After 17 NFL seasons, 16 of them with the Green Bay Packers, quarterback Brett Favre has had enough. He called the Packers Monday night and told them he is retiring.
Favre called the voicemail of former NFL quarterback Ron Jawowski and told him that the only thing he could do now that would be considered a success is win the Super Bowl. He's said he's mentally tired. He sounded like a player that just wasn't ready to compete anymore.
Had he returned for an 18th NFL season, Favre would have likely been very competitive and likely was still the best quarterback in Green Bay, but he clearly wasn't ready to put the time in, the time it takes to ready himself for another long NFL season.
The Packers will be blamed for not trying to persuade Favre into returning for another season. It's pretty apparent they didn't put any pressure on him to return. The Packers played it right down the middle. Had Favre returned, they would have welcomed him with open arms. When he said he wanted to retire, the Packers said thanks for the memories and handed the keys to the bus to Aaron Rodgers who's been waiting patiently in the wings.
Favre may have also been asking himself this. With a tougher schedule and some holes to fill, will this team be as good as they were last year or will they fall back into mediocrity. There's no guarantees.
The Packers tried to not talk about the future, rather celebrate the past. They're right in that approach. Everybody is curious about what the future brings, but Brett Favre, whether he returns to Wisconsin to address the media and the fans or not, he's the greatest player to ever put on a Packers uniform and is a certain first ballot Hall of Famer.
Bob Harlan said it best yesterday. There'll never be another Brett Favre. And you know what, he's right. He played the game like a kid on the playground. The NFL benefited from that. So did the Packers and their fans. There'll never be a player that will make his mark on the game like Brett Favre did.
The end had to come sometime, and now that it's here, so long Brett. Thanks for the memories.