An open letter to Brett Favre

Hello Mr. Favre,

Let me start by saying that I admire your determination and work ethic on the football field. As a Green Bay Packer fan, I regard you as a gridiron god and, despite your decision to play for the Minnesota Vikings, whom I loathe, deep down I wish for nothing but the best for you and your family. Throughout the bulk of your career with the Packers, we the fans watched a living legend who consistently overcame great adversities in order to etch himself a place in sports history.

In each year since your departure from Green Bay in 2008, you have had to overcome plenty of obstacles in an attempt to match the success you had with the Packers. Last season saw the Vikings meteoric rise come crashing back down to earth after you suffered a nasty ankle injury during the loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship. After falling short of a Super Bowl berth for the second time in three years, retirement seemed like the sensible option, but you made the decision to return.

Since returning, you’ve re-injured your ankle/foot (fractured in two places), suffered through a bout of tendonitis and, most recently in Week 8, New England Patriots defensive tackle Myron Pryor smacked you so hard that you required eight stitches to close a gash underneath your chin and were forced to leave the game. In this era of sports where the serious long-term effects of concussions and head trauma are all well known, one has to question the sanity of someone who just can’t come to grips with the reality that they’re not the elite quarterback they once were.

Through all of these hardships, you still remain stubbornly confident in post-game press conferences that your team needs you, despite throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, with a QB rating of 69.8 through the end of October, the third worst QB stats in the NFL. The magic that surrounded the Vikings last season is gone, gone, gone.

It’s time to face the facts: your time as a dominant quarterback in the NFL has passed. You recently turned 41 and, after miraculously lasting well beyond your “best before” date, it seems your age has finally caught up to you. Last year’s season should not have been perceived as a sign of things to come, but instead as the swan song of an NFL legend.

Really, I’m just not sure what you’re trying to prove at this point. You’ve won the Super Bowl, you hold pretty much every all-time passer record in the NFL and are a shoo-in to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame as soon as you become eligible. Sure, the $16 million that the Vikings offered you to return for one more season must have been too tempting to pass up, but you’re falling apart out there, and as a fan of yours it’s difficult to watch.

As hard as it is for you to leave football after all the wonderful things it has given you (and all that you have given back to the sports and its fans), there comes a time when even the most dominant athletes realize it’s time to hang it up. At any point in the past three years you could have stayed retired and still maintained your legendary status without putting your health and future quality of life in jeopardy. Need I remind you that you’re a grandfather? It’s time to hang up the cleats, grandpa Favre, for the sake of your legacy and the sake of your physical well being.

Disclaimer: while I must acknowledge Brett Favre’s career best 446-yard performance against the Arizona Cardinals in a come from behind victory this past weekend, the fact that it took overtime to put away the pathetic Cardinals says a lot about the quality of the team on the field. Favre’s true tests will come over the next two weeks as Minnesota is scheduled to play the Bears in Chicago and then host the surging Green Bay Packers late in November.