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March 04, 2008

Heart-Ache: Brett Favre Retires

Damn it. As I've said before, I understand the "I want to go out on top" impulse, but I really respect those guys who so love the game they just want to keep on playing, despite the ravages of age and declining abilities.

I guess he pushed it, and he knows best for himself and his family. But I'd share more of John Madden's man-love for Country Time if he'd stayed on a couple of more years, battling like an old lion.

The most storied quarterback career in NFL history is coming to a close.

FOXSports.com has learned that legendary quarterback Brett Favre has decided to retire. In fact, it's believed he informed the Packers of his decision within the last few days, although it's unclear when Favre and the team will make his decision known.

So barring an unforeseen last-minute change of heart, Favre will leave the game after 17 years, during which he built himself into a household name and a figure synonymous with grit, toughness and perseverance.

Neither GM Ted Thompson nor head coach Mike McCarthy returned several calls left by FOXSports.com for confirmation.

After flirting with retirement for the last few years, Favre will finally go out on the heels of one of the best seasons of his career.

He led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game after passing for a stunning 4,155 yards, looking very much at times like a younger version of himself. In addition he threw 28 TDs — including an overtime Hail Mary pass to beat Denver in front of a national audience — and had a 95.7 quarterback rating. He was also voted into the Pro Bowl following the 2007 season but declined to go.

Favre leaves the game as the all-time record holder in several categories including wins, passing yards, touchdowns and consecutive games started. A three-time MVP, The southern swashbuckler won fans over with his carefree style that epitomized the "gunslinger" moniker and made fans out of everyone from the guy next door to those already enshrined in Canton.

If in fact, Favre does not have a change of heart, his final pass of a Hall of Fame Career was an interception by the Giants' Corey Webster, setting up New York's overtime win in the NFC title game.

It's that last thing that gives me some hope for the change of heart. As many commentators noted, Brett Favre doesn't want to go out with that ill-advised chuck being his last pass. Perhaps he's reacting over-emotionally to it, seeing it as a sign he's spent.

But then, he always threw a lot of goofball interceptions; he leads the league all-time in that category. It was the way he played. Crafty, reckless, tough, determined, free-wheeling, and fucking moronic.

He was like the Tin Cup of football, really. His occasional reckless retarded abandon is what made him human.


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posted by Ace at 12:13 PM

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