The Gunslinger Makes a Hasty Decision
Wednesday, March 5, 2008; 1:25 PM
On so many levels, Brett Favre's rationale for retirement stated in his voice-mail message to ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Tuesday makes so little sense, especially for a future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback who has always been revered for his so-called gunslinger's style.
In a somewhat bizarre message, Favre suggested that the "stress" involved in playing football at this point in his life was simply too overwhelming for him to return for an 18th season, a year after leading the Green Bay Packers to within a game of the Super Bowl in 2007.
Playing professional football?
In front of thousands of adoring spectators?
For millions of dollars?
In a town and a state where most citizens have been known to genuflect in his very presence?
You want stress, Brett, go down to the unemployment line and talk to the guy who just got laid off with a wife and four kids to feed, and $4 gas just around the corner.
You want stress, Brett, think about all those victims of the sub-prime mortgage crisis trying to keep from having their homes foreclosed.
You want stress, Brett, talk to mamas and papas with kids stationed in Fallujah.
Favre also spoke about expectations in that voice mail. He insisted that unless his team won the Super Bowl next season, he personally would consider the year a failure.
"I know it shouldn't feel unsuccessful, but the only way to come back and make that be the right decision would be to come back and win a Super Bowl," Favre said in his voice message to Mort. "And honestly, the odds of that, they're tough. Those are big shoes for me to fill, and I guess it was a challenge I wasn't up for."