I've had a glut of reactions to the Brett Favre retirement thingee. On one hand, I'm completely indifferent, the guy played for a team I have no rooting interest in, in a conference I find to play a poor brand of football, and who has been relevant on and off for awhile. He recieved far too much in the way of media coverage. He was fellatiated all over the airwaves and in print for things that simply weren't that important. He wasn't really all that good for a few years.
None of that matters, I loved watching Brett Favre play football. Of the millions of tributes to the guy in the last few days, they've all basically said the same things, so I'm not going to regurgitate that crap.
Brett Favre had me at, "I'm in town to play the Dolphins you dumbass." Favre was never the most polished QB in the NFL, and that's a huge understatement. He endeared himself to people because of his flaws, something you don't see in Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Could you imagine Peyton coming clean in an interview with Suzy Kolber about his addiction to painkillers? Could you imagine Tom Brady making a cameo in a comedy movie that really was completely random? Hell no. Just like you couldn't imagine either of those guys having any personality whatsoever.
Listen, Tom and Peyton are great QB's with great talents and all that shit that I love to watch play, but Brett Favre was something completely different. He had a style, something that machine-like efficiency doesn't have. It wasn't that he was an 'everyman' like a lot of writers have been saying, because he wasn't. Everyman can't throw a 96 mph bullet 50 yards to win a game in overtime or play 250+ consecutive games in the NFL.
What Favre did was make the game fun again. It was great seeing him actually ENJOY scoring a TD instead of immediately running back to the bench to check out the images from the blimp or spend the next defensive series on the phone talking to his OC. THIS IS A GAME PEOPLE, this isn't war or a job. It was great seeing him throw an INT and then shrug it off because it's more fun to try and score than it is to check down 5 yards to an RB when it's 3rd and 7. People say he had a ton of INT's...so what? But if you thought he was a careless hick who didn't care about the consequences or if you won or lost, you'd be pretty damn wrong.
My favorite Favre moment was in a game against the Eagles when Donovan McNabb was injured and replaced with Koy Detmer. Koy scored a TD and performed a ridiculous dance which clearly insulted Favre and the Packers. So, Favre burns down the field, scores, then mimics Koy's retarded dance and points right at him. There's a YouTube of this somewhere.
The other Favre moment I'll never forget was the Monday Night game against the Raiders right after his father died. I watched the entire game with my eyes glued to the screen watching Favre just let it all out and play, and the emotion he showed on his face whenever he scored was the most genuinely beautiful moment I've ever seen in a sporting event. That was just about everything you needed to know about Brett to realize that he wasn't just a QB, he was just a cool, good dude in general, and that endears him to you far more than any number of TD records ever will.
So why do I love Favre? Because he didn't give a shit about saying the right thing or about being a machine. He was a Southern dude who was insanely talented at throwing a football and he didn't care about anything else. He didn't care about showing up to games in a suit, he wasn't a 'business man' he was a football player.
It sucks he's retiring, I'm gonna miss the highlights of him eviscerating a team just as much as I'm gonna miss the highlights of him throwin 4 picks, all of which were on 50-yard bombs into double coverage. For all his flaws, he always was genuine, never corporate and he made the game fun to watch. The NFL is way too serious these days, and losing someone who didn't care about endorsements and contracts is a sad thing. Brett Favre was simply fun to watch.