Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not 4 Long

Favre Retires After 1 Season With Jets
(And, I try for a tabloid-style headline)

I'm relieved. Not quite "oh-she's-not-pregnant" relieved, but definitely "don't-worry-antibiotics-will-take-care-of-it" relieved. Brett Favre will not be under center for the New York Jets next season. The play calling and the running game will not be held hostage by history. The future is now. I'm not sure if the future is bright. I'm not sure what the Brett Ratliff Era will bring. Or, if it is even upon us. But it is now. And, Brett Favre is in the past.

At least, until he comes out of retirement in eight weeks and signs a one-year deal with the Vikings.

Perhaps, the most lasting legacy that Favre will leave in the greater New York area is the abundance of dark green No. 4 jerseys. It was (at least from April to October) the top-selling jersey in the NFL this season. And, now it is as relevant as an Emmit Smith's Cardinals jersey. It joins the ranks of those jerseys that will always make you do a double-take when you see them in a crowd. It will become a cautionary tale for aging legends in future years.

Once during a SNY broadcast of a New York Mets game, should-be Hall of Famer turned Broadcaster Keith Hernandez referred to his final days in Cleveland as "the wilderness." And, that is the name I've given to the pantheon of wayward sports jersey. Whenever a player's pride and lack of creativity keeps them on the field long after their bodies and minds have ceded that which once made them great they find themselves in The Wilderness.

The Wilderness: New York Branch
Joe Namath's Rams Jersey

Walt Frazier's Cavaliers Jersey

Willie Mays' Mets Jersey

Patrick Ewing's Magic Jersey

Keith Hernandez's Indians Jersey

Warriors Overrun Knicks, 127-144

Read All About It:
The TImes
The Post
The News