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Dan Levy
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Dan Levy

The host of On the DL with new episodes every weekday.

Can We End This Hostage Crisis Already?

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I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion -
I have shudder'd at it.
I shudder no more.
I could be martyr'd for my religion
Favre is my religion
And I could die for that.
I could die for you.
~ by John Keats. Adapted by P. King, J. Madden, T. Kornheiser and many of America's other favorite sportswriters and analysts.

Brett Favre is rugged. Brett Favre is grizzled. Brett Favre is the only player in NFL history who can organize a pickup football game in a muddy, backwoods, JV-practice field looking swampland and have every guy show up in dungarees. Honestly, not one guy shows up in sweatpants? You're playing football. In mud.

But that's Brett Favre. His toughness knows no bounds. And he'll show you how tough he is, even to the detriment of his own team.

Brett Favre has played a lot of games in his NFL career and has compiled an impressive list of accolades. He's a three-time MVP, seven-time All-Pro and ten-time Pro Bowl selection. He won one Super Bowl and took his team to another. He owns nearly every passing record in league history, including attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and interceptions.

But more than that, he's just a gunslinger. Just having fun out there. Brett Favre just loves the game too damn much to give it up. "Football, I wish I knew how to quit you." Or something like that. Love of the game has to count for something, right?

The fact of the matter is, there are at least five quarterbacks of his era -- those with overlapping years of his career -- I'd rather have under center; John Elway, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Joe Montana and Steve Young. Some people would rather have Dan Marino as well.

When you add in the historical greats like Otto Graham, John Unitas, Bart Starr, Fran Tarkenton, Roger Staubach, Joe Namath and Terry Bradshaw, it's very hard to think of Brett Favre as the best of the bunch. And none of them held America hostage for as long as Favre has. Is he quitting? Is he coming back? Is he quitting? I think he's quitting. No, wait... yep, quitting. I heard he's coming back, no?

Sportswriters and television analysts love to tell stories. And Brett Favre had a great story. The Iron Man of football who fought drug addiction and family tragedy, but through it all, never missed a game. What his acolytes in the mainstream media haven't been able to accept is that Favre isn't the plucky kid from Kiln, Mississippi anymore. He's not even the exuberant guy running around the field with his helmet in his hands after the Super Bowl. He's an old man who only cares about himself. Not his teammates. Not his fans. Himself. That's some legacy.

People might remember Favre, the tough-nosed quarterback with all the records, as the best of all time. I'll remember Brett Favre as the guy who single-handedly hijacked every offseason of the last five years of his career. I'll remember him for having reporters hiding in the trunk of his car.

And if for one second you actually think this circus has up and left town, you're nuts. This won't be the end of Brett Favre. He's not done yet. Or is he?

By Dan Levy  |  February 12, 2009; 8:56 AM ET  | Category:  Dan Levy , New York Jets Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: A Complicated Legacy | Next: Top 10, Not Top 5

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One of the Greatest Ever! We will miss Brett.

Posted by: Hoffmann1 | February 12, 2009 11:25 AM

If 'clowns' like Levy didn't continue writing about Farve and if ESPN would just allow Farve (or any player for that matter) to simply retire without fanfare this so-called 'hero worship' would never surface.

Instead ballclubs must stage productions for the sake of these journalistic hacks to provide them with material to express their self-centered opinions on a national level so THEIR careers can continue to elevate (or decline).

I have yet to read or hear any sports talking head or print writer who isn't smarter than any team owner, general manager or coach in any sport. They all are self-appointed geniuses.

They are also the most parasitic of creatures known to mankind. They have a free pass to all sporting events, preferred parking, catered food and excellent seats.

And yet we are supposed to believe that these pampered creatures have the intelligence to be objective?

Levy is the epitome of arrogance.

Posted by: dharper2 | February 12, 2009 11:27 AM

Please don't remember Brett Favre at all. It is your type of journalism that give reporters a black eye. You make ennuendos re: reporters "hiding in the trunk of his car". This is completely untrue.

The one thing you got right is that Favre is exhuberant. That is one of things that his fans love most about him - his all out, exhuberant love of the game. Is it so hard to understand that, when a person loves something so much it is hard to give it up? So he wasn't ready to retire.

Favre gave us many years of great performances. He was never arrested for carrying a weapon, alterations in bars, spousal abuse, using steroids.

I will sorely miss seeing the joy in his face, even though he was playing in sub zero weather. I will miss his exhuberance as he rushed down the field to hug his receivers.

God bless Brett Favre who gave us many years of great football.

Posted by: margiekeane | February 12, 2009 2:05 PM

Great analysis Dan. These moron Packers fans and Favre slurpers are really becoming unhinged. I simply ask, what has the man won since 1999? OVERRATED!

Posted by: mjwies11 | February 12, 2009 3:29 PM

Dang, I haven't seen that much Favre slurping since PTI . . .

But as for your general take, I'm in agreement with you. For the past couple years Favre has been not much more than a highlight reel, great long throws, just never sure to what team. His "stardom" might be missed by some fans, but hopefully he's finally out in the pasture for good.

Posted by: NeilFromRockville | February 12, 2009 4:25 PM

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