After 289 games and 500 touchdown passes thrown, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre may finally be facing the end of his career, says William C. Rhoden in The New York Times. The 41-year-old superstar is famous for announcing his retirement "at least three times," each time returning seemingly stronger. But the sexual harassment scandal currently plaguing Favre may be the final turning point for the storied athlete. "The party is over for Brett Favre," says Rhoden. "He just doesn't know it. Or maybe he does and can't bring himself to leave." Here, an excerpt:
In the case of great athletes, there is a public fascination with how they deal with the loss of seemingly magical powers. Do they walk away gracefully? Do they find other ways to perform magic? Do they dare the game to crush them if it can?...
Favre is still out there slinging, but now his reputation is imperiled. Favre has cultivated an image of being a good ol' boy and a dedicated family man. Of course, if we learned anything from the Tiger Woods episode, it is that this whole public persona of superstar athletes is largely little more than a news-media-enabled masquerade designed to attract volume and hits. They'll be whoever we want them to be.
Favre should have left at last call. The party is over. He's the only one who doesn't know.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Should you hope to die at 75? Absolutely not.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Why America should team up with Bashar al-Assad's regime
- Tony Blair: The Cassandra of the Middle East
Subscribe to the Week