Saturday, December 27, 2008

An Open Letter To Brett Favre

Dear Mr. Favre,

I have watched you from the beginning of your career with the Green Bay Packers.

I saw you throw your first professional pass and catch it yourself.

I've been to many games at Lambeau Field, especially the year that you led the Pack to the Super Bowl victory. I was at a preseason game, getting sunburned. I was at two games during the regular season, and I followed you and the Pack to Tampa Bay, where Packer fans actually outnumbered Buc fans, and you clinched the division championship in the first week of December.

I attended the NFC Championship game at Lambeau, when you led the Pack to a victory over the Carolina Panthers. It was so cold that day that while tailgating before the game, the beers froze the moment you opened them and the Bloody Marys were Slushy Marys. I remember being in the stands, and while we were waiting for them to give you and your teammates the Halas Trophy, seeing an old man crying. When I asked him why, he said that you and your teammates brought back the memories of Lombardi and his Packers, who he also saw lead the country as football champions.

I remember watching that Super Bowl with friends, and oh, how we cheered when you and Reggie did victory laps around the stadium, holding the Lombardi Trophy that you were bringing home after thirty years of its absence in Title Town.

I remember other great games and plays. I was there when you through that miraculous toss to Antonio Freeman on Monday night football, in the rain, in overtime, against the Vikings. How it bounced off Free's back and into his hands for the game winning TD.

I still get choked up when I think of another Monday night game, the day after your father passed. How, instead of giving in to your grief, you decided to dedicate your play to him, and had the best game of your storied career.

I also remember the low times. When you admitted to your addiction to pain killers, and only got help when Deanna threatened to leave you. When you were worried about your mother's home after Katrina. Deanna's fight with cancer.

Mr. Favre, you gave many people, not just Packer fans, but people all over the country and even from around the world, a chance to share your life with you. You were human and open, and people felt that they could relate to you.

You let us into your life. You didn't hold back, whether it was on the field during game time, or off the field, raising money for a charity.

You are indeed a very lucky man, Mr. Favre. You were given the chance many young men only dream of. You played in the NFL. Not only did you play, but you excelled. You broke almost every record there was to break, and many of them will stand for a long, long time. You also have a beautiful, caring wife, and two lovely daughters. You've made enough money to last your life time, your daughter's lifetimes, and for their children and their children's children.

Tomorrow, you will be playing the last game in the regular season with your new team, the New York Jets. While it pained me to see you in the wrong shade of green, it was still enjoyable to watch you play.

But Brett, I take no pleasure in what I am about to say, but unless by some stroke of luck, your season will probably end tomorrow. If it doesn't, it would mean a lot of luck is on your side, and I hope you take it all the way. But odds are, it will end tomorrow.

When the season ends, whether it is tomorrow, or in the playoffs, or even after the Super Bowl, please, let your career end with it. You have said yourself that your arm is bothering you. And to be quite frank, it is showing in your play. You also don't seem to have the same zeal for the game that you once had.

You have nothing left to prove to anyone. As I said before, you have done what many men can only dream of. And like everyone else on this planet, you're not getting any younger. I am sure that you are feeling every hit, every sack that you have taken in the past 39 years of your life.

You have a beautiful family. Go and enjoy them. Enjoy life and relax for a while. If the football bug bites, go into coaching, or even announcing. But don't do like too many athletes have done, and refuse to go out gracefully.

And I'll see you in Canton.

Sincerely from one of your truest fans,

Chris Liebenthal

1 comment:

  1. I think Brett Favre proved his point- he had at least 1 more good year left in him.
    If his arm has a minor ailiment and keep on playing, go for it. If your arm is too hurt to play, you need to quit.