Brett Favre’s teasing of the media
and sports fans has become a summer ritual. Will he, won’t he retire? He has
become the biggest parody in American sport. He may hold many significant
quarterback records in the NFL but the one he will soon be remembered best for
is procrastinating about bowing out for good. Already a grandad at 40 and
having spent nearly half his life pounded beyond reasonable limits of athletic
endurance and surely with more money banked than he could spend in many
lifetimes, what is the point of continuing?
Ego is the obvious answer. Like a
faded boxer who craves the limelight despite the obvious erosion of his skills
and toll it has taken on his health, Favre has this unquenchable thirst for attention.
That and the fact that Favre
prefers to gently work out with his former high school team in Mississippi
rather than go through the rigours of summer training camp with the Vikings. He
must ache all over after every match yet is still prepared to go to war despite
his prolonged stay stretching his admirers’ affection. He claimed to have a
dodgy shoulder last year. This time it’s his ankle. Yet when the deadline
comes, there’s no doubting that Favre will suddenly be fit enough to play
another NFL season. The irritating thing is he is still good enough to command
the starting quarterback role in most teams, so even though he is testing
everyone’s patience to the limit, his usefulness and marketability is still not
exhausted. Only our patience for this charade is.