Overshadowing the Saints first trip to the Super Bowl is the Brett Favre retirement chatter.
Moments after the Vikings heart breaking loss in OT to the Saints in the NFC Championship game, the Brett Favre retirement talks began.
The Iron Man suffered one of the most physically and mentally draining games of his career. Favre was bruised and battered after an intensely physical game in which the Saints hit him so hard that he had welts on his face and he hobbled on an injured left ankle. And at 40 years of age, it probably feels twice as bad as it looked!
Can we let the warrior recover before we bombard him with retirement questions?
His critics will point out his failure to make the necessary plays in key games such as Sunday's decision with a minute left in regulation to throw instead of scramble for the yards that could have put the Vikings in field goal range. They'll bring up the 2007 NFC Championship game when the Giants beat the Packers 23-20 in OT. Favre's last pass was intercepted and led to the game winning field goal. And Jets fans that never appreciated him will, well, never appreciate him based on his injury-riddled, not so stellar performance most of the 2008 season.
Favre deserves better endings! Although he does not have to answer to any of his critics reasoning for him to retire, the one thing that keeps him coming back is the hope that he CAN have the fairy tale ending to an already legendary career. He was moments away from it on Sunday and he let it evaporate with a poor decision in the heat of battle. He realized afterwards that he should have run the ball. One mistake and the season is history and so may be his career.
But if he does choose to retire, and remain retired, he has nothing to be sorry about. With the exception of propelling his team to the Super Bowl, Favre had a brilliant year. He threw for 33 TDs and 4,202 yards! His teammates adore him and the state of Minnesota embraced him. He enjoyed one of the most brilliant games of his career when he became the first 40-year-old QB to win a playoff game, throwing four touchdowns against the Cowboys.
I personally do not have a problem if he decides to continue to play. With the kind of year he had this season, he does not have to answer to anyone. In a few months, after his body heals, if he still has the passion, the desire and determination to play, I'm sure Minnesota will welcome him back with open arms. Favre has one year left on the two-year contract he signed with Minnesota in August. Why not return for a 20th season? It would be difficult to beat the season he had this year, but as well as he played over all and as comfortable as he felt with his teammates and his situation in Minnesota, his heart may once again rule over his physical aches and pains.
After the game he said, "I'm going out on top one way or the other." And if you look at all the records he has compiled during his long career, beating many of the game's legendary quarterbacks in many categories, he's right.
Visit Ann's web site at www.annliguori.com to order DVD copies of her cable interviews with legends in sports and entertainment or to order an autographed copy of her book, A Passion for Golf, Celebrity Musings About the Game.
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