Friday, August 28, 2009

Soooo...they're NOT rooting for Mr. Wrangler Jeans?

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This is a little belated, but I did compile the information right as Brett Favre unretired for, what is it, the sixth time now? My only regret is my prediction of a Week 6 return was waaaaaaaaaaaay off base. How could I underestimate No. 4? Of course he'd make a flip-floppy decision in the course of a few weeks, not a few months.

In honor of my upcoming weekend retreat to the Cheese State for the treat of all treats - a live, offline fantasy draft (San Francisco Rockfish: Champ-ee-un-ship) - I thought I'd just remind the world of Wisconsin's disdain for Grizzly Favre by reposting a sampling of Facebook status reactions.

Nate Brenn "There's not a chance, from my standpoint. I'm going forward with the guys we have." - Vikings Coach Brad Childress, July 30, on signing Favre

Ben Breiner hmmm, Packers fans being delightfully vengeful toward ole #4. I approve

Kayla Hagens Ugh...go away Favre!

Katy Culver NFL.com - http://ow.ly/ksUv Favre about to sign with Vikings. Now do y'all know why we're sick of him here? #4=LAME

Nate Carey The only thing better than pro football is pro football with spite. Thank you Brett, I eagerly anticipate watching you flounder and fail.

Jordan Schelling "When I'm done, I'm done. And you can't go back." — Brett Favre

DJ Jarvis wishes Favre would just go away

Savannah Ziegelbauer hates that my boyfriend is a vikings fan, especially today

Mick Kelly can't wait to boo when #4 runs out of the tunnel at Lambeau in a purple uniform

Lindsay Chrisler ...Does he not care at ALL about his reputation? I know he just wants to stick it to Ted T. and it'll no doubt make for some amazing football games...but come on! Last year was one thing - I understood. This year hits way too close to home. We h.ad such a good thing Brett and you went and shit all over it...boooo

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Here's my two cents: first off, Lindsay makes an interesting point. I realize that to be a public figure, you have to ignore the critics for the most part in order to keep yourself sane - I get that as a lowly sportswriter, so I imagine that one of the most famous athletes in the country gets that too.

But, I mean...so precious few athletes get so attached to their city that they reach worship status.

Yogi Berra in New York. Derek Jeter's getting there.
Larry Bird in Boston. Tom Brady's getting there.
Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Manny Ramirez, for some odd reason, is getting there.

And then, you have those athletes who people literally feel attached to. We're talking about the smaller markets, because even the Birds and Kobes get swallowed up by the size of those cities. These select few athletes have become synonymous with that city's name because of what they've done for the local team and the community. I'd put Denver's John Elway, Cleveland's LeBron James, St. Louis' Albert Pujols, San Diego's Tony Gwynn, and Detroit's Chauncey Billups in that group, among perhaps a few others.

Finally, you have...Brett Favre. I lived through two Super Bowls in Denver. I've read all the books on Elway. I have two Elway posters hanging on my wall, and I'd count the Broncos as my least favorite Denver team through the years. Kyle Orton is STILL being compared to No. 7, despite there being three full-time, multiple-year starters (Brian Griese, Jake Plummer and Jay Cutler) that have separated Elway and Orton, and all three had success in Denver. AND THAT ALL BEING SAID...having lived several years in both Denver and Madison, the love and affection for Brett Favre in Wisconsin far, far, far, FAR exceeds that for Elway in Denver. The day Favre initially retired from the Packers, there was a physical pain in all the green-and-gold-blooded Sconnies on the UW campus. Many tears shed openly. I tried to feel that pain when Joe Sakic officially retired from the Avalanche after 19 years a few weeks back, but I couldn't. I'll never know how to feel towards an athlete like Packer fans felt towards Favre.

So that's what makes all of this really unfortunate, and why ESPN needs to stop sucking up to Favre's every move and start questioning why the heck he would give up his legendary status for one last flawed shot at glory. Lindsay and many other Packer fans will be forever distraught over why their Golden Boy ditched them, first for some random Jets team, and then, disgustingly, for their most hated rivals in Minnesota. It wasn't about money (he's got plenty of that), it wasn't about records (got plenty of those, too), and I don't think it's about just playing a little more football. Brett Favre doesn't play for the name on the front of the jersey. He plays for the one on the back of it. And that's plain sad, for someone once labeled an American hero.

Oh, I had one cent left to give. It's that I lived in Madison for about, hmmm, 15 minutes or so before concluding that Favre was kind of a jackass and was all about Brett and nobody else. So...you know...don't say I never told you so. Sorry, Sconnies. I'll be rooting against the Vikings like the rest of you.

-AJ

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