Super Bowl XLVII: Brett Favre's coming out party
Brett Favre finished last in his fantasy league.
That was among some of what the former Packers QB shared with the NFL Network's Super Bowl pre-game show Sunday morning.
And, he dished a little about the guy that took his place in Green Bay.
"It wasn't awkward," Favre said of his appearance the night before with Aaron Rodgers during the league's awards show.
"We had had some laughs about it prior to going out," Favre dished to co-host Steve Mariucci. "Aaron's had--up to this point--an unbelievable career. I'm proud of what I've done. There is no ill-feelings. There isn't. There may be from other people."
"Is there any chance we're going to see you in Green Bay soon?" Mariucci asked, only to get big-footed by fellow host Michael Irwin who started a ramble that sucked the air out of the Superdome and kept Favre from answering the money question, at least at that moment. The questioning afterward inexplicably lingered on Ray Lewis because THAT is what everyone at home was wondering about. Favre would later regale his cohorts with his take on bounties (nothing new from what he's said in the past) and concussions (remembering the end-over-end TD pass he heaved to Javon Walker after getting his bell rung). "It's tackle football," Favre pointed out, adding that he'd hate to play defense these days, what with the players are getting fined for hits that happen during the course of regular play.
Favre's Saturday night shot with Favre and his NFL Network stint are the first real looks we've gotten at Number 4 this season, outside of the features that were done about his job as an assistant high school football coach. His name came up more than once as Packers Nation gave its props to the freshly retired Donald Driver as it was Favre who threw many a pass #80's way as Green Bay was becoming a league power again. Some are wondering if Favre will be part of Driver's formal retirement announcement this week at Lambeau.
Let's hope not. Favre coming back to Green Bay is something that will happen on the former QB's terms, and when it does it's going to be THE STORY, which is exactly why it shouldn't happen when Driver steps to the mike in the Lambeau Atrium. That day should be Donald's and no one else's. Reporters would trample the fresh retiree in a quest to get to Favre, to ask all those questions folks want answered. And that would be just plain wrong.
Like Driver, Favre's name and number will be part of the team's ring of honor--there's no downplaying what he meant to the Packers. The messy divorce still splits fans, friends and families. It still hurts to see video of Favre wearing another uniform, especially the purple and gold one. Driver's graceful professional dismount is how it should be for all legends, but when you think about it, it seldom is. That's why what played out back then with Favre is all that much more painful--we thought he was different, yet as great as he was, his end was all too ordinary. Athletes don't always get to leave on their own terms, and even those who do often have a change of heart: Muhammad Ali quit how many times before Larry Holmes punished him into permanency.
"It is tough to leave," Favre said when asked it it's tougher to step aside or come back. And some day, he'll come back--not to play, but to get his due in the place where he made his mark on pro football. That may be tough, too, but I'm guessing he'll find it well worth the trip.