.