The Long Goodbye was a classic movie.
Brett Favre's long goodbye is getting classicly tragic.
His "will he or won't he?" dance with retirement has been one of the top stories of the past three football off-seasons and at this point I am wondering if he's played with his fans' patience for too long.
In 2007 he announced after a deliberation that he'd in fact return to football, delaying Aaron Rogers' start for another year but delighting many fans as it appeared the Green Bay Packers were poised to make a run for the title. Bonus points for Favre.
In 2008, after narrowly missing the Super Bowl, he tearfully announced he was retiring from football. At the time it was a move that looked good in all the right ways: he was not, I repeat, NOTgoing to become one of those guys that didn't know when to quit. He was not going to pull a Joe Montana and build his entire career becoming synonymous with one team then finish out his last season in relative obscurity (a.k.a. Kansas City). And he got bonus points in the media for the maturity it takes to step down literally months after coming so close to a return to the Super Bowl.
But Favre, it turns out, IS one of those guys who doesn't know when to quit. He popped back up to yank the Packers' chain last summer before signing with the Jets. Now he's yanking everyone's chain by painfully delaying his announcement as to whether or not he'll retire this year. Major demerits for the almost 40-year-old quarterback.
This is not a decision made lightly -- I highly doubt Favre is sitting around twiddling his thumbs right now still trying to decide if he'll retire. He knows his answer but he's not just getting it over with and letting the rest of the sports world in on the secret.
I've always admired Favre for his down-to-earth quality and seemingly genuine good character. But that's all washed away as far as I'm concerned over the last year with the image that he's portrayed with his un-retirement song and dance. It's not fair to sports fans, the media and especially his teammates and coaches.
Had he stuck to his original retirement date, he goes down as one of the most respectable, old school football guys who played. But now on the second summer of Favre Watch, that image has been severely damaged to the point of being irreparable.
How will Favre be remembered now? Has his desire to keep playing and inability to stick to a decision hurt his legacy?