Brett Favre Teaches Us to Quit While We’re Still Ahead

Me, in happier Brett Favre times.

As a lifelong Green Bay Packer fan, I was in love Brett Favre for a very, very long time.  When I moved to Boston in the winter of 2007, I brought my love for Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers along with me.  I made sure that everyone I met knew of my deep passion for all things Favre and Packers.  My roommate and I even threw a birthday party for Brett at our apartment on Comm. Ave. on October 10th (his actual birthday).  We decorated our apartment with

A poster from our Favre birthday party.

newspaper collages and Favre facts.  All of our friends wore green and gold, despite the fact that most of them were New England Patriots fans.  At other parties when the topic turned to football, I would spew out facts about Brett Favre followed by, “I bet your quarterback never did that!

My passion for Favre became so well-known among my circle of Bostonian friends, that when the Packers suffered a devastating loss during the NFC Championship game, I received sympathy texts and voicemail as if I had lost a relative or something.

The Brett Favre award I received.

Even my middle school students knew of my love for Favre.  When my students were upset over an assignment I had given them they would mutter under their breath, “Brett Favre sucks” as if that was the all-time worst insult they could imagine.  When I competed in The Ultimate Grind, a grueling physical competition devised by my athletic trainer friends and carried out in a foot of snow, I was given “The Brett Favre Award” for my passion for competition.  In fact, my name pretty much became synonymous with Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.

Needless to say, I was a freaking Brett Favre fan if there ever was one. So it might come as a shock that, today, I am still hoarse from booing Brett Favre at Lambeau Field during Sunday night’s Packers/Vikings game.  I booed for Brett Favre during his every play of the game, screamed for joy at his interceptions and even flashed a few thumbs down signs in his direction (Since I was sitting near children, I refrained from giving the finger.)

Amidst my public displays of Favre-hate, something dawned on me.  How could it be that the 71,000 other fans and I were shouting at the top of our longs for the demise of someone who we had drooled over only two short years ago?  How had it come to this? Favre played a terrible game while receiving boos for his every move.  On top of that, he is injury-laden, the punchline of dick jokes,  and his own wife didn’t even bother to attend Sunday’s game.  Brett Favre had taken his legend and dragged it through the mud.  It became crystal clear to me: Brett Favre should have quit when he was still ahead.

If he had quit after 16 seasons in Green Bay, Favre would’ve been remembered for his dedication, passion, and talent instead of as a spiteful, selfish prima donna with a sexting problem.  His jersey probably would have been retired by now and he could be spending his days filming Wranglers commercials in peace.  Let Brett Favre’s shenanigans be a lesson to all of us: quit while you’re still ahead.

I still have a framed poster of Favre in my bedroom from the Monday Night game he played after his father died unexpectedly. The poster now serves as a visual reminder to me to quit while I’m still ahead.  I’m not involved in anything that I want to quit, but when the moment arrives, I will be sure to make a timely exit.


If You’re Going to Write a Passionate Letter, Don’t Write it in Comic Sans

Unless you’re a fourth-grader, or being ironic, or the author of a comic book, or on vacation from the 1990s, never use [Comic Sans]. – John D. Sutter, CNN

[Comic Sans is] probably the worst font ever to grace the computer screen. – MG Siegler, TechCrunch

Last night, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers took a lot of heat (no pun intended) for the manner in which he sharply criticized LeBron James’s Brett Favre-esque announcement of his decision to play for the Miami Heat.  It wasn’t so much the fact that owner Dan Gilbert used the words “narcissistic” and “self-promotional” to describe LeBron James, it was how he made the announcement.

In Comic Sans font.

Shortly after the world got wind of Dan Gilbert’s discovery, Comic Sans became a trending topic on Twitter.  My curiosity of the source of this trending topic led me to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ website where I read the letter with my own eyes. The letter looked like it was on one of those GeoCities websites, you know the ones that were so popular right after the internet went mainstream? Not only did the letter look completely unprofessional, I had to check the web address several times to make sure that I was in fact on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ official website and not a phony one.

Dan Gilbert’s letter was pretty passionate and said what a lot of people were undoubtedly thinking, but the fact that it was written in Comic Sans completely negated the power of his statements.  How can I take someone seriously when they write in Comic Sans?  That’s the font that elementary school children use to write tall tales!  In fact, the only time I’ve ever used Comic Sans font was to simulate kid handwriting when I’d make writing samples for my English students to edit. If I ever applied for a job with a resume and cover letter in Comic Sans font, my potential employer would rip up the documents upon arrival and I’d be laughed off the stage, so to speak.

My disbelief at the fact that the owner of a professional sports team would write a public letter to his fans in Comic Sans led me to seek more information on this hideous looking font (my apologies to you, Vincent Connare.  I’m sure you’re a really great guy).  Wikipedia defines Comic Sans as “a casual, non-connecting script, and was designed to imitate comic book lettering, for use in informal documents.”  According to Vincent Connare, the creator of Comic Sans, the font was not intended to be used by the public.  Just by comic book creators.  However, comic books creators and readers don’t like the font either.

Ban Comic Sans, who according to their website is “putting the sans in comic sans”  agrees that this font should not be used by anyone for any reason.  The movement to ban Comic Sans, which has been going strong since 1999, argues that font should match the purpose and tone of the intended message and that Comic Sans often contradicts the tone of its message.

Ban Comic Sans makes an excellent point about tone and font and this was the major problem with Gilbert’s letter.  The font Gilbert used to write his letter for the ages negated the seriousness and passion of his message.  Unfortunately, Gilbert’s open letter to his fans will be remembered not for its message, but for the font in which it was written.  This undermining of a person’s credibility due to their decision to write in Comic Sans needs to be stopped for once and for all.  Ban Comic Sans! You can thank me later, comic book lovers and NBA team owners.