Brett, We Hardly Knew Ya

Favre era ends after seven months

It's over! The Brett Favre era in New York has ended almost as suddenly as it began.

And we're still not sure if his agent faxed the Jets, if Brett called Woody Johnson and Mike Tannenbaum directly or, well, you get the point.

We never knew the facts with Brett because I'm not sure he knew if he wanted to play, wanted to retire or wanted to be a Jet.

Players complained that he was too distant in the locker room, and that it was always about him. Mostly anonymous players made those statements. But you get the picture.

I went to Favre's Monday press conference every week. They were fascinating. He was funny, candid and professorial. He was honest, animated and always intriguing.

But Favre was like a fish out of water in New Jersey. The gunslinger from Mississippi never really adapted to life as a Jet. Heck, he was a Packer most of his life and he was used to playing in a fishbowl. In Green Bay, football is religion. Here in New York, it takes a back seat to baseball.

The Favre experiment could have worked, but it didn't. The Jets failed to make the playoffs. Gang Green did not supplant Big Blue as the No. 1 team in New York.

Favre was unable to throw more touchdowns than interceptions. Brett's jersey never sold like that of Eli Manning, who led the Giants to a stunning Super Bowl victory a year ago.

Like Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, Favre came to New York after his prime. So we never saw the best of him. We got a glimpse perhaps, when he miraculously beat the Dolphins in the first game of the year. And he also turned back the clock when he fired six touchdowns against Arizona. But for the most part we witnessed a 39-year-old quarterback -- going on 40.

It's a blessing for the Jets to find out early. Now they can move on as a franchise. Now they can find a quarterback. I am not sure whether Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge or Brett Ratliff will be the answer. Gang Green may have to draft a quarterback or trade for a veteran signal caller. But at least the Jets know now that Brett Favre will not be their savior in 2009.

Brett, we hardly knew you. No harm, no foul. Chad Pennington wasn't the answer anyway.

Yes, it was worth a shot. It was entertaining. It was great theater. But now it's time to march on and find out if the Jets can figure out a way to live without you.

Then again, you can always call Woody Johnson in July and announce that you're coming back -- again. Do me a favor: don't try to get me off the golf course when you make that announcement. Enough is enough.

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