Friday, August 08, 2008

God Bless the Jets

…for making Brett Favre and his millions of fans happy. At my house, and in many others no doubt, we went into a protracted period of mourning when he announced his retirement in March. It just seemed strange that he would leave after such a successful season both on a personal and a team level. Without jumping into the acrimonious debate of whether he was forced out by Packers’ management, the fact is that when he arrived in New York to such a warm welcome from the team, the fans—and even the Mayor—it made me feel really, really good. I think he can have two extremely productive seasons for the Jets, and perhaps even three. Jets fans are hungry for victory, their team owner committed the necessary funds to bring in talented free agents, and they were better talent-wise than their record would indicate in 2007. All these factors bode well.

And Brett richly deserves whatever remaining success he can summon out of that amazing right arm of his. Besides his athletic skill he will bring to the Jets something that I haven’t heard the news media talk much about: his incredible will to win, or perhaps refusal to lose. He causes the players around him to perform much better than they would if he weren’t there. He’s repeatedly been able to turn mediocre receivers into 1000-yard season all-stars, so he’s way ahead of the game in New York because they have excellent receivers. Without his sterling play at quarterback last year, the Packers would have been hard pressed to finish 8-8. Without his vigorous leadership in the playoff game vs. Seattle, after the Packers fell two touchdowns behind in the first quarter, they probably would have lost, instead of roaring back to score 42 points.

Those are the facts, and as President Reagan used to say, “Facts are stubborn things.”

What struck me when I watched the various media events surrounding his arrival in New York was how happy he looked. To be playing again. To be at a franchise that clearly wanted him.

The Jets play in San Diego in September, a short plane flight from where I live in Phoenix. I can’t express how grateful I am to be able to see him play in person one more time. It is an unexpected gift.

God Bless the Jets!

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