Sunday, July 20, 2008
Even while on top of the world, it's hard to ignore how far there is to fall.
Gotham's District Attorney, Harvey Dent, had an eerily keen awareness of his own impending fall from grace. Having cleaned up the streets and taken notable steps towards eliminating organized crime, Dent was engulfed in respect and admiration. Despite this wave of glory he was riding, he knew it could not last as he says, "You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." The rest is history.
Today, Brett Favre has found himself in the same predicament. After only one year with the Atlanta Falcons, Favre was traded (for 2002's 19th draft pick) to his Gotham: Green Bay, Wisconsin. He found himself riding a similar wave of glory: two trips to the superbowl and many records: most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards, most career completions, and most career victories (to name a few).
Four years ago, Favre demonstrated a realization similar to that of Harvey Dent. In a New York Times interview, he explained, "I'm running out of chances. You're never guaranteed next year. You're never guaranteed the next game. You have to seize the opportunity when it's there in front of you."
I suppose it could be unfair to draw too many parallels between Dent and Favre: In all likelihood, Favre will not face a tragic disfigurement. He will probably never pull a gun on Ryan Grant or the other heroes of his city. All in all, the details of the two tragic falls will have very little in common.
But the details are trivial compared to the big picture. Four years have gone by and Favre has stuck with the game. Although he has technically retired, he is trying to reneg this act out of fear that it may have been premature. Has he waited to long? Should he have hung up his pads for good when he saw this coming in 2004?
Should he have left the game as a hero?
Is he going to stay until he becomes the villain?