My father loves to hunt ducks. Every fall, he readies his truck, his duck-boat, his shotguns, his handloaded shells, his waders, his camo gear, and his bird dog and goes hunting. Now that he's retired, he hunts a bunch. He likes to joke that his dream job always would have been to host one of those duck hunting shows on the Outdoor Channel.
My dad, for the record, is 56 years of age. If someone came to him today and said "hey, you like duck hunting, right? Well, we'll pay you several million dollars to hunt ducks for the next two hunting seasons," you better believe that my dad would agree.
There might be people who would argue "we want to see younger, better athletes hunting ducks, not some washed-up old man and his dog!" but the facts are clear: my dad has been and still is an incredibly deadly duck hunter, and I've always been impressed with his ability to shoot, despite his slowly degenerating eyesight.
No one can know what is going on in Brett Favre's mind, but since I was in junior high he's been an NFL quarterback, and has done nothing but talk about how much he loves playing football, and how much he loves the camaraderie found amongst his fellow players on the sideline. So mulling retirement, when Brad Childress offered him a no-astronomical-expectations, two year contract, I have to believe Brett hung up the phone, and said to his wife "honey, you mind if I go play ball with the boys for a couple more seasons" and she rolled her eyes and went back to her book.
Brett Favre may flip-flop, but so does any man, 39 years of age, trying to decide whether he is an old man or still a young one. Favre may cry during press conferences when he announces his retirement, and then come out of retirement months later, but so does any man who is giving up the one activity that he loves most of all, then realizes he doesn't have to give it up after all.
Brett Favre is a 39-year-old man, and he gets to do what he loves, every day. What is so bizarre about the mountain of people trashing his name right now is that many of them were the same people who praised a 38-year-old Texan who came out of retirement and went on to place third in the Tour de France. No one expected Lance to win, they just loved to see him doing what he does so well. Why is Brett Favre so different?