Evil Contrarian: If Brett Favre Doesn't Return, The NFL Shouldn't Bother Coming Back At All

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings in action during the game against the Miami Dolphins on September 19 2010 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis Minnesota. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Brett Favre

Welcome to another edition of Evil Contrarian, in which we defend the indefensible. Today, we argue that without Brett Favre, the NFL should have just stayed locked out... because without the ol' Gunslinger, it just wouldn't be the same.

Brett Favre is a human being who is alive, sparking rampant speculation over whether he might exchange his retirement paraphernalia (something to sit on, crossword puzzles?) for football pads and give it one last shot. And you know something? It sure would be a treat to see the ol' Gunslinger lace 'em up and show the younger guys a thing or two.

Because it's like I always say: it just wouldn't be the same without the Gunslinger.

No, really, I mean that. I'm always saying it all of the time. And for good reason! Can you imagine an NFL Sunday without Favre behind center? Some might say he's the heart and soul of the game. I'll go a step further: Brett Favre playing football is the entire point of football. And if he ever has to hang 'em up ("'em" = his football stuff (cleats, etc.)), I don't think there will be any point to playing football at all.

The end of the lockout, at best, is just a means to an end -- the return of Brett Favre. If he doesn't come back, why even bother with football? The NFL and NFLPA shouldn't have even taken the trouble to negotiate themselves back on the field. It would be like throwing a birthday party for a dead child. Apologies for being so explicit, but this is not "Magnanimous Contrarian." It's Evil Contrarian. Look, the candles are melting into the cake.

To suggest that the game of football is larger than Brett Favre is to suggest that the scaffolding is more important than the Space Shuttle. The sport of football spent nearly an entire century preparing for his birth, ensuring that it would be ready for such a brilliant talent. For a time, it was. And if Favre declines to return, it's because the game simply isn't good enough anymore.

But if he decides to return... boy, it would be great to see the the Gunslinger (or, if you prefer, the ol' Gunslinger) sling the ball for just a little longer.

And indeed, there's plenty of reason for us to get our hopes up. This week, Favre's agent said this:

"Brett Favre retired in January. He has not talked to any teams, including Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles, the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks. He has not talked to anyone about playing football. He’s retired, period."

I didn't really read the above excerpt all that closely, because I prefer not to read things that I didn't write, but why would his agent even be talking about football if Favre wasn't thinking about a comeback?

And this, from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

But there is little chance he will end up here, according to team and NFL sources. An Eagles source characterized the likelihood of the Favre circus coming to town as the longest of long shots. Another team source said that a "lot of things would need to fall into place" for it happen.

See? Not even Philly's newspaper can rule it out! Things would need to fall into place, but tons of things fall into place all the time. Just the other day, I threw a shirt into my washing machine even though I was like 12 feet away. Brett Favre to the Eagles? Don't count it out, according to laundry.

Sorry to interrupt myself, but the lyrics to this song are just so good. It's a series of factual accounts, like all good songs.

I'd like to conclude by arguing that we need Brett Favre to return, because without him, we are without a piece of America. In a sense, he is America, because he is a republic of states and commonwealths

expanded in the 19th century by acquiring land from European powers

includes Oklahoma

is a country

is the birthplace of celebrities such as Boz Scaggs and Harrison Ford

is a place


Go get 'em, Favre. Rest in peace. Don't tread on me. The difference is drinkability.

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