HE RODE into town like Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars. The stubble was there. All he needed was a black cigar hanging out of the corner of his mouth and he could have been The Man With No Name.
But, of course, everyone inside and outside of football knew the name of this particular hired gun. Discarded by the Packers after spending 16 seasons in Green Bay, Brett Favre was wanted by the New York Jets: Dead or Alive.
The soap opera started when Favre decided he wasn’t ready for the retirement he formally announced at a tearful news conference last March.
It soon became clear that there was to be no going back as far as the Packers’ management were concerned.
Once National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell officially reinstated him, the guessing game began. Where would he go to: Minnesota, Tampa, New York?
In the end, it was the Jets who offered A Few Dollars More than anyone else and the soap turned into a spaghetti western with Favre saddling up his horse and heading for New York, or New Jersey to be exact.
Even the sheriff welcomed him to town, Mayor Michael Bloomberg introducing him to the city.
“The legendary No. 4 has now become Jet Favre,” jested Bloomberg. “And we’re delighted to welcome him to City Hall.”
Just about everyone is delighted, apart from those die-hard Cheeseheads up in Green Bay who believe Aaron Rodgers will never be fit to tie Favre’s shoe laces.
Jets right to pay A Few Dollars More for Favre
Oh, and, of course, Chad Pennington, who will presumably now have to sell the house he recently bought in New Jersey.
This isn’t just sport; it’s business. There are personal seat licenses to sell and who’s going to put more bums on seats, Pennington, Kellen Clemens or Favre?
After all their moves this off-season, the Jets are aiming to improve on their dreadfully disappointing 4-12 2007 season. To do that, they need a quarterback of substance.
At age 38, soon to be 39, Favre’s arm is not as strong as it used to be. But, hey, this guy is the only three-time AP MVP in NFL history.
The Jets had a chance to get him and all credit to team owner Woody Johnson and general manager Mike Tannenbaum, they went and got him.
Whether it’s for one year or two doesn’t matter. That the Jets have a better chance winning this year with Favre than without him is beyond question.
And for a franchise living in the shadow of the reigning Super Bowl champions the New York Giants, it’s not a bad publicity move either.
Favre now has a month to learn the playbook get in shape for the season-opener at Miami.
A bit like The Man With No Name in A Fistful of Dollars, who had to recover both physically and mentally from being imprisoned and tortured before returning to kill baddie Ramón Rojas.
Does Brett the Jet have one last shot in him? We shall see.