No matter what, Favre was always worth watching
It would have been nice if the final pass of his 17-season career hadn't been intercepted. Or if the final game of his football life hadn't been a loss in overtime. Or if the lingering memory of that Jan. 20 NFC Championship hadn't been of Brett Favre looking as though he'd just been removed from the frozen food section of your local grocery store.But Favre has always defied logic. He played when his body begged him not to. He threw passes into slivers of daylight, or no light at all. And he retired when it seemed there was every reason for him to return for an 18th season. I don't blame him. The NFL ages you like dog years. Every game extracts a price not only from your body but also from your will. Favre can still throw a football through three sheets of drywall, but there's more to it than that. Favre has something left, but not enough. He can play, but he can't play like Favre anymore. Not every down and not every game. His heart -- and that's the body part that made Favre great -- isn't into it anymore.
Ron Wolf was the Green Bay Packers' general manager who traded for him in 1992. He heard about Favre's retirement from a neighbor."I was really surprised about that," Wolf said Tuesday evening. "Everything he did was with such great passion. But the more I thought about it, if he decided he didn't have that passion anymore, it was probably the best thing that he retired."
Wolf on The Herd
Former Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf, who brought Brett Favre to Green Bay 16 years ago, told Colin Cowherd he was surprised by the retirement announcement. Podcast
Favre could have quit a year ago and everyone would have understood. Instead, Favre returned to Green Bay and became 23 again. Otherwise, what was the point?Half the fun of watching the Packers work their way to the conference championship game last season was watching Favre. That's what I'll miss. He played like he was still drawing plays in the dirt. He played like his hair wasn't gray and his bones didn't ache. Favre made his Packers debut in Game 3 of the 1992 season. He replaced an injured Don Majkowski, and on his first play called an audible that didn't exist. Then he was sacked and fumbled away the ball. He was a green and gold train wreck. Standing on the sideline was then-first-year Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren. He had lost his first two games, and in comes Favre calling imaginary plays. Years later, Holmgren distinctly recalled thinking, "I'm never going to win a game in this league." Then Favre put together a last-minute, game-winning drive that day against the Cincinnati Bengals. He even was the holder on the extra point, though go watch the video of it. So scared was Favre of getting his hand kicked that he did a Lucy, of Peanuts fame, and actually let go of the ball moments before the PAT attempt.
ESPN TOP HEADLINES
- Rice: 'I made the biggest mistake of my life'
- Red Sox trade Lester to A's for Cespedes
- Source: Cardinals get Lackey from Red Sox
- Source: Giants unsure if Wilson can return
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
BRETT FAVRE SAGA: OVER
After pushing and pushing to keep playing either in Green Bay or elsewhere, Brett Favre's storied career will continue in 2008. The unretired quarterback has been traded by the Packers to the Jets.
NFC North blog | AFC East blog
News• Favre on offseason saga: 'I knew I wanted to play'
• Favre unlikely to play in Jets' preseason finale
• Report: Pack's Favre deal included souvenirs, blog
• On Day 5 with Jets, Favre says arm feels 'fatigued'
• Favre finally arrives in New York, meets mayor
• Rodgers: 'Still following Brett's legacy'
• Jets introduce Favre in Cleveland
• Favre era ends in Green Bay with trade to Jets
• Favre leaves Green Bay, destination unknown
• Favre: 'This probably isn't going to work'
• Favre flying under radar in Green Bay
• Favre: Reinstatement done, Green Bay flight set
• Favre mulling offer; NFL ruling put off again
• Favre actively weighing Packers' offer
• Report: Packers mull dealing Favre in division
• Team president meeting with Favre, agent
• Source: Favre files for reinstatement
• Rodgers takes over as starting QB
• Favre signs reinstatement letter, waits to send
• Favre won't report to Packers camp Sunday
• Sources: Favre, Packers talk trade destinations
• Favre support muted at shareholders meeting
• Report: Favre doesn't have team-issued phone
• Report: NFL security visits Vikings
• Favre questions likely from shareholders
• Packers reportedly weigh trade offers for Favre
• Favre returns to Lambeau Field
• Packers president supports GM, coach
• What they're saying about Favre
• Favre won't apply for reinstatement right away
• Sources: Packers claim Vikings tampered
• Favre may show up at camp
• Favre 'clears it up' in interview with Fox
• Few fans attend Favre rally in Milwaukee
• Pack fans rally, calling for Favre reinstatement
• Pack won't release Favre
• Sources: Favre seeks unconditional release
• Favre itching to return to field
Trade Commentary/Features• Clayton: History doesn't favor Favre, Jets
• Chadiha: Packers will be fine without Favre
• Wojciechowski: Divorce cause? Lack of trust
• Clayton: Deal is a downer for Favre
• Scouts Inc.: Jets now a playoff contender
• Clayton: Questions, answers on Favre trade
• Fantasy spin: Deal boosts value of many Jets
Other Commentary/Features• Clayton: 5 reasons Favre would start for Pack
• Mosley: Favre is QB turned ringmaster
• Wojciechowski: Favre and away the best solution
• Clayton: Favre wins ugly duel
• Clayton: It's a painful divorce
• Chadiha: Rodgers unfazed by Favre circus
• Yasinskas: Favre makes sense for Bucs
• Wojciechowski: Packers can't win this game
• Clayton: It's a delicate situation
• Wright Thompson: Catching Favre's fastballs
• Wojciechowski: What's the answer, Packers?
• Williamson: Where could he end up?
• Seifert: What happens after HOF QBs move on
• Paolantonio: Favre is overhyped
• Kiper: 2005 analysis of prospect Rodgers
• Madden '09 cover boy Favre to stay retired
• Thompson: Brett, we miss you already
• Wojciechowski: Worth the price of admission
• Price of signed Favre items to go up
• Yasinskas: Rodgers ready to take the reins
• FB Outsiders: Measuring Favre's greatness
• Sando: Gunslinger mentality defined Favre
• Yasinskas: Majkowski on Favre's legacy
• Clayton: Questions surrounding Favre
• Clayton: Packers will miss Favre's magic
• Chadiha: Favre will regret decision
• Keating: Favre just getting started
• Hashmarks: Favre fun-loving guy
• Burning Questions: Is Rodgers ready?
• Experts: Is Favre the best, or among them?
• Favre's top 10 moments
• Forde: Favre's flair for dramatic started in college
• Favre's rating in Mel Kiper's '91 draft guide
• Favre's hometown quiet on day of his retirement
• Sadness, shock envelops Green Bay
• Wounded Army officer has last ball thrown
• Around sports: What they're saying
• Fantasy spin: Rodgers not top-20 QB
• Scouts: Rodgers has talent to succeed
• Packers local: Complete hometown coverage
Video• Favre traded to Jets for conditional pick
• Jets GM on trade for Favre, imminent release of Pennington
• Steve Young on Favre's Jets future
• Cris Carter on what trade means to Jets?
• Schlereth: Exciting news for Jets
• Sal Pal on Favre's move to AFC
• Rachel Nichols on Favre's pre-trade mindset
• Favre interview: Part 3 | 2 | 1
SportsNation• How will Jets do with Favre behind center?
• Fans react to Favre's retirement
Photo Galleries• Favre flashback
• Top TD guns
• Top TD targets
- G-III Women's Green Bay Packers Foil Green V-Neck T-Shirt