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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Important Day

Today is a big day. Yeah, Mike Huckabee dropped out, Clinton could be wiped out, but the truth is the big story is that Brett Favre bowed out.

I don't think a lot of fans will realize just how much they miss him until the first game of the regular season, when number 12 trots out to get under center, not number 4. Suddenly a lot of fans of the Packers will realize that there are other quarterbacks on the roster.

A few folks have grumbled that if it's taken him six weeks to make up his mind, and he should have retired right after the season. Bull, when you've played 17 years you can take your time deciding if the grind of number 18 is worth it.

I know a lot of folks wanted him to go after the interception in the NFC Championship, not me, it didn't bother me. If New York's kicker hadn't shanked two easier kicks that pass would never have been thrown.

I can forgive him for that one, and the other 287 picks he tossed, because in the 8400+ attempts I got to witness a lot of crazy, magic, and many times unbelievable things.

I can forgive it because of Antonio Freeman's miracle Monday night catch against the Vikings. The defense gave up on it when they thought Favre was going to be sacked.

I can forgive it because of the night he limped onto the field to beat the Bears with an ankle wrapped so thick it you wondered how he stood, but then tossed 5 TD passes.

Or the day after his father died still playing, because it's what Dad would have wanted, and destroying Oakland 41-7.

I can forgive it because of the pass to Donald Lee in this year's playoffs on what looked like a sure sack, and instead, one hand on the ground, he tosses for 12 yards and a first down.

I can give him a pass on that bad toss because in 2003 he played 11 games with a broken thumb, and won 8 of them. Half the league with healthy quarterbacks didn't win that many total.

I can forgive him because of the 99 yard TD pass and catch with Robert Brooks in Chicago in 1995.

I can forgive it because of his 80+ yard pass to Donald Drive against the Vikings. Larry McCarren screaming "YES! YES!" is still one of the great sports sound bites out there.

I can forgive a couple bad tosses because I've still got the memories of him and Warren Sapp (who also retired today) jawing after every play for years. Two supreme competitors who respected each other, regardless of how the play turned out.

I can forgive some bad passes because I've got sixteen years of insane memories from a guy who played like a kid when he was one, and even when he was "over the hill".

I can forgive that pass because he celebrated touchdowns in his last season like he did in his first, like each one might be his last. Sorry to Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw, but I don't remember you guys tossing your recievers over your shoulders after a TD pass in a mid season game.

I can forgive him because of a story I heard this morning on my way to work. A guy from Iowa made a custom golf cart for Favre and with a friend delivered to Favre's Mississippi home. After he delivered it Brett spent two hours giving his guests the grand tour of the estate, and just shooting the breeze about lawn care, sports, weather, etc. I'm pretty sure T.O. and Randy Moss wouldn't be so gracious.

Personally, I'd hate to be in Aaron Rodger's shoes on opening day, they'll feel like lead bricks on his feet I would guess. Short of winning it all, there isn't much you can do to live up to a legend when you have to step into his shoes. Ask Steve Young if he's still got that monkey, if he doesn't check your back Aaron, that's probably where it is.

Thanks for the memories Brett, I already miss you, but I hope you have a great time with the family, and get to enjoy life on your terms.

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