Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What the internet needs is another Brett Favre story

So the juicy part of the Brett Favre - Green Bay Packers divorce has ended. Brett keeps his number and his Hall of Fame numbers, the Packers keep the Super Bowl trophy and Aaron Rodgers.

And the New York Jets, of all people, get Favre.

Look at this image, for crying out loud:

That's just wack. Wiggity-wack, not just regular kind.

The New York Jets' website, understandably, is all-Favre now, topped by the typically New York media headline "DO QB-LIEVE IT? BRETT FAVRE IS A JET." "Jet Favre" has cropped up everywhere in the New York media.

Team-wise, it's not a bad fit. WRs Coles and Cotchery, in particular, are good targets for Favre's playing style. But the Jets simply aren't one player away from being a great team, not even a quarterback, not even Brett Favre. Even if Favre totally revitalizes the team after last year's 4-12 record--which I don't expect--the best-case scenario is still looking up at the Patriots all season long. Two Favre-versus-Brady duels this year sound really interesting, though.

The truly bad fit, in my opinion, is Favre and New York City. Hey, I love New York; I lived there. But the only things more likely to eat their young than the New York sports media are the New York sports fans. Turning on their heroes after a single bad play is simply what's expected. Yes, they will turn right back and forgive if you do something spectacular--sometimes--but Favre is extremely prickly and sensitive (and that's putting it quite kindly). There's just no way he's passing for his 2007 totals of 4155 yards, 28 touchdowns, and only 15 interceptions in 2008. His TD-to-INT ratio with the Jets may be close to even, especially as he's learning a new system and new players. He's a mistake-prone gunslinger of a quarterback now playing in a market that inflates and obsesses over mistakes. And it's a town that doesn't have a great history of rewarding quarterbacks since Joe Namath.

Favre is from tiny Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and he played in tiny Green Bay, Wisconsin. Now he's playing in the largest media market in the world. I'm not worried about his learning a new offense, I'm worried about his learning how to get around in a town that discourages driving. I'm worried about his averting his eyes from massive pun-filled headlines exaggerating his last game-turning interception. I'm worried about his reaction to being booed at home for the first time in his career.

It would have been hard to come into a situation in Tampa where he was displacing a Pro Bowl quarterback in Jeff Garcia. This is going to be harder. Much harder. But these are the consequences of what was an emotionally-driven, impulsive retirement.

I wish Brett Favre well (except, of course, when they play the Redskins). But he may find that the game is the easy part of this transition.

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