Sorry for those of you who aren’t football fans, but in my life as a Packers fan this has been pretty big week, so I can’t help but spend some time writing about how the goings-on in the football world have a/effected me personally. For the second time in only three days my plans for the morning have been put on hold because of Brett Favre. I had full intentions of reading for my seminary classes, but as I wrote on Tuesday, I spent the whole morning that day watching, reading and writing about the news that Favre was retiring. Then today (Thursday), I spent the late morning and lunch hour watching the live press conference of Brett speaking to the media, fans and community in Green Bay to explain his decision and answer some questions. It was emotional (Favre cried). It was also something I wished I wasn’t watching, because I wished it wasn’t happening (I almost cried, but only because he was crying and I didn’t want him to feel like a wuss).
Favre’s decision not to play football anymore has got me thinking about life in all sorts of ways; reflecting back on the past (with fond memories of Super Bowls, great plays, big wins, etc.) and wondering how the future will play out (will the Packers ever return to greatness, and if so, who will lead them without Favre?). Yet, as a person of faith, I want to be careful not to put football (or more specifically, a football player or team) in a place where it takes on too much importance and distracts from what is truly important. To put it another way, I want to keep the main thing the main thing (hint: his name starts with J and ends with esus).
That’s why I’m writing about Favre’s press conference less than an hour after it ended, and writing about it during class (my apologies to my professor for my temporary inattentiveness, but I need to write this out because it has impacted me deeply). Favre’s words of thanks and farewell were from the heart and throughout the press conference he put things in their proper perspective. Early in the press conference, he spoke about how blessed he’s been by God to have the talent and ability that helped him achieve so much in the game of football, but he also expressed thanks to God for his wife Deanna and their two daughters. That’s perspective. He recognized that his football career has made life difficult for them at times and his “job” has forced him to miss out on family moments. He said that one of his many reasons for retiring was because he didn’t want to miss any more of those moments. He’s accomplished everything he could have possibly accomplished on the football field — there’s nothing more for him to do — but he has a lot left to do as a husband and a father, and he wants to be there for his family. That’s an admirable decision. Sure, I’m going to miss seeing #4 play quarterback for the Packers on Sundays, but I’ve spent a lot of Sundays with Brett Favre over the years (on TV in my living room or at sports bars and a handful of times in packed stadiums), now it’s time for his family to spend Sundays with him.
I hoped to share some of Favre’s quotes from the press conference because I think they were great — not incredibly profound, but very real and definitely from the heart. You can read more about the press conference in an article on espn.com (I haven’t read it yet — remember, I’m in class — but I’m sure it includes some quotes). I do have one quote to share now because it’s the only one I have in memory (because it was the one that impacted me the most). Maybe I’ll add a few more quotes after I watch the press conference again (I have it saved on my DVR). Although Brett admitted stealing this thought from his wife Deanna, it’s a nice way of explaining how he’s hoping to live his life after football…
“I’m going to look at life through the front windshield instead of the rear-view mirror.”
I think we could all take something from this thought, even if we’re no where near retiring.