Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Brett Favre and the Pursuit of Happiness
Play As Long As You Want Favre.
While sure to rile up some folks, I really don't have a problem with Brett Favre coming back to play for the Minnesota Vikings or anyone else. Do I think it's a problem that Vikings Coach Brad Childress just slid his two current quarterbacks out of the way to make room for Favre after saying he wouldn't? Yes. Was it absolutely draining tht ESPN covers his every move in a potential comeback like a presidential campaign? Yes. But these aren't Favre's problems. I know there are a lot of reasons people have speculated as to why Favre is coming back. He wants to come back to get revenge on the Packers when the two meet up twice this season or maybe he is just looking at another payday. I'm sure those will all be nice parts of the package, getting some 25 million for two years and also a chance to take down the franchise that no longer wanted you have to be incentives, but I think at the end of the day he just wanted to play football again.
I am by no means a lifelong Favre fan but I can totally understand someone wanting to still do something they love even when others feel like it's time to move on. What has soured many folks on Favre is the back and forth on his retirement that has gone on for nearly the last decade. Perhaps he is like your friend at the diner who never knows what he wants and can't fully make up his decision until the waitress demands an order. Then after he gets the grilled cheese he knows he made a mistake. We all know people like that. It just so happens this isn't our friend, and these decisions aren't taking place at the diner. And yes I'm aware that playing professional football is more important than ordering food, but it feels like the same thought process for Favre. He seemed resolved finally to place his order of retirement, and in a rare move he was given a chance to order yet again, and this time he figured out what he really wanted deep down, to play.
Anyone who has seen the latest installation of the Rocky Balboa movies knows where Favre is coming from. As the "Rock" says, Favre probably still has some stuff left in the basement that he wants to get out. Just like in Rocky alot of people don't get why Favre is doing this. What does he have to prove? Why risk further injury? Why be greedy? Truthfully, it's not really about any of these things, at least I don't think. I'd like to think it's about a guy that just loves a sport and wants to keep playing it as long as possible. To anyone who has ever played three-on-three basketball until it gets dark out, or has thrown the football around until you can't see it anymore in the night sky, we have all had this feeling. The feeling to want to maximize as much time as you possibly can doing something you truly enjoy.
Unfortunately most fans now don't get to play or do the things they love as much anymore. They have jobs, families, committments, and sometimes bodies that can't do it anymore. Instead they are saturated with just a fan experience of highlights shows, fantasy stats for players, and bottom lines with repetitive updates about things like if a quarterback will once and for all comeback. Maybe that has made some of us cynical or jaded because we can't make decisions like Favre just did. We can't up and decide we will play sports again full time, or start up the old garage band again, or whatever the dream might be. I can only imagine if most fans were given a similar opportunity they would jump all over it. To further that I like the idea that he keeps playing because that's probably what I would do. I'd keep playing a sport until it was physically impossible. As Rocky says when informed of the pursuit of happiness, "the point is I'm pursuing something and nobody looks to happy about it"
Who knows what will happen this season, maybe Favre's arm isn't strong enough and he doesn't even make it all the way through, or perhaps he has a rejuvenation and leads the Vikings to the Super Bowl, or maybe it's just an average season that ends in a very average way. However it ends, Favre will have gotten another chance to do what he loves to do and we should all be so lucky.
-Posted by Cadillac Mescallade