Stop This Man Before He Plays Again

NBC Bay Area

You would have thought that, after having his shoulder blades rearranged by the Bills and his head slammed to the turf by the Bears, that Vikings QB Brett Favre would finally decide to hang it up for the remainder of the season. After all, his streak is over and the Vikings have nothing left to play for.

But Vikings coach Leslie Frazier has yet to place Favre on IR, and has left open the possibility of the QB playing in Minnesota’s final two regular season games:

"He's proven time and time again that he's capable of coming back and playing," Frazier said Tuesday.

"He doesn't want to let his teammates down," Frazier said. "He really wanted to play in front of the home fans last night for maybe the last time. That was important to him. I think more than anything he likes to compete, and the fact that we've got two ballgames left, he's a guy who loves his teammates and loves to play. I think that's what motivates him more than anything."

I guess those are noble reasons to try and play again when your body has completely failed on you. But this is becoming a sad story.

We all knew that Favre came back year after year because he was unable to define himself as anything other than a football player. But now he’s still throwing himself out there and getting killed and potentially taking years off his life for absolutely nothing.

Watching Favre play this season has been like watching a prizefight that the referee refuses to stop. It’s like seeing Evander Holyfield get into the ring again and again despite barely being able to form coherent sentences. Favre’s persistence before was merely annoying. Now it’s becoming somewhat tragic. And because of his clout within the Vikings organization, no one seems willing to put him on IR against his wishes.

In a way, this is probably how it had to end for Favre, with him finally being beaten into submission until he can barely stand. But that hasn’t made it any easier to watch. That’s the thing about the greats. The determination that defines them eventually turns against them at some point.

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