Wednesday, December 15, 2010

*Brett Favre is America

    If Brett Favre were born 15 years later he'd be the guy in the bar with the popped collar talking to an uninterested female about the new cold-air intake in his F-150 (stay with me, this is going to make sense). With the end of Favre's monolithic 297 consecutive games started streak we saw the culmination of what has truly become a circus of self-indulgence. It began with his first 'retirement' several seasons ago and has continued right up until this past weekend, when after sitting out and watching his team get trounced, he proceeded to spend an entire press conference talking about himself. This begs the question: at what point did Brett Favre stop caring about his team? Did he leave his heart in Green Bay? Or did he simply begin buying into his own legend? 

    Between his constant waffling over retirement, his cell-phone-penis-picture scandal, or his insistence on constantly trotting himself out to start games all season despite being in no condition to help his team win, Favre has, in my eyes, tarnished his cherished legacy. 

    This draws an obscure parallel; Brett Favre has become a living metaphor for the United States of America. Bear with me here...The United States began a war for all the wrong reasons, and marched into the Middle East several years ago with no definite plan for victory, but by god, they're American and they're going to kick ass. Why? Freedom, that's why. Their real motive? Oil and global economic control. 

Freedom = another shot at the Super Bowl. 
Oil = the padding of an already unattainably large record and the stroking of an apparently out of control ego.

    In both instances things did not turn out exactly as planned. When George Bush landed in a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier with "Highway to the Danger zone" playing in his helmet and proclaimed to the world "Mission Accomplished" it somewhat mirrored the emotion we were supposed to feel the first time Favre proclaimed he'd be back for one more season. In both instances the novelty wore off a little more every time they tried to sell us a polished turd, and the grimness of reality stunk that much worse.

    Granted, Favre did have arguably the best season of his career last year, despite coming up short in the conference championship, and the war on (and/or of) terror has not seen a comparable feel-good moment, but Favre's antics have become the epitome of American self-absorbency. "Hah', I'm Brett Favre, ah' wear Wrangler jeans, and I'm the greatest of awl tahme. Ah' been buryin' mah' team awl yur, but hoo-ie, mah record sure is sumthin', ain't it?". That quote is, for the record, less than verbatim, but he did answer questions in the post-game press conference with an aloof sense of self-accomplishment that was borderline laughable. Hey Brett! Guess what? Your team is basically eliminated from playoff contention, care to comment? I guess not, considering they may have had a much stronger record by this point had they not placed all their hope in a broken down 41 year old.

    Don't get me wrong. Brad Childress allowed this to happen with unprecedented malaise, and the Vikes have been battling the injury bug all season long, so the poor record is not entirely Favre's fault. My problem is the lack of accountability he has chosen to exhibit while playing in the one position in all of pro sports that demands the absolute highest level of it. I am not going to dispute that Brett Favre could quite possibly be the best of all time, but when you take a close look at the current state of affairs in Minnesota, he just seems like kind of a douche.

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