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The fabulous Favre - should he stay or should he go?

Sport. You’re a sport, I’m a sport, we’re all a sport. We have sporting events, sport coats, sport utility vehicles, sports cars, sportiness, sports bar, sportsman, sportsmanship, sportswomen, and sportswomanship. Yes I know, I’m sounding a little like Dr. Suess, but the word sport is a part of all of us, some more than others, and I couldn’t be happier to consider myself a sports fan. My wife, on the other hand, has had about enough.

I tried to engage my wife in conversation over the latest sporting news to hit the stands - Brett Favre coming out of retirement, or trying to come out of retirement. She would have no part of it. Who cares? I had to visit a friend of mine to get some good conversation about the subject, because like most football fans, I care.

My friend’s point of view was that Favre had retired, left the organization, quit his job, was at the end of his career, and was basically washed up. How could Favre change his mind and cause all these problems for the Green Bay Packers? The Packers were moving on based on Favre’s decision, gave him ample time to make that decision, and wished him well in the future. They had announced their new quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, and were gearing up for this year’s season. My friend lost all respect for Favre. He could have rode into the sunset with everything most athletes dream about.

For years, Favre was “The Man” in Green Bay. He was as much Wisconsin as cheese. And now he wants to return, take the spotlight away from Rodgers, and try to lead the Pack to its glory days. Is it fair? Well, I think if I were Aaron Rodgers, I probably wouldn’t think it was fair, but I can’t help but to think of Favre as the ultimate athlete. This is why I say, let him play. Arguably, Favre will go down in history as the best quarterback the NFL has ever seen, and his records speak for themselves.

I have empathy for aging athletes. From an early age, all the great athletes grew up doing what they are great at. They had the commitment, desire, and drive to be the best they could be at the sport they loved. Favre didn’t just play football for Green Bay for 16 years, he started playing football the day his dad put a ball in his hands. Talk about commitment! Most of us get tired of doing the same thing after a few weeks. All Favre has known his entire life, is football. Every day of his life, he has football to think about. And now it’s over? I don’t think so. I hope Favre comes out of retirement, gets signed by Minnesota (which is unlikely considering they broke some rules about tampering), and returns to his greatness.

I know this doesn’t sit well with Packer fans, but I say we give him another try in the NFL. He will do one of two things. One, he could have a fabulous year, and prove that he still has the drive in his heart to lead an NFL team to victory. Or two, he will find it difficult to learn a new team’s system, and turn into a mediocre quarterback, which will lead him to his final retirement. In the case of the latter, I would wish Favre all the best in the future, and advise him to pick up a fishing rod and put the same effort into fishing as he did for so long as the best quarterback in the NFL.

Many fans can’t imagine Favre in any uniform but a Packer uniform, and frankly, it will be difficult to see him in anything but gold. But I would like to see him in purple on opening day of the season playing against his old team. What bigger challenge for an athlete? It would be one of the most watched games in history. And knowing what I know about Favre, he will light it up. He will put on one of the best shows the NFL has ever seen. Ratings would be through the roof, and the rivalry between the two teams would be lasting. But most of all, it would allow Favre to prove to himself that he either still has it, or it truly is time to hang up the cleats and move on.

It all boils down to the competitive nature most athletes are born with. I don’t think it was fair that so much pressure was put on Favre to make a decision about retirement. We all know that a true athlete never gives up, whether it is on the golf course, in a game of chess, or a game of UNO. You know the type, the ones who would run grandma over to make the catch. Take Tiger, Jordan, Montana, Lance, Agassi, Bryant; some of the truest athletes ever. One common thing about them all is that they never give up, and I for one, don’t think anyone should stand in Favre’s way. Don’t give up, Favre!

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Clint Nicholson Clint Nicholson Clint Nicholson is the sales manager for Keokee Publishing in Sandpoint. His former experience is with newspapers and automobiles.

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