20 minutes ago
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
To hear the pundits talk about Brett Favre, you'd think he shot himself in the foot with a gun in a nightclub... Or killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol... Or was murdered by a girl young enough to be his daughter, who he was cheating on his wife with as he lead a double life... Or tested his entrepreneurial skills by funding a dog-fighting ring, then demonstrated his hands-on leadership abilities by not only breeding the pitbulls, but also raising them to fight, and torturing and killing the losing pups.
No, Brett Favre is clearly the NFL athlete most deserving of a media outcry, because he not only changed his mind, but he did it more than once.
Why are jails overcrowded? It's all those damn wafflers, I tell ya!
I admit it, I'm a Brett Favre apologist. I have a shelf full of Favre memorabilia in my office. I was one of his first interviews when he renewed his contract with the Green Bay Packers in 1994 and I worked for the Associated Press. And I was standing on a frozen Lambeau Field sideline when he led the Packers to a 16-12 first round playoff victory over the Detroit Lions on Dec. 31 of that same year.
My dad had Joe DiMaggio. I had Brett Favre. My dad will never get to see Joe D play again, so forgive me for reveling in the fact that I can now say that I "have" Brett Favre for at least one more season.
Is it really that bad that he changed his mind about retirement... Again?
Apparently it is, which leaves me a bit perplexed.
Michael Vick funded a dog-fighting operation where he raised, trained, fought and killed helpless dogs. This isn't a tax issue, where he can blame his accountant or business manager. This isn't even a DUI, where he can say he wasn't aware of what he was doing when it happened. This was a calculated and callous act that he did repeatedly, and without remorse.
It was an act that made it pointedly clear that Michael Vick didn't respect the NFL, or his role as one of the game's biggest superstars. If he did, he probably would have thought twice about moonlighting as a thug.
Yet the NFL welcomed him back with open arms and a laughable two-game suspension, saying that he has served his debt to society and deserves a second chance.
I say he lost his right to a second chance in the NFL when he decided that his place as role model and public icon was less important than the sick satisfaction he got by engaging in social activities previously relegated to gang-bangers and miscreants.
That doesn't mean Michael Vick doesn't deserve a second chance in life, it just means that he already made it pretty clear how little the NFL meant to him. To his credit, he did it with the same flair he exhibits on the field, spitting in the face of any morally grounded and warm-blooded football fan in the process.
Michael Vick has already proven that he can't handle life in the limelight, so why can't his second chance come in the real world? Remember that education he got from Virginia Tech? Why can't his second chance come on the shoulders of that, rather than in the game of football that he's already disgraced?
But I digress from the issue at hand... Brett Favre's the bad guy!
Damn Brett Favre, for playing football with the same zest and enthusiasm now, that he did 15 years ago. Damn him for playing the game with a smile on his face, and a vibrancy that shames guys half his age. And most of all, damn him for feeling scorned by the team he spent his entire Hall of Fame career with, and choosing to exact his revenge on the football field, rather than doing something illegal, shameful, and potentially hazardous to the world we all share.
Damn Brett Favre and his simplistic, down-home view of the world. Why can't he learn something from Plaxico Burress, Donte Stallworth, Steve McNair or Michael Vick? These guys are the NFL's real role models. These are the guys that embody the true spirit of professional sports, and the competitive spark we hope to ignite in today's youth.
Is decisiveness too much to ask for? We don't care what you decide to do, just stick to your guns and do it! Own your decision! Know that whatever you do, we'll be there to support you... Even if it might cost someone their life.
As long as you don't change your mind.
And if you do change your mind? You run the risk of being no better than Brett Favre - an embarrassment to the game of football, and a mockery to the NFL, where the NBA and Vince McMahon have apparently become the new moral compass.