GREEN BAY, WI--The cacophony of voices pleading for Brett Favre to return next season just got louder, as the NFL’s cornerbacks have joined the fray in urging the star to play one more year. The group, led by Minnesota ’s Antoine Winfield, told Favre that the league wouldn’t be the same without him.
“Brett Favre is an institution. He’s an icon,” said Winfield, who had one of his team’s four interceptions in the wild card game against the Packers. “When you think about all he’s accomplished it’s depressing to hear that he might retire. I sure will miss all those pretty, perfect spirals gunned right into my chest. Come back, Brett. You have so much more to give.”
Favre has stated that he’d like to go out on top. He would have to return for another year in order to erase the memory of his four-interception performance against the Vikings.
“I’m sure Brett is disappointed in his performance against us,” said Ralph Brown, another Vikings cornerback who intercepted Favre that day. “Knowing the fiery competitor he is, he’ll want to come back and make up for it. He’s meant so much to this game, and to me personally. That was the only pick I had all year.”
Brown then paused to recall his interception and subsequent 27-yard return.
“It was a cover-2, I think, although I can’t be sure because we’re not that organized on defense,” he said. “Anyway, as soon as the ball was snapped I saw Brett hand-off to Ahman Green, only--now try and follow me here--he didn’t really hand it off. It was a fake. He was trying to trick us! Unfortunately I had already given up on the play, so while I was waving to my grandmother in the stands I felt something hit me in the face. I was a little stunned, but my teammates pushed me from behind and told me start running. Everything happened so fast. Anyway, 27 yards later I got tackled and finally realized that I’d been running with a football wedged into my facemask. My first interception! And I have Brett Favre to thank for it. Please, please return next year, Brett. The NFL needs you.”
But it’s not just Vikings defenders who are pleading for Favre’s return. Dozens of other players have also benefited from his generosity and devil-may-care style. Cornerbacks, safeties, and linebackers from around the league are standing shoulder to shoulder in urging Favre to continue playing.
“Brett Favre retiring? Say it aint so,” said the Redskins’ Shawn Springs, who intercepted Favre twice during a Week 7 loss. “Brett Favre is the NFL. He’s the consummate professional, he plays hard week in and week out, and most importantly, he’s a role model off the field. His name is synonymous with class, respect, and excellence. It’s also synonymous with throwing interceptions at the worst possible times. If he retires, I’ll have no choice but to move to the AFC so I can play against Jake Plummer.”
Though Favre did have a QB rating of 92.4 as well as 30 touchdown passes, it’s his tendency to make crazy throws into traffic that has his opponents salivating every week.
“That guys is absolutely fearless, man,” said Lamont Thompson , Tennessee Titans safety. “I really admire that quality in a quarterback. I only had four picks this year and two of them were against Favre. That just goes to show you what a gutsy, gritty player he is. The NFL needs more quarterbacks like him, and soon, because I’m coming up on a contract year”
Favre admitted that he was flattered by his opponents’ adulation, but stopped short of making any promises to return next year.
“Anytime your peers give you this kind of respect it’s extremely gratifying,” said Favre. “It’s been a real privilege to go to battle with these guys every week. I haven’t made any decision on whether or not I want to return, but I’m definitely considering it. It’ll all come down to what is best for me and my family, and whether they can handle another season of covering their eyes every time I drop back to pass.”
Unsure what next season will bring, the league’s cornerbacks are being forced to prepare for life without Brett Favre. For some, it would be a painful and awkward transition.“Life without Brett will be pretty grim,” said Texans cornerback Aaron Glenn. “He was good for about two or three freebies a year. I really love the guy. He embodies everything that a quarterback should be: he’s tough, smart, athletic, and he’s not worried about things like ‘turnovers’ and ‘throwing into triple coverage’ and ‘completely taking his team out of the game by firing the ball to the nearest defender.’ Ah, Brett Favre. They don’t make ‘em like that anymore. If they did, I’d be in the hall of fame.”
Copyright 2005, The Brushback - Do not reprint without permission
|NFL Cornerbacks Plead With Brett Favre To Return Next Season|
|January 25th , 2005- Volume 1 Issue 84|