Favre From Gone
It was the only logical outcome — and it was the right one for reasons most wouldn’t consider.
Brett Favre stayed true to his lack of form and unretired mere days after pseudo-retiring for the 19th time. By signing with our nemesis to the north, Brett managed to break our hearts one last time, crossing the purple line we thought he’d never cross and cementing the bitterness so many of our fellow Wisconsinites have felt toward him ever since this soap opera began anew.
And this is good news.
Packer fans have been willing to forgive Favre for a lot of things he’s done throughout the years because of one Vince Lombardi Trophy. Drug addiction, alcoholism, interference with Packers management on personnel decisions, whispered shenanigans on College Avenue in Appleton that would make your mom blush (if she isn’t a sex worker). Fans have looked the other way each and every time because so many of us saw a little piece of our personal identity in Brett Favre. We worked hard (at least we thought we did), we drank hard (stats n’ graphs don’t lie), we loved deer hunting (so we could drink more away from our spouses) — just like our idol, Brett. The fact that he had interests so similar to ours made us blind to the obvious faults that were already apparent before the Super Bowl quickly swept them from our minds.
That is, until now.
Our state’s identity is no longer intertwined with our quarterback or his personality. To many, Favre’s fall from our grace coincided with the painful reminder that life, and our economy, sometimes aren’t fair. As so many of us continue to work through that cold reality, we were already working through our mixed emotions on Favre when his sudden reemergence forced us to once and for all accept that those days are gone. In the words of Ian MacKaye, “you can’t be what you were, so you better start being just what you are.”
And what we are now is a fan base lost in memories of what we were. We want what we once had, but we’ve already forgotten how many years it took to obtain it in the first place. Thankfully, we didn’t chase away Aaron Rodgers, who might become the technically proficient passer we were all but ready to dump Favre for back when a loss to the Cowboys in the playoffs was the inevitable end to the season and our holiday cheer.
The free market is dealing us a cruel hand, but it’s going to make this season of football so much more intriguing than it would have been otherwise. Our hearts will mend and our team will undoubtedly split the season series, providing us with a small morsel of impotent revenge but keeping us honest about just how much the world has changed since a hard-drinking Gomer from Kiln, Mississippi filled in for an injured Don Majikowski so many years ago and stole our hearts – and our better judgment – in the process.
And with this introductory post, welcome to Divisionaries, ThirdCoast Digest’s column covering the newly intriguing NFC North. We’ll be keeping an eye on all of the hoopla and bitterness (on and off the field) all season with biting wit and a host of rhetorical techniques never before employed in the coverage of football. We’re a mix of Packers and Bears fans united in the shared loathing of the Minnesota Vikings and pity for all people unfortunate enough to call themselves fans of the Detroit Lions. In the weeks leading up to the regular season we’ll be previewing each team, starting on Monday, August 24th with the lowly Lions.