Monday, December 29, 2008

The Bad Karma of Brett Favre

I'm guessing Buddha was not a football fan. He strikes me as more of a soccer kind of guy.

And while I'm not sure I buy into the whole "your karma is forever" school of thought like some Buddhists, I do think there's some practical truth to what I'll call "transactional karma." In other words, our actions have intended or at least understandable consequences.

Which roundaboutly gets us to Number 4, Brett Favre, late of the New York Jets.

Remember last spring and summer when he went all Hamlet on us--To stay retired or unretire, that is the question.

He had originally told his team of many good years, the Green Bay Packers, that yes indeed, he was finally hanging up the cleats. And the Packers, based on that, decided to move on with Life After Brett Favre and made Favre's patient understudy--Aaron Rodgers--his replacement.

Then Brett acted like a spoiled brat and said he wanted to come back to Green Bay. Green Bay said, "Brett, we've been through this dance before and we took you at your word. We're moving on. Good luck."

Then Brett waged war against a team that had brought him glory and honor, daring it, cajoling it, demanding that it trade him. Number Four looked like a petulant child not eating his meat so he wouldn't get the pudding that he wanted.

Then the Jets decided to jettison long-time starting quarterback Chad Pennington and got into the Favre Sweepstakes. Never mind that by the time they got Number 4, he'd missed almost all of training camp and had to learn a new offensive system.

Pennington ends up signing with last year's crappiest team, the 1-15 Miami Dolphins. Basically, football exile (ok, that would be Detroit). But it was close.

Brett and his new team start off well, going 8-3 at one point and were anointed the best of the AFC after defeating the Tennessee Titans.

Then karma kicked in.

The Jets finished the season like a staggering drunk, losing most of their games down the stretch--and a sure playoff bid. The once invincible looking Favre was now throwing the ball to guys in the wrong colored jerseys.

Meanwhile, Pennington just kept his mouth shut, worked hard, and threw for more yards and more completions than Favre--and even Miami legend Dan Marino.

In a game that only the cosmos or the NFL could have envisioned, Chad and Brett played in the last game of the season for a playoff spot. Pennington was sharp. Brett looked flat, often arrogantly trying to put the ball where he no longer could.

Miami wins, vindicating Chad Pennington.

Meanwhile, Jets coach Eric Mangini, who still finished the season with a winning record, gets the boot today. He too bought into Brett's bad karma.

And the chatter is that Brett won't be back in New York or anywhere else. Even his old mates in Green Bay say his leaving didn't make them stink this year--in fact, their offensive numbers were close to last years.

Brett's little temper tantrum has ended finally ended nearly nine months after it began--and has tarnished his Hall of Fame career.

Yes, there is a thing called karma. Even in the NFL.

The Buddha must be smiling--and looking forward to Wildcard Weekend.
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