Posted by: pberry | August 18, 2009

In Defense of Favre

I’m just going to say it: I’m so excited Brett Favre is back. I’m giddy. It makes this season so much more interesting, both for actual football and fantasy. And before you start thinking this is going to be satire, I’m serious. Brett Favre playing is a good thing for the NFL.

On top of that, I think Favre is getting a bad rap in the media. And people are buying it hook, line and sinker. So to you, the reasonable, non-gun-toting fan, I make the following defense of Brett Favre. 1. You gotta have something to talk about. My major criticism of mainstream media outlets has been their need to create stories out of non-stories in order to sell advertising. Outrage = ratings. No one wants to hear two moderates debate. They want theater. Jon Stewart was right about Crossfire. It applies to the sports talk shows just as well. It doesn’t pay to act moderately. That’s where the 2006 hype came from…

2. The Packers wanted to go with Aaron Rodgers. After two horrible seasons in 2005 and 2006, there was speculation that Favre would retire. But he announced before the 2006 draft that he’d return for another season and maybe more. What followed was a 13-3 season that Favre’s Packers had only achieved in the two years that they reached the Super Bowl. In the NFC Championship Favre was one bad pass from playing the Patriots for the Lombardi Trophy. During his retirement press conference he claimed that he didn’t want to play any more. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. The Packers needed him out to find out what they had in Aaron Rodgers. In the final year of his contract, Rodgers might walk after the season. Favre might have too. Then they’d have no QBs and a pretty decent team. Which is to say, they’d have been Minnesota without AP.

It’s understandable, but who pushes out a QB that’s coming off one of his best years ever and almost took you to the Super Bowl that season? Not to mention he’s arguably the best to ever play the game and gave you your only championship in forty years? If someone’s missing class from this, it’s the Packers.

3. Take out the shoulder injury and 2008 was among his best seasons.
Favre injured his shoulder late in the season affected his last 5 games. Removing the stats from those games, his QB rating was 94, fifth best in his 18 seasons. During the first 11 games the Jets were 8-3. Save the injury, the Jets make the playoffs. That’s with missing off season workouts, not knowing the system, and not getting along with his coach. 2009 is a completely different situation.

4. Players have always tried to get out of training camp. After 18 seasons, can you blame a guy for wanting to miss camp? The drills, the scrimmages, the fights, the dorms, all through two-a-days? NFL players love getting out of camp. Some players have declared their intention to retire while never filing papers just so that they can skip camp. And when a team needs them bad enough, they put up with it. Favre’s just gotten the lead on SportsCenter for doing it instead of a small story buried in the middle of the show. Blame ESPN for camping out in Mississippi 24/7, not Favre.

5. The Vikings need Favre and vice-versa. Both want a real shot this year. Rosenfels and Jackson weren’t going pose any threat to opposing defenses. With Favre under center, defenses will have to play back and leave just seven in the box, loosening up the running lanes. Peterson is going to have room to run. Lots and lots of room. If you’re playing fantasy, do whatever you can to get Peterson and handcuff him with Taylor. Hands down best player in fantasy this year baring injury. And with one of the best defensive units in the league, this Vikings team is going to go far.

6. If anything, Favre is too much like you and me. A lot of folks hate their jobs. Some of us are lucky enough to like what we do. If we’re really blessed, we love our career. But image doing what you love to do most in the world and being paid millions of dollars to do it. I don’t know about you, but nobody could rip me away from that while I still had the ability to do it. That’s what brought Favre back in 2008. And this year he could win a championship doing it. That’s why he’s on the practice field in Minnesota. You can’t blame Favre for wanting that because you would want it too.

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