When mere mortals are in the presence of greatness, they will tell the Great One whatever is necessary to remain in his good graces. The Great One, Brett Favre, has finally listened to the most important voice of all, his own conscience.
Having quieted those in his circle who have urged him to continue playing despite physical fatigue and an aging arm, Favre came to the realization that a half-tired arm does not grow stronger by season’s end. Favre knows what his entourage does not. The grind of a full NFL season will age a warrior by dog years and leave even the proudest trophy-seekers humbled in defeat.
Favre’s decision to remain retired cements his legacy as one of the NFL’s greatest warrior-quarterbacks. He leaves unbroken and unashamed. His final decision has also spared Vikings coach Brad Childress of possibly suffering the same fate as Ray Rhodes, Mike Sherman and Eric Mangini, coaches who could not win with Favre. He knows all too well that his failure to take the Vikings to the Super Bowl could lead to more coaches packing up at season’s end. He spared himself and many others the pain of disappointment and regret.
The cry for glory, revenge and adulation of friends and fans was not enough to lure Favre back to the stage. However great the temptation, hubris has given way to common sense. Instead of reaching for glory, Favre cooled his ambition and kept himself among the pinnacle of his profession, along with Bradshaw, Montana, Marino and Elway.
Well done, Brett.