Usually I try not to kick a guy when he is down, but after last night’s press conference I will take a great amount of pleasure in kicking Brett Favre while he is down. Mostly because Favre doesn’t think he is down, last night he tried to make the argument that no matter what happens in the future he will leave the game as a champion, and leave the game while that he is still on top. While he is a champion, this is hardly leaving the league on top. Even if he were to return to the NFL next season and win a Super Bowl, the last three seasons have left a taint on his legacy.
Jerome Bettis, who retired after winning a Super Bowl and John Elway who retired after winning consecutive Super Bowls, is how we define going out on top. Brett’s going out on top includes throwing an interception against the New York Giants that cost the Green Bay Packers a Super Bowl trip, an arm injury that derailed a very fine New York Jets season, and a very questionable decision to throw a ball that was ultimately picked off and cost the Minnesota Vikings a trip to the Super Bowl.
To be fair, Favre’s interception was not the only reason, the Vikings lost the NFC Championship game, but it was the last and those moments tend to live on through history. If Favre had not spent the last two off-season holding the NFL media and fans hostage with self serving retirement/unretirement press conferences, all of us might be more willing to cut the guy a break. However the way he has chosen to conduct himself, leads to harsh treatment.
In the end, it seems Brett Favre’s legacy will be a Super Bowl Champion who ranks somewhere in the top 15 of all time great NFL QB’s. I don’t see a way at this point for Favre to create a better legacy for himself, even though we could argue his 2009 season with the Vikings was one of the better seasons in his career.