Monday, July 02, 2007

I Married Brett Favre

Well, no, actually I didn't. Brett Favre is happily married to someone else -- and so am I.

But as pre-season football camps are approaching and the local papers are beginning their annual Brett Favre watch, I feel more and more sympathy for him and his family.

I understand the feeling Brett and family must have at these continual "when are you going to retire?" questions because The Prof gets asked them, too -- though not as often and not as publicly (his decision isn't debated in every paper in Wisconsin and elsewhere on a daily basis).

The difference between the two, though, is that The Prof is of "real" retirement age (and a bit) and Brett is the age of our oldest child.

The similarities, on the other hand, abound.

No, The Prof doesn't play professional football. And no, he is not a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame (though he should be if there is a College Professors Hall of Fame). But they both clearly love what they do.

They tolerate the stuff they don't like (for Brett I gather this is meetings and stupid stuff; for The Prof it is also meetings and stupid stuff) because they love the stuff they get to do otherwise.

They have had goals and dreams and they've gone after them and achieved them. And that's heady stuff. They love their work. Period. No one wants to give that up.

I'm not sure it's easier for The Prof because he's had nearly 40 years of doing it while Brett isn't even 40 years old. But at least The Prof has been able to do what he loved for the bulk of his adult life. And he could probably continue to do it a few more years.

Maybe he will. Maybe he won't.

I've told him the decision is entirely up to him. I don't care if he's around the house all day (he's around the house right now -- patching and repainting the eaves -- the Sistine eaves, I might add). He's not a high maintenance guy. He can always find plenty to keep busy. He'll have projects going for the rest of his life.

And I daresay Brett will, too. He sounds like a chain saw and a lawn tractor will keep him busy for years. And when he's ready for that -- and whatever else he wants to do -- I expect he'll choose it.

But until he does (and until The Prof does) I think the less said, the better. And while there is something to be said for going out at the top (like Sandy Koufax and John Elway), not many people get the opportunity to end quite so theatrically -- and take advantage of it.

What's most annoying, I think, is when people grumble about "is he or isn't he?" as if he was the one waffling. The Prof (and probably Brett, too) doesn't even give it much thought. He's focused on his job. It's everyone else who is focused on when he's going to stop doing it.

And then they keep bringing it up and bringing it up (to sell newspapers and magazines in Brett's case; God knows what it is in the case of The Prof) as if he were going back and forth on the issue. He's not. But if people keep asking, it's not polite to just say, "Stuff it." The Prof is polite. Apparently Brett is, too.

So, go, Prof. And go, Brett. May you both have terrific upcoming "seasons."

What you do after is entirely up to you. I doubt if I have to say, Don't let anyone else make the decision for you.


Blogger Kate Walker said...

Ah but I just don't think I would recognise The Prof if he wasn't grading papers. Please give him a hug from me. And a head butt from Sid

03 July, 2007  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

I thought you meant you hadn't recognized him here because he looked like Brett Favre! I will pass on your hug and the head butt from Sid, but I may have to ask Gunnar to do the latter. He might think it was odd if I came up and head-butted him. (Or maybe not).

03 July, 2007  

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