The League

Doug Farrar

Doug Farrar

A staff writer

A Complicated Legacy


I don't think there can be any question that Favre is one of the best quarterbacks of all time. We're talking about a guy with John Elway's arm, Fran Tarkenton's ability to extend a play beyond pressure, and Steve Young's gift for improbable outcomes. And his durability is simply unmatched.

Ultimately, though, I think this last year has presented us with a more complex Favre legacy than the one we may have anticipated. Last night, I watched an exceptional program called "Looking for Lincoln", in which the host, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., implored us to get beyond Abraham Lincoln the "secular saint" and see the more complete picture of the real man. There are those journalists who will insist in presenting us with the Brett Favre who "was just havin' fun out there", the one-dimensional gunslinger with an "S" on his chest and the cleanest backstory possible.

But his retirement, un-retirement, the way his journey to the Jets from the Packers held the football world hostage for months, and the unsuccessful conclusion (we think) of his career all lead back to the more complicated Favre. The son always looking for dad's approval. The superstar who became addicted to painkillers. The inveterate self-promoter. The vain future Hall-of-Famer unable and unwilling to confront the end of his great career.

I hope that this is the end of Brett Favre's career. And I hope that as he begins that journey to Canton, people are able to recognize and reconcile the manufactured Favre and the real thing. In the end, I think it would make his accomplishments all the more fantastic.

He wasn't a superhero - he was one of us all along.

By Doug Farrar  |  February 12, 2009; 8:29 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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