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Why Favre has the right to stay

Because of his career, we have no right to tell the legend when he needs to call it quits

Published: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

Brett Favre may have lost, but before he suited up for another NFC championship, the legendary quarterback had already silenced the critics who clamored for his retirement during the off-season. For all the retirement drama that has dominated the off-season the past two summers, Favre proved his unparalleled ability by coming within a play of the Super Bowl.

Sports journalists sneered when Head Coach Brad Childress spent the summer convincing Favre to cross enemy lines and join the hated Vikings. The last memory of the future Hall of Famer showed an injured old man in a Jets uniform, throwing three interceptions in a meaningless loss to the Dolphins. The unanimous consensus from the sports world was Favre was done, another old hero too stubborn to know when to retire.

Halfway through August, Favre returned without the benefit of a training camp to familiarize himself with his new teammates. While the media doubted him, Favre simply led his team like the quarterback we had grown accustomed to seeing win in Green Bay. And in November, Favre treated his fans to one more win in Lambeau, throwing four touchdowns in his second crushing victory over his former team.

Clad in Minnesota purple and white, Favre achieved his best statistical season ever, throwing 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions for a 107.2 passer rating. He led his team to a crushing victory over Dallas in the postseason, throwing for four touchdowns in a 34-3 blow out them Cowboys. The 40-year-old man can still play, becoming the oldest starting quarterback to win a playoff game.

But beyond the statistics and victories, Favre brings our childlike passion for football back to NFL. In a league where contracts seem to take priority over love of the game, Brett stood apart from the commercial aspects that threaten a lockout if a new collective bargaining agreement can't be reached by 2011. After a bone-crushing hit, Favre is the first running down the field with his arms signaling touchdown.

Even with a broken right thumb, immediately after his father's death, Favre was on the field, never missing a game. Brett left everything he had on the field, and his mistakes only make him more human. The faithful Favre followers will watch him to the end, and no late-game interception will ever diminish his legend. Should time catch up with the Iron Man next season, Favre has given enough to the game to have earned the right to retire on his schedule, even if that decision changes a dozen times over the offseason.

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