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Anyone could get a touchdown under their belt. Heck, Aaron Rodgers kept up the first quarter without problem, and his stats looked almost the same. It wasn't about the touchdown. It was the arm. The distance. The precision. With a helmet covering the salt and pepper stubble, the only evidence of his age, his eyes said it all. Focus. Determination. Drive. Vitality. The 30+ yard passes were inevitable for a man who's fountain of youth is marked off in 10 yard increments. His arm was an extension of his will . . . all he needed to do was think the ball into the arms of a receiver for a first down.
You could forget the whole "I'm retired - no I'm not" saga. You could forget how many colors he's worn in the last two revolutions of the earth around the sun. Heck, when the camera panned close, you couldn't even see that the number "4" was emblazoned on a background of garish purple. He was comfortable on the line. In the pocket. And naked on the field, when the pocket dissolved and he needed to get rid of the ball. Drive after drive he pushed them into the end zone, nearly obliterating all hopes that Green Bay was going to walk out of the dome with a win.
Packer fans had hope the last quarter. Aaron Rodgers turned up the heat, looking Favre-like in his execution. I found my fists clenched, urging him on. "Come on, Aaron, you can do it." In the last 4 minutes, he covered the field once for a touchdown, and his defense set him up to try again. But he couldn't make that last minute work. It was like watching your kid play . . . you wanted to run over and hug him and say "Good job, sweetie . . . you're looking more and more like your big brother Brett every day. You keep trying!"
Brett took over possession with less than a minute left, and took a knee twice, letting the clock run down. It was heartbreaking for Packer fans, but for those with a secret passion for #4, victory was sweet.
But Mrs Chako, you say, it was a team effort. Favre, Favre, Favre. Tell me something else.
Sure, Purple Jesus had a moment or two, when Green Bay wasn't paralyzing him. Jared Allen had more than 50% of the sacks on Rodgers. And the Vikings offensive line gave Brett deeper pockets than Bill Gates. Seriously people, he could have knitted himself a football in the time he had to make a decision. But let's face it. This man knows how to lead a team. How to lead a game. As if he needed one more, Favre set another record Monday night - the first quarterback to have a win against every team in the NFL - post-expansion, no less. Start carving his name in the Hall of Fame plaques boys; this one is a no-brainer.
I watched him walk off the field, where a reporter caught him. The emotion was obvious on his face, and there were moments I thought he might give in. The reporter goaded him. Was this a revenge win? How good did it feel? Did you need to prove yourself?
For a second, I forgot about the color of the jersey. "My statement has been what I've done over my career." He said it sincerely, and it was at that moment that his age and his maturity was obvious. He looked like he might get a little teary-eyed. Maybe like some of the people watching the speech. Not mentioning any names.
I'll never know if he went home that night thinking "I showed them all." But he didn't need to say it.
Scores speak louder than words.
Good on you, mate.
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Now if you'll excuse me, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. And I gotta go through my stuff and see if I can find a lip gloss that compliments that shiny "in-your-face" kind of purple. I only have two months to swallow my pride.