Thursday, August 07, 2008

Brett, Brett, Brett.

An Open Letter to My Favorite Quarterback of all Time

Dear Brett:

Retirement is tough for anyone. For you, one who has given his life, his body, his physical and his mental health to his career, it's nearly impossible. You've done the impossible before, and you can do it again.
Remember when you drove your car around a curve too quickly, bordering on (dare we say it) reckless? You found out that speed limits really respect the laws of nature. Your injuries nearly killed you, but you recovered. You not only played college football again, you played well. Very well.
Your time with the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted you into the NFL, wasn't exactly stellar. In fact, black hole might be a better description. But Ron Wolf took a look at your talent and made a trade that changed history for you and for all of Wisconsin, the state that calls the Green Bay Packers their own.
Substance abuse. Addiction. Rehab.
Playoff success. Super Bowl ring. MVP honors.
Changes in coaching. Changes in personnel, receivers, centers, offensive line, back-ups.
Personal losses. Deaths of close friends and family.
Personal trauma. Your wife's cancer.
Through it all, fatherhood. Raising two daughters in the shadow of Lambeau Field, with a famous father, and attempting to keep their lives "normal."

Brett, football has been the center of your life all of your life. High school revolved around football. College revolved around football. After that? Seventeen years of records breaking, numbers falling like dominoes. When you announced your retirement, you must have wondered how you'd fill the hole left empty without the NFL, without the Green Bay Packers. Where will you go each day with no team meetings? No workouts? No training camp? How will you fill your time, your thoughts, focus your energy?

Who are you now?

Brett, you've suffered in public so many times. Now you're suffering again, but this time it's different. We Packer fans are watching you panic. We're watching you fall apart, grasping for a cloud that is rapidly evaporating, fading out of reach.

Brett, it's not about you any more, and that's central to the panic. Your team, the fearless green and gold, is moving on without you, and you just don't know what to do.

Please, Brett, get help. Get professional counseling. You have value, with or without a football in your powerful hands. As I mentioned above, you've already done the impossible; you can do it again. But you don't have to do it alone. Retirement is tough for anyone, and much, much tougher on you. Get some help, and get it now. You can retire, and you can retire with class.
Sincerely,
Daisy
A concerned and caring fan

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6 Comments:

Blogger CDJ said...

Wow! That is a really interesting way of looking at all of this. And now I feel bad for calling him a big baby to my other Packer friends :-)

Go Bears!

p.s. I was a Packer fan for the years I lived in Milwaukee, but had to turn back to the orange and blue when I returned to my home state :-)

8/07/2008 10:29 AM  
Blogger CDJ said...

Wow! That is a really interesting way of looking at all of this. And now I feel bad for calling him a big baby to my other Packer friends :-)

Go Bears!

p.s. I was a Packer fan for the years I lived in Milwaukee, but had to turn back to the orange and blue when I returned to my home state :-)

8/07/2008 10:30 AM  
Blogger Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Hmm. I've been torn by all of this and am now firmly in the camp that thinks Ted Thompson is a cretin and McCarthy isn't much better. They would not have treated Bart Starr like this. I'd love to know what Ron Wolf and Bob Harlan think about all of this.

I'm not saying Brett is completely innocent, but Michael Jordan unretired. So did other big stars. They weren't treated like this. I feel bad for Aaron Rodgers, but if the Packers don't get to the playoffs, Rodgers, Thompson and McCarthy's heads will all be on a platter.

Just my opinion.

8/07/2008 10:47 AM  
Blogger G's Cottage said...

You are so very right on the mark. My husband was military and I have watched up-close so many fine men (a few women but our units tended to be engineers and therefore men at the time) completely lose it trying to figure out how to mentally take off their uniform after 20, 25, or 30 years. It is not easy and in some locations now there are groups of retirees who mentor the newly retired to navigate back to civilian life (of sorts since in a way they will never be completely non-military).

One of the issues that contributes to this difficulty (because it would oversimplify it to say there is only one contributing issue) is the tendency to overlay a talent or passion on top of ones identity and see the overlay as the identity. The famous are not the only ones who do it because we all can and often do but who's watching, not CNN that's for sure; so it is easier to feel the friend's kick in the shins that lands us on our face and we can recover in relative anonymity. Okay enough for my mini-epistle.

8/07/2008 2:45 PM  
Blogger Good N Crazy said...

I thought of you when I saw the headline today.

I do not understand, but it seems like real loss, so I'll try.

8/07/2008 9:56 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Since I have family in WI I consider myself a Packer fan too; it is so strange to see Brett in a Jets jersey - something just isn't right about it! But I don't think he looked that happy in the picture of him holding up the jersey at the press conference; it's like he's just settling because he wants to play but that's not really where he wants to play. It'll be strange not to see him as the QB when the season starts.

8/09/2008 7:00 PM  

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