So Long, Brett

By informing the New York Jets of his plan to retire on Wednesday, Brett Favre is making the right decision for himself.

But is it his final decision?

In recent years Brett Favre has been as definitive about playing football or not as Oprah Winfrey has been definitive about being thin or not. Throughout last year’s ridiculous soap opera, Favre’s state of mind seemed about as stable as Circuit City stock.

But as much as I was convinced last year that Favre was leaving the game too early, I am just as convinced now that Favre is leaving the game at the right time. His numbers last year weren’t horrible, although his play declined sharply in December due in no small part to a torn biceps tendon, an injury that he apparently will not get surgery to repair.

But it was clear from the beginning that Favre and New York were as stellar a pairing as Dan Rather and Connie Chung (do you like my timely references?). He clearly did not get along with his coach or his teammates, a fact that became very public immediately after the Jets 1-4 finish (a stretch that saw Favre throw nine interceptions and only two touchdowns) saw terminally average running back Thomas Jones saying that Favre should have been benched and another anonymous player saying that Favre was distant from the rest of the team. Hey, with “teammates” like Jones, can you blame Favre for distancing himself?

So unlike last year, when he was coming off a solid comeback year and found himself thisclose to playing in the Super Bowl, it’s now time for Favre to go. And thankfully it looks like Favre has decided to deprive us all from another retirement news conference; his overwhelming display of emotion last March at what turned out to be a fraudulent gathering is still – like the Casey Kasem American Top 40 “dead dog” rant – played to heavy ridicule on radio programs nationwide.

What is unfortunate for Packer fans is that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy deprived us of experiencing Brett Favre’s final season here in Wisconsin. I know he waited years to get his chance, but was Aaron Rodgers’s first season – 6-10 with 5 losses in the final six games – so memorable that it couldn’t have waited one more year? Haven’t you wondered about the likelihood that Favre could have bailed out the Packers’ lousy defense by providing the team with two or three game-winning drives in those close losses, something that Rodgers didn’t have the game experience to do?

Brett, the Packers and their fans missed you in 2008, and all of football will miss you in 2009 and beyond. It’s been an incredible ride.

Just don’t come back again, OK?

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