Thursday, August 7, 2008

Heart and Soul of New York City

The NY (New York City) - Young Buck

I get the cynical “wait till he gets a load of the New York media,” “oh, wow, way to crash and burn your legacy” talk that seems to be following last night’s trade sending Brett Favre to the Jets. Neither side of the Packers-Favre debacle handled themselves as well as they could have, and the fact of the matter is that we’re talking about a man who is damn near 40 years old. The truth is, I’m grateful for all the negativity, both because it keeps my own excitement in perspective, and allows me to justifiable express unbridled, balls to the wall excitement over the idea of Brett Favre in Gang Green.

Big City Brett is taking the Jets to the Super Bowl.

Be honest; if you don’t think this makes the Jets MUCH better, you’re either bitter or someone who never watched the team last year. I liked Handsome Chad at quarterback, but Favre gives the offense a versatility that Pennington just didn’t have the arm for. Laveranues Coles? Back in play as one of the fastest downfield threats in the league (I’m prepared to retroactively apologize for all my “number 2 receiver in a number 1 spot” talk). Leon Washington and Jericho Cotchery? Favre made his bones over the last two years with the kind of quick, slashing passes that these two can turn into big plays. Did I mention we get to put 10-yard outs back in the playbook? I’m STILL waiting on Chad’s last 10-yard out to get to his target. Considering that we’ve upgraded the offensive line, and that we may actually have a better backfield than the Packers did last year (I’m waiting to see Ryan Grant deal with defenses coming back into the box against the Packers), Favre may actually turn Thomas Jones back into a star and make Neon Leon the household name he deserves to be. These are, of course, all things that I wanted to express to my fellow football fans last night, but instead all that I could come up with was a series of emails consisting of "Dude. Dude! DUDE!!!!!!!!"

Big City Brett is going to the Hall of Fame in a Jets jersey.

As for the legacy business, take it from someone who has dealt in tabloid journalism: People don’t really care about what happened over the last half-hour, let alone over the last two decades. The same way Jets fans will get over the grace period as soon as the first punny New York Post headline maligning Brett hits stands (“Favre From Good!”, “Four-get About It!”, “Bretter Off Before!”), Packers fans will move on as soon as he retires. Nobody is burning Joe Montana or Jerry Rice in effigy out in San Francisco. The idea that somehow Brett Favre isn’t still the man in Wisconsin is only popular to talking heads who need to fill airtime by creating controversy. The man brought Green Bay a Super Bowl, as well as more memories than anyone who’s been watching that team can count. At least two generations of fans have lived and died by #4. Yeah, it stings now, but in a couple of years, they’ll look back and laugh at this. Hell, Aaron Rodgers might help smooth that over in one season if he goes out and performs the way I think he can. Legacy maintenance is a fanciful idea that has no real application; the past is set in stone, and the new legacy you build upon it doesn't affect the old one way or another.

Big City Brett is going to be the mayor of New York in a few years.

Seriously, I get to watch Brett Favre play football in person. If you’re living in New York and root for the Jets, you can’t tell me that’s not worth a third round pick. As my friend told me earlier today “WE’RE RELEVANT AGAIN!!!” Granted, there’s nothing particularly awe inspiring about rooting for relevancy, but we’re living in a city in which the team across town just won the Super Bowl (the Giants are SO New Jersey); life’s been rough for Gang Green. Now, instead of entering the season with a bunch of unheralded, potentially good offseason signings, the team has made the kind of huge splash that signals either utter failure or wild success. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for these kind of all-or-nothing situations, but it’s because they make you feel like few other things in sports can. No longer is there a lingering stench of mediocrity here, nor is it complete gloom and doom; instead, Jets fans get to expect great things. That hasn’t been the case for a long time. The fact that Brett Favre brings that to the team makes the Big City Brett experiment worth it all even before he throws a single pass.

1 comment:

Vermando said...

"Big City Brett" - I like it. Also liked the heartfelt writing - good post.