I had intended to post about something entirely different today, but as I came out of a staff meeting I caught a headline on the lobby TV:
“Brett Favre to Retire”
I didn’t expect my return to sports news after a very long sabbatical would be something like this, but there it was .
I sat back at my desk and went to the Internet and yes, Brett has let the Green Bay Packers that he is retiring from professional football after 16 seasons in the league.
While I felt a tinge of regret at this news, more than anything I felt thankful – thankful for the entertainment he provided me (and millions of others) on so many Sundays as a player who so clearly enjoyed what he did, and led by example by his dedication to his craft and unwillingness to point blame on anyone but himself.
More than anything, he was just a regular guy doing extraordinary things, but could always put it in perspective. I can’t tell you how many times I heard him say – “hey, everybody, this is just a game!” .
He spent countless hours volunteering for the Make-a-Wish foundation, and I remember a press conference where he said that leveraging his fame to really make a difference for children in need was more personally meaningful than playing a sport.
Brett has been a rarity for me – a public figure that I’ve spent a long time observing and actually learning from. His context is much different than mine, to be sure, but his consistent displays of joy, leadership, dedication and perspective are quite “portable” to my life, and how I go about every day practicing my craft.
Thank You Brett Favre, and see you in Canton five years from now. I look forward to that speech.