Thanks 4 the memories!

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Written on 3:07 AM by DRV

The man responsible for my passion for football isn't gonna play anymore.

Brett Favre, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers for the last 16 years, informed Head Coach Mike McCarthy about his decision to retire last Monday Night.

I got the news the following morning as I was checking my e-mail before math class. I couldn't believe it. After a 13-3 season that got us literally a breath away from the Super Bowl, it seemed almost certain Brett would come back for at least one more season.

The pieces seemed to be in place. Favre was the runner-up in MVP voting and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Year, having his best season in nearly a decade throwing for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. The Packers have found an answer at running back with Ryan Grant, the offensive line continues to steadily improve, and the Packers arguably have the best receiving corps in the NFL with Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Koren Robinson, and Ruvell Martin.

The 2008 Packers would be a sure-fire Super Bowl contender with Favre under center. Now, the Packers go into the 2008 NFL Draft uncertain of what this next year holds.

I'm not saying I don't like Aaron Rodgers. I was going insane when we drafted him in 2005. Rodgers is going to be a great quarterback, but he's no Brett Favre.

The end of Brett Favre marks the end of an era. In Favre's prime, there was no lack in great franchise quarterbacks. The Packers had Brett Favre, the Cowboys had Troy Aikman, the San Francisco 49ers had Steve Young, the Denver Broncos had John Elway, the Seattle Seahawks had Warren Moon, and the Miami Dolphins had Dan Marino. All these great players, with the exception of Moon and Marino, led their respective teams to the Super Bowl in the best fashion possible.

Favre was different, though. He didn't make smart plays every single time despite running a west coast offense. He was a risktaker... a gunslinger. In his prime, his quick passes were miles better than any of those QB's (and he still has a lot left in the tank). But it wasn't his arm that set him apart. It was his passion. You saw it last year. After every touchdown pass he threw, Favre would run around like a crazed child, lifting his receivers over his shoulders and having snow ball fights with them. The first Favre pass I watched was 10 years ago--he threw a literal bullet to Antonio Freeman. From that point on, I became a football fan. It was Brett Favre and the video game, NFL Blitz that got me into it all.

I don't think you'll ever see that kind of player in today's money-feeding NFL. Even while the best quarterbacks--Peyton Manning and Tom Brady aren't in it for the money, they just don't have the spirit and competitive fire that separated Favre and the rest.

The NFL will never be the same now that Brett's hung his helmet.

Goodbye #4. You'll always be missed.

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