wine by the color

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In my 38 years as a rabid sports fan, I can point to three true highlights...

-the Mets' last two victories over the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series
-Ohio State’s national championship victory over Miami in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl
-the 10-day stretch last fall during which the Jets beat the Patriots in New England and the then-unbeaten Titans in Tennessee


Since the season ended, several people have asked if I was sorry the Jets had ever signed Brett Lorenzo Favre.

No. No I am not.

Did he turn out to be the Jets' savior? No. Did he carry them to the top and ride off in a blaze of glory? Um, no. But I didn't expect those things.

What I did get was to watch the Jets improve from 4-12 to 9-7. I got to watch them win two games they would not have won without Favre. I got to be excited to be a Jets’ fan, if only for a few weeks.

More than anything, I had the opportunity to watch my favorite athlete of all time play on my favorite team. On opening day, I sat in a Wisconsin bar and watched every local in the joint root for Favre and the Jets. Eight times this year, I got to sit in the stands and watch His Holiness in action. Knowing it was likely it would be a one-season fling, I took special care to savor every moment he was in the game. I watched tap his feet to the stadium music while sitting on the sidelines. I frequently borrowed Mikey’s binoculars to get a closer view of him working the huddles.

And yes, I drove by his house.

All that said, am I sorry to see him retire now?

No. No I am not.

From here, I think things can only get worse. I don’t see Favre lifting the Jets to the Super Bowl anytime soon. I can, however, picture him limping off the field after yet another interception, hanging on too long and forever soiling the reputation he worked so hard to build. The last thing I want is for the image of a broken-down star playing past his prime, particularly in a Jets uniform.

So yes, I’m okay with how it all worked out. Would I have preferred the Jets had won more than one of their last five games (particularly the one against Seattle, during which I said some hurtful things and flung my #4 jersey across the room, two things for which I am deeply apologetic) and made the playoffs? Sure. Would I have preferred that Favre not throw a league-high 22 interceptions? Of course. Would I rather he had been out in the front yard the day I drove by his house? No doubt.

But overall, you’ll hear no complaints from me.


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