As the regular NFL season ends today, we will once again hear the previously veiled threats from Brett Favre that he is retiring.
Although this time, I think we can all, including Favre, would agree the end it here.
With all the knocks Favre has taken this year, there would be little reason for him to return. For his place in history is pretty well established as far as I can tell. Of course one of the talking points on the NFL shows this weekend is indeed if this final season has impacted his legacy.
I do think I can imagine how tough it must be for athletes, particularly superior ones, to let go.
I remember oh so vividly seeing Willie Mays fall down in 1973, for example. And that was tough, for I had seen him excel for the bulk of his career. It was hard enough seeing Mays in a non-Giants jersey, but falling down fielding a single was really bad. Sadly, when I think of Mays, this is what jumps into my memory, because that was my latest and most vivid mentel image.
Same with Steve Carlton, who played with San Francisco, where he was hammered (1-3, 5.10), near the end of his career. Carlton did then go on to pitch with Cleveland (5-9, 5.37), then finishing his career with 50-plus more innings with the Twins (1-6, 8.37) before calling it quits.
Though Favre did not fall from statistical grace like Carlton, 2010 was clearly one season too many. Favre's career QB rating of 86.0 is a lot higher than the 69.9 he suffered through this final season, when his consecutive game started streak was also halted at 297.
Still, that number alone is much like Cal Ripken, Jr's. consecutive game record in baseball. As are his 508 TD passes, and 71,838 yards (that is 40.81 miles).
During his post game interviews today, Favre was more than contrite, acknowledging that this time was indeed the time. And, as irritating as his push-me/pull-you I am retired game of the last few years has been, well, Favre's spectacular 2009 season alone was in its own way as breathtaking as was his establishment as an NFL quarterback almost 20 years ago. In fact, Favre scored his highest rating (107.7) of his career in 2009, which really shows just how well the then 40-year old played.
So, the answer to the question is obviously, "no, it won't matter at all." Playing the extra time did not diminish Mays' or Carlton's careers, nor were their relative finales a hindrance their entry to the HOF.
I expect no difference for Favre, who is now Canton bound.