Monday, November 2, 2009

NFL: NewFound Legacy

Surely you’ve heard by now: Brett Favre has beaten every NFL team in existence during his hall-of-fame career, an accomplishment only he can claim, and a feat only complete after his two acts of vengeance over the Green Bay Packers in the last five weeks.

It’s obvious now this accomplishment never should’ve happened, and things should’ve never been this way. Favre should’ve never retired/been let go/forced out/asked to leave/left/whatever Green Bay the first time he “retired” in 2007. It’s now painfully clear that when Favre was waffling with his off-season decisions and wavering at his coming commitments towards the end of his Packer career, he wasn’t doubting whether or not he could still do the damn thing or wondering if he still wanted to.

He was simply contemplating whether or not he should still be doing it in Green Bay.

I doubt he realized at the time his struggle was with the team he played for and not the game he played, and how could he? He had been so good for so long in the same place with the same franchise, he naturally assumed at the time that if he wasn’t going to play football for the Green Bay Packers, he shouldn’t play football at all.

It just wouldn’t feel right, it wouldn’t look right, it wouldn’t be right anywhere else. But then he came to his senses, and even though it still doesn’t necessarily feel/look/be right all the time (especially to Packers’ fans), the man can still do the damn thing no matter whose jersey he’s wearing.

Jet fans might be as pissed right now as Packer fans. Favre futilely faded fast in 2008, but when you’re hurt, you’re hurt, even if you’re Brett Favre, and especially when you’re 40 years old.

He’s definitely getting old, but he’s still Brett Favre. He still has a 30-year-old’s throwing arm and a 13-year-old’s smile. He’s still good enough to turn a playoff contender into a Super Bowl contender, and his new Viking team is good enough to rally around Favre and dismember the old man’s old team twice in the last month to defend No. 4’s honor and virtue.

We may never know who’s to blame for Favre’s fleeing Green Bay. Maybe Ted Thompson, maybe Favre, maybe both, maybe the dairy products, maybe the man on the moon. At this point it doesn’t matter, because it’s abundantly apparent the greatest quarterback of his generation is still capable of -- and rightfully should still be -- playing quality football.

The only problem is, he should still be doing it in Green Bay. He should never have become the first NFL quarterback to beat every other team in the league. Somebody messed up … maybe ‘somebodies’ messed up, and now Brett Favre will re-retire as something other than a Packer.
The Houston Texans don’t suck and the New York Jets aren’t awesome. These two teams met in Houston on opening day, and after New York’s 24-7, nobody dreamed the Texans would be 5-3 right now while the Jets were 4-4. Suddenly Big Green has lost to the Bills once and the Dolphins twice, while Houston had beaten Cincinnati on the road and clobbered those same Bills this Sunday.

Houston has as easy a schedule as a team could hope for the rest of the way, though they will still face the Colts twice, beginning with next week’s trip to Indianapolis.

As for the NFC, suddenly anyone can beat anybody anywhere at anytime. The Cardinals beat the Giants in the Meadowlands last week and returned to the desert this week to take it in kiester from Carolina. The Giants were invincible last month while the Panthers were invisible, and now they’d both be battling for a wild card if the season ended this week.

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