Citizen Wausau

A Site About Life in Wausau, Wisconsin

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Hey Brett-GO TO BED!!

by on July 15th, 2008

I feel strange writing about Brett Favre. I have not wanted to really ever write about sports, save the for brilliance of Bobby Bowden or the metaphysical brilliance of Roy Jones, Jr., but I have had enough. I have had enough of this constant onslaught of this man and his never-ending string of manipulation at the expense of the people of this great state. Just a few months ago, I stood in County Market, and I cried. At 37, I cried as we all listened to the press conference played over the PA. Grown men stood unmoving while our hero stepped aside.

Then I came to my office and put off working to write a post thanking Brett for his time, that it meant something more than sports to me. The memories of watching the first touchdown in the Superbowl, sitting with my now passed father, watching something bigger than just a football game. This guy — we all believed him to be our hero. No matter who you are, no matter how cynical you are, everyone in this state was happy for the run of Brett. We were all glad that this dude was our quarterback.

But this run is over, and it ended badly. I am angry, not for anything related to football, but because I think Brett lied to me, lied to us all. He was our gunslinger, our beer-drinking, stubble-having, good old boy who just liked to play the football, just liked to get out there and mix it up every week. Brett was never in too many commercials here in Wisconsin, and we never thought he was a big time football star like the others. He was not in a ton of ads like Peyton Manning or dating supermodels and getting actresses pregnant like Tom Brady. He was just one of us, as likely to be at the fish fry at the VFW as he was to be in the gym working out.

All that is done. It’s over. Tonight this guy took the time to go on Red State News (Fox) and spin his tale. He has had his minions out there doing the media work for him, pushing the Green Bay Packers, our team in so many ways, into a corner. The ultimate diva move, this is Scottie Pippen demanding a raise or he would leave and break up the Bulls, this is Kobe demanding in so many hints that Shaq needs to go.

We need to remember that Favre is, in fact, not one of us. Well, he is not one of me anyway. He is a multimillionaire who lives in another state. He makes more money on interest each month than I make all year. This agent, while having the nickname Bud, is in fact a high-powered agent. This is not some dude who is making calls from the cab of his straight truck while he is driving a Frito Lay route.

The Packer News blog here on Citizen Wausau has all sorts of facts. Serious discussion about this stuff, and I will leave that to him as he does a good job. I just want to try some of my own facts though.

1. This dude Favre retired. A willing choice as HR people will stipulate.
2. This guy Favre had years remaining on his contract worth a ton of money. So he could have returned if he wanted to.
3. When one retires, it is like quitting a job.
4. In the NFL, when one retires, you are put on the retired list, but still remain a member of the team. So you cannot retire, and just go play wherever you want, as that would be a shady business practice.
5. Favre has had some second thoughts to the retirement thing, BUT …
6. If one wants to unretire in the NFL, one can, and return to the team one retired from. You simply need to petition the NFL for reinstatement.
7. BUT … Brett clearly did not want to ask for reinstatement. He could have had his lawyers and agents send that letter, or his assistant could have done it.
9. Instead he sent a letter demanding his release. He did not want to return to the Packers. He wanted to be released to go play for someone else.

He did not want to return to the Green Bay Packers. He wanted his unconditional release so he could go play somewhere else.

That is what it was. This man, this multimillionaire wanted to go play a game somewhere else. He wanted to move on and leave the Green Bay Packers. This hero did not want to stand in the room and work it out with Packer management.

As far as the act of retirement goes … I would love to have the chance to sit down with my boss, QUIT, and then a few months later decide that I wanted to come back and do the job. I would want them to fire the dude who was doing my job, and let me do it again. Maybe I would do it all year, or maybe I would get it in my head to retire again.

I know I want the chance to flip-flop with my employer as to whether I would want to come back and do my job. I know I would like it better that way. The ability to hold my employer hostage is cool.

Let us not be moved by the mouth moving of Brett Favre. His is just the mouth of another multimillionaire athlete, prepped and coiffed like Terrell Owens or a repentant Randy Moss. Brett Favre has become the thing that we have all thought he was not, the superstar athlete. Not one of us. Not one of us.

I am sorry, Brett. You are a gazillionaire, and for you, the people of Wisconsin have become emotionally battered. We want to love you, but I must tell you that because of my anger at your actions, your selling out of your own legacy, I cannot see you anymore. You are not our gunslinger; you did not walk into the sunset like John Wayne.

You drove into the sunset in your Escalade, to the private plane of the Packers, and they flew you back to where ever you live. Then your assistant, who probably makes more than me, picked you up at the airport in what I assume was not an old pickup. Your assistant drove you to your multimillion-dollar house, where your multimillion-dollar agent and attorney met you to go over your post football strategy.

You are not John Wayne. John Wayne did not send him mom to do his bidding, or his brother, or someone holding up the memory of your father. John Wayne would have stood up on his own and asked on his own. You sent your mom to radio, your brother or uncle or whatever folksy person you wanted to send out there to sound salt of the Earth.

I hope you stay retired, Brett. But more than that, I hope you at least to cop to being a rich guy. This was a sad manipulation, Brett. This was terrible. You pulled the heartstrings of good Wisconsin people on purpose, with the intent of lashing out at management. This is Wisconsin. These are people that lived and died for you, man, and you jerked them around like so many wrestling fans. You are guilty of that, Brett.

I am going to go back to cheering for Florida State football. I want nothing more to do with this crap.

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