Sunday, July 13, 2008


I am a fan of the New England Patriots. However, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Green Bay Packers because my brother has been a Cheesehead since he was three years old. For his Bar Mitzvah, we went to Lambeau Field to see them play. He has something of a shrine to Brett Favre in his room. When Brett Favre announced his retirement in March, I was sad to see him go, but knew it was the right thing. He had a remarkable run. The latest controversy regarding his possible return is therefore somewhat tortuous. This article in the Globe makes the whole thing seem like a messy public break-up:

It ended amicably. They had many fond memories together, but it was time to part ways. Brett broke the news to the Packers in a "tearful goodbye news conference."

Some people close to the couple were surprised it had lasted so long, given the near break-ups they'd every off-season for the past few years, "but it seemed to be for real this time."

They still had strong feelings for each other: "'[General manager] Ted [Thompson] always wanted Brett back,' [coach Mike] McCarthy said. 'We always wanted Brett back.'"

A few weeks later it seemed like they might get back together, but Brett felt that he "had reached a point of closure."

They kept in touch, and "regularly communicated." But there was a "rising tension" in late June. Brett wanted the Packers to take him back, but he still wavered as to whether he "was ready to make a 100 percent commitment."

Then last week, in a "text message exchange between Thompson and Favre," Brett said he needed to talk urgently. He wanted to commit.

But it's too late. The Packers are "committed to Aaron Rodgers as their starter," they "have since moved forward." No doubt this only makes Brett want to get back together even more. Green Bay hopes that there is "some role that he might play here." They still want Brett in their lives, if only as a friend.

Brett thinks it will be too hard to continue seeing each other if they can't have the relationship they once had. He wants out. But the Packers aren't ready to let go. They won't release him.

Where does that leave the Packers and their beloved three-time MVP?

In a pretty big mess.

"Quite frankly, it's a little gut-wrenching as an organization to go through it, and certainly for Mike and myself," Thompson said. "This stuff hurts a lot of people. I mean, it hurts. I'm not talking about physically hurting, but the sensitivity."
So what now? If Brett stays with the Packers, he'll be relegated to the sidelines, forced to look on in envy as his team plays with a different man in his place. His other option is a trade. But can he imagine playing football with someone else? Someone new? He may never find another team with the same chemistry. And what would happen when he'd have to play against the Packers, meeting awkwardly on the field? Would he well up with nostalgia? Or feign a stoic indifference?

Oh, Brett. Breaking up is hard to do, yes. But you should have thought earlier. Now you're left scrambling to hold it together. It isn't fair to us that you keep toying with our emotions like this. We don't want to burn any bridges, but we can't live suspended like this. You broke our hearts, got our hopes up, let us down - we can't take this roller coaster relationship much longer.

No comments: