Thursday, March 15, 2007
Sports Illustrated: December 4, 2006
The 30th and final (as of this point) appearance of the Green Bay Packers on the cover of Sports Illustrated came in December 2006 in their “Football America” issue. On the cover, quarterback Brett Favre is depicted with the headline “For the Love of the Game: Brett Favre Now.”
On the inside, the article is listed as “The Veteran: Huck Finn’s Last Ride... for 15 years Brett Favre has been the NFL’s answer to Mark Twain’s barefoot scamp — forever young and reckless. But nothing lasts forever, and the chattering heads think it’s time for him to retire. Pray that they’re wrong.”
“To interview Brett Favre in the basement at Lambeau is to sit awhile face-to-face with the phenomenon of American celebrity. There is the private person, of course, and there is the public persona. Often enough these two are utter opposites, even when each can fit the other like a second skin. Favre is, though, as he appears.”
“ ‘Is this the beginning of the end?,’ Favre says, ‘I hear that all the time. When you’ve played 16 years you know that it’s just a matter of time before arm strength, or your legs, give out. You’re always wondering... I come into camp now, my mind’s still telling me I can make that throw. But will my body tell me that? My game’s always been about throwing from awkward positions and making throws that other people wouldn’t make.’ He pauses. ‘And if I can’t do that, I can’t play.’ ”
“There will come a time when Brett Favre can no longer play. This is not that time. But at the end of this season — or the next or the next or the next — he will step away at last, having earned the peace of an endless off-season.”
Whether or not 2007 is Favre’s last season remains to be seen.
But as always, win or lose, it’ll be priceless to watch him play.