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Just The Sports: Michael Ventre Has a Man Crush on Favre

Just The Sports

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Michael Ventre Has a Man Crush on Favre

Michael, please take your head from between Brett Favre's legs because it is obviously affecting your ability to use basic reasoning skills.

And when you think about it, his decision to return to the Green Bay Packers for his 16th and perhaps final (yeah, right) NFL season was really his only legitimate option.

No, it wasn't. I'm assuming you are using the word "legitimate" in terms of being in compliance with the law so I will go ahead and break the news to you that if Favre had retired, he would not have been breaking the law. Therefore, he had two legitimate options. Unfortunately, Favre chose the one where his decreasing talent will be on display for the whole world. Again.

Because if he retired now, after the only losing season of his distinguished career, he might be remembered as a loser.

And Brett Favre is no loser, right? Oh, you can't hear me because your ears are covered by Favre's muscular thighs? Well, that's too bad, but I will go on talking anyway.

Instead of retiring and having only one losing season in his career, Favre has decided to come back for yet another losing season. That way, when people fifteen years from now look back on Favre's legacy, they can say to themselves that, wow, that Brett Favre sure was a winner at losing.

Loser is not a word Brett Favre’s lips can form in a mirror.

They don't have to. His twenty-nine interceptions from last year say it loudly enough.

Granted, millions of others can do it for him, aided in part by his scattershot performances in 2005.

And 2003. And 1999. And 1998. And 1993. Basically every season where Favre threw more than twenty interceptions.

That is why it was essential he return. The Packers probably won’t win next year’s Super Bowl behind Favre. They may not even make the playoffs. But they’ll be led by someone who feels there is unfinished business to take care of, and an individual like that is always worth following.

There certainly is unfinished business to be taken care of. At the end of last season, Brett Favre had 255 career interceptions, a measly 22 behind the career interception leader, George Blanda. With the way he throws into triple coverage and throws the ball a mile up in the air so it resembles a punt more than a pass, there is no doubt that Favre came back for one thing and one thing only. To prove that he is far and away the best interception thrower in the history of the National Football League. And if that is not worth following, I do not know what is.

Favre’s physical skills haven’t eroded.

You are right about that. He can still throw interceptions with the best of them.

The issues with Favre last year had to do with his ability to perform when hamstrung by events outside of his control.

Wait, wait wait. So you're saying that forcing throws into coverage was outside of his control? That when he threw those twenty-nine interceptions, some evil football demon had possessed his body and made him make all those bad decisions? Oh, that makes complete sense. How dare I criticize Favre?

Last season Favre threw a career-high 29 interceptions and at times looked like the confused rebel out of Southern Mississippi with the million-dollar arm and ten-cent head who baffled the Atlanta Falcons just enough that they decided to give up on him early and ship him to Green Bay after only one season.

When has Favre not looked like that? Throughout his career as a starting quarterback, Favre has averaged eighteen interceptions a year. Compare that to Joe Montana who only averaged ten interceptions a year in years he started at least 8 games.

Yet the reason Favre often seemed to regress back to those formative seasons during the maddening 2005 campaign is not because he’s losing brain capacity but because he tried to do too much on a lousy team. He forced balls into coverage. He tried to impose his will upon the game instead of letting it come to him. And when game after game went awry, Favre responded not by easing up, but by pushing harder. Big mistake.

How many times does this need to be said? Favre has always done those things. He is not regressing. That is the player he is. A high-risk quarterback who is going to throw a lot of needless interceptions.

In 2005 the Packers, under head coach Mike Sherman, played much of the season without running back Ahman Green, who suffered a knee injury. But the team has re-signed him, and added Rams defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and former Seahawks safety Marquand Manuel through free agency.

If you think the re-signing of Ahman Green will keep Favre from throwing interceptions, then you are sorely mistaken. Even in Ahman Green's best statistical year, 2003 where he rushed for 1,883 years, Favre still managed to throw twenty-one interceptions.

Brett Favre may not go out as a winner after the 2006 campaign, but at least he won’t go out as a loser.

I'm pretty sure this sentence is full of logical fallacies, but it's late and I don't feel like figuring it out.


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