Years ago the NFL's iron man standard was Raiders center Jim Otto. Wearing his famous 00 jersey, Otto played 14 seasons without missing a game at football's most unheralded and unglamorous position. Beloved by Raiders fans, Otto paid dearly for his years over the ball. His retirement years were filled in serious pain.
During retirement, Otto once owned a restaurant just off Interstate 80 in Auburn in California's Sierra foothills. I remember going there once and seeing Otto seated at the counter talking with friends. When someone in came in and called his name he had to slowly rotate the counter stool to see them because he appeared to be completely immobile in from below his shoulders on up.
In all, Otto had 70 surgeries for a variety of ailments and wore a $40,000 carbon fiber artificial leg.
It was sad to see how Jim Otto fell apart physically just like it's going to be sad to see what Brett Favre looks like in a few years. Ego and the urge to be the iron man of iron men aside Brett, you should have quit when you left the Packers. Think of it, you could have joined the ranks of the top professional athletes (former Steeler great Lynn Swann comes to mind) who have quit on top and gone on to achievements outside football.
But Favre seems to be listening to the ESPN talking heads and their incessant chatter about the heroics of him prolonging his "streak". It's those same talking heads that will wail and moan years from now about how sad it is when Favre is gimping around taking endless pain meds and trying to enjoy retirement in Mississippi.
It's those same talking heads that bewail the NFL's call to end helmet-to-helmet hits as if the League were taking away the player's First Amendment rights.
It would be nice to see helmet-to-helmet hits go away for the player's sake just as it would be nice to see a happy ending to the Favre story. Somehow the chances of that diminish every time he steps on the field.
Time to quit Brett, and believe me, nobody will hold it against you.