The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Will No. 4 return for one more year?

    Kathlyn Hotynski

    The past month has been the longest two weeks of my life. You and I, fellow Packer fans, should have known by now whether or not our beloved Brett Favre will be a member of the Green and Gold for the 2007 season. I admit impatience on the matter, but I am willing to give Favre the necessary time he needs to make the right decision. He’s earned that right. And so I wait.

    It’s not so much the sleepless, tormenting nights, or the twitch that’s developed when the sun hits my eye just right. It’s the empty feeling that for the first time, I truly believe that Favre will retire. This is just a gut feeling, mind you. Other than his near tearful blubbering retirement confession following the Packers 26-7 victory over the Bears New Year’s Eve, all the evidence shows Favre will be back.

    First, he’s still got the game, folks. OK, for the first time in what seems like decades, Favre did not throw for at least 20 touchdowns. But, contrary to the 2005 season, he did not throw more interceptions than touchdowns. This shows he is capable of scaling down his gunslinging mentality when the game is in hand.

    Not only is his skill-set intact, but so is his team. The team is set to retain most, if not all, the major contributors to last year’s 8-8 season. The improvement of the team from the 2005 to this past season must make Favre as happy as riding a John Deere tractor. The team has a solid young core of players and the team is only bound to improve with another good draft by General Manager Ted Thompson. Say what you want, but last year’s draft class proved it could play. Three players, A.J. Hawk, Greg Jennings, and Daryn Colledge made numerous all-rookie teams. In Seattle and in Green Bay, Thompson has proven to be a conservative but effective drafter. Favre should take this into consideration when he weighs his options.

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    Also, Favre truly loves the game and wants to play on Sundays. In an interview after the season, he said that the hard part of playing football is not game day, but rather the six other days in between. And who can blame him? I’m sure he knows the playbook like the Rev. Billy Graham knows the Bible. I attended a Packers training camp during summer 2002. While the four or five other quarterbacks were stretching before practice, Favre had taken a knee looking skyward, probably dreaming about a Long Cut Copenhagen and hitting the links after practice. It’s this lighthearted approach to the game that keeps him interested. There is no other NFL player who plays the game with as much child-like exuberance.

    I know he has said records and numbers don’t matter to him, but deep down, you have to think he wouldn’t mind seeing his name above Dan Marino’s for most touchdowns thrown in a career. Favre may appear a humble man, but he’s got pride, like all of us. Yes, people, I am admitting that Favre is human. Just don’t ask me to do it again.

    The more time Favre takes to ponder his decision, the more likely he will make an informed, rational decision. This would result in, of course, him coming back for another year, maybe two.

    But, like any decision that carries a heavy emotional burden, don’t be surprised to see Favre rifle rationale straight out the window.

    In the end, Favre will make his decision based on his family considerations. His daughters aren’t getting any younger and more than 15 years of being apart from them for the duration of a football season must take its toll.

    The next time we’ll see a pair of Favre cleats, they won’t be on his ironman feet, but hanging proudly in the Football Hall of Fame.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    Hankey is a senior print journalism major and sports editor of The Spectator.

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    Will No. 4 return for one more year?