What happened
Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre announced Wednesday that he was retiring, ending a 17-year professional football career that ended with a loss in last season's NFC Championship Game. "I know I can still play, but it's like I told my wife (Deanna), I'm just tired mentally. I'm just tired," Favre told ESPN Tuesday in a voice message. (New York Daily News)

What the commentators said
Favre will be the topic of some interesting conversations in the coming days, said AP sports columnist Jim Litke in USA Today. Where does he fit on the list of the all-time greatest quarterbacks? What will his departure mean for a "resurgent" Green Bay team? Is he gone for good, or will he "bound off the couch" when training camp rolls around? "But the most interesting question at the moment might be why retire now?"

There's no denying that Favre, at 38, was coming off one of the best seasons of his career and could still compete, said Peter King in SI.com. But it's equally clear that "the strain of being an NFL icon" finally won out over Favre's "love of the game." The pressure that comes with being Brett Favre has "drained" him over the years, and it became harder and harder to leave "the quiet lifestyle of his 465-acre home in Hattiesburg, Miss.," every July, and "get on the airplane north to training camp in Green Bay."

That's really all that matters, said Mark Schlereth in ESPN.com. A quarterback can have all the right "physical tools and a great deal of talent surrounding him"—as Favre would if he kept playing—"but none of that matters if you don't have the passion to do the little things during the week of a game or during the offseason."