Taking the long view

I have a lot of favorite people in the sports journalism industry.

Locally, Bryan Hanks’ blog is a must-stop Web destination.

On a national level, Steve Czaban is another good source of entertainment as I slog through my workday.

And for the last couple of days, I’ve read both of them in their unmitigated joy about Brett Favre’s game-changing interception in the dying stages of the Vikings’ loss in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game to the Saints.

The temptation to hate the man is alluring.

He’s a self-loving diva, a man that craves, seeks and revels in attention. His on-again, off-again retirement tango is a constant source of news for the 24-hour ESPN news cycle in the offseason and anyone who spends a significant amount of time watching the four-letter naturally grows tired of the Favre blurbs.

He’s a me-first quarterback. He’s a turnover machine. He’s not a good teammate.

There are plenty of reasons to hate the man.

But to do so is to miss the larger picture.

Another one of my favorite sites is Football Reference.

And a quick trip over there reveals the following:

He’s the league’s all-time leader in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. (Full disclosure, he’s also tops in interceptions)

He has also won more games than any other NFL quarterback and he’s a lock first-ballot Hall of Famer.

But that’s not why he deserves a pass for his arrogance.

It comes down to a simple question, one that Favre haters should think about and answer honestly:

In 2010, was the NFL a better place with Favre than it would have been without him?

Let’s think about this. First of all, the Vikings would have lost that home game with the 49’ers with Sage Rosenfels or Tavares Jackson calling the signals, the one where Favre threw a 40-yard laser beam to Greg Lewis for the game-winning score. And they probably would have done no better than a split with Green Bay.

Thus the Packers would have won the North, making the Vikings the wildcard. Let’s say the Packers would have played Sunday at New Orleans.

It would have been OK, but not nearly as entertaining as what we had.

John Elway took his last snap at the Super Bowl in 1999. It has been more than a decade, and I still miss him.

And if Favre is walking into the sunset, I will miss him right away.

It will take some of you a lot longer.

But, sooner or later, the intellectually honest NFL fan will watch guys like Keith Null and JaMarcus Russell take snaps and start to miss No. 4.

So, hate the antics all you want.

But the player still deserves respect.

And be careful what you wish for…

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One Response to “Taking the long view”

  1. Blogging with Bryan C. Hanks : Kinston Free Press Says:

    […] But our good friend Randy Capps — hands down, one of the state’s best sportswriters — has a good take on Favre’s legacy and why he wants the douchebag Vikings quarterback to come back for another season. Check it out here. […]

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