Brett Favre, Entitlement and Pride: A Rant

OK. Every once in a while I just feel the need to rant: this is one of those times. A disclaimer up front: if you are not a football fan, this post may not be as meaningful to you as it will be to others.

I appreciate the accomplishments of quarterback Brett Favre. As a lifelong fan of Dan Marino, I had no hard feelings about Brett breaking several of his records a few years ago. Furthermore, I was actually rooting for Brett and the Packers in the NFC Championship game two years ago. However, Brett’s decision to return to professional football today is – for lack of a better term – infuriating. Why am I so fired up about this you may ask? Allow me to try and articulate.

Brett’s decision to return to football and play for the Minnesota Vikings today AFTER telling the team three weeks ago that he was NOT going to return is disrespectful and classless on many levels.

Brett seems to have little regard for the other men on the Minnesota Vikings team who are working tirelessly every day in an effort to earn the respect of their teammates and to earn a spot on the team. Quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and John David Booty are suddenly shoved to the sidelines and handed a clipboard and a headset even though they have pushed themselves daily in training camp all summer long. In the meantime, Brett conveniently waits until camp is over to announce his decision to return. Perhaps he feels that he has earned the right to skip out on the things that he doesn’t enjoy, but this pathetic appeal to entitlement is what’s wrong with this country today. Surely Brett feels that he has paid his dues and that his record speaks for itself, and indeed his record is pretty phenomenal as far as quarterbacks are concerned; but, no disrespect intended, who cares? You’re a man just like the rest of those men on that field and the entitlement argument – I am convinced – won’t increase the respect his teammates show him (which is what he expects), but just the opposite. If Brett wanted to win the respect of his teammates, he would have said yes to Minnesota three months ago, reported to mini camp and worked his tail off to show the other guys that he was in this together with them.

At this stage in his career, running back Adrian Peterson could have demanded a bit more respect from his teammates if he wanted to, but he didn’t. He is there in the trenches with his friends and his comrades lifting weights, running sprints, doing three a days, and not expecting any special treatment.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived wrote that “pride goes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18a). I don’t mean to be a prophet of doom here, but the reality is, Brett did this last year in New York and the results speak for themselves. Minnesota will not be a better team because of Brett Favre. He brings incredible talent but the arrogance and utter disregard for the rest of the players on that team will ultimately prove to be the Achilles Heal of the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. They may win a few games to start the season, but Brett’s age, lack of conditioning, and his inability to bond with his teammates will let the team down in the end, and prove once again that football is a team sport.

Favre said in his press conference today that his legacy will be “his” legacy. That is precisely the problem: it’s all about Brett, and that won’t ever be enough in the NFL.

Or in life for that matter.


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