Booing Brett Favre's Comeback

Sports writers denounce the famous quarterback's second return from retirement with the Minnesota Vikings

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Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Brett Favre un-retired for the second time today, inking a contract with the Minnesota Vikings after months of bubbling speculation about whether the longtime Green Bay Packer and short term New York Jet would stage a spectacular comeback…again. With some exceptions, sports commentators have responded with all the empathy and moderation of a blitzing linebacker.

What have they got against Favre's comeback?

  • He’s Old For Clark Judge at CBS Sports, the most important number in this debate is not 4 (Favre’s famed jersey number) but 40 (Favre’s age). “Favre will do for the Vikings what he did for the Jets, and that's sink the ship,” Judge explained. “There might be flashes of the old Brett early, with Favre winging the ball downfield to Percy Harvin or Bernard Berrian, but watch how his deliveries start to flutter as the season wears on and he absorbs more and more hits.” Judge’s conclusion? NFL legends Johnny Unitas and Joe Namath faltered in the twilight of their careers, and the football gods are unlikely to smile more favorably on Favre. 
  • He’s a Selfish Traitor In signing with the Vikings – the Packers’ arch rivals – Favre is destroying his legacy, Sports Illustrated’s Jeff Pearlman said. "For the low, low price of a reported $12 million,” Pearlman writes, “Favre has officially – and irrevocably – morphed his reputation, going from greatest quarterback of all time to craziest sports egomaniac we've ever seen.”
  • He Has a Problem with Commitment Arriving late to training camp is poor form, according to Clifton Brown of Sporting News. “It also raises the chance that some teammates will resent the way Favre can stroll into camp late and simply be handed the starting job,” Brown adds.
  • But Don't Underestimate Him In soliciting opinions from readers, Mike James of the LA Times pointed out, via colleague Sam Farmer, that Favre will instantly draw fans to the stadium and fortify the Vikings as a Super Bowl contender.
  • And, Ultimately, It's His Decision ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski surveyed the arguments on both sides and concluded, "I've got zero problems with Favre unretiring again. It's his career, his body, his legacy. No matter what happens when he wears purple, Favre is still going to end up in Canton."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.