By Frank Deford
November 11, 2009

As a public service, since Brett Favre did not play this past weekend, I thought it was my duty to talk to you about him. It just wouldn't seem right to have a whole week go by without allowing sport America to have its obligatory Brett Favre discussion.

Two details to clear up first. Have you ever noticed how most people say Brett Favre's name in its entirety? He is usually referred to as: not Brett, not Favre, but Brett Favre. Except, of course, in the old movie, There's Something About Mary, where he was Brett Fahv-ruh. This is nice at this dreadful time when most modern athletes are known by their initials or their number. Most times now athletes say things like: "Twenty-three threw it to R.K., and then J-Broom scored." Sports was ahead of the curve, Twitter-wise.

Secondly, the reason Brett Favre didn't play this weekend past is because his team this particular season, the Minnesota Vikings, enjoyed what football persists in calling a bye week. By the by, not to be snooty, but am I the only person vaguely familiar with the English language whom this bothers? So, just to get it on the record, be advised that this is a total misuse of the word bye, b-y-e.

A bye is not just a game off. A bye is like a bonus you get that other teams or players in the tournament don't necessarily receive. In other words, Roger Federer gets a bye in the first round, advancing automatically to the second, while Miguel Garcia and Nikita Yesmitov have to actually play each other, the winner to play Federer. That's a bye. You can't have a bye if everybody gets a bye. The Minnesota Vikings are just off this week. On vacation, yes. On holiday, yes. On hold, yes. But not on a bye. The movie was not Ferris Bueller's Bye Day.

Unlike most people, especially those poor, pitiful devils in the Badger State of Wisconsin, I don't give a hoot where Brett Favre plays. I am only amazed that he can keep playing without ever getting hurt. He has now played in 277 straight regular-season NFL games. It is like he has a fairy godfather watching over him. I say that because I think football is too macho for fairy godmothers to be allowed on the gridiron. And, unless we're downright sexist, why shouldn't there be fairy godfathers, too?

It is especially amazing that Brett Favre doesn't get hurt, because, as we have been learning recently, playing football is approximately, for your brain, like being the number-four pin at the action end of a bowling lane all night long. Maybe his fairy godfather dipped the baby Brett Favre in the River Styx, like Achilles, so one heel is humanoid, but he never gets sacked by his heel, so he really is invulnerable.

Each summer when Brett Favre debates, for weeks on end, whether he will play another season, I always figure: why not? You are invincible. Just keep playing with a different team every year until you find the one with which you can win another Super Bowl. Then you, Brett Favre, can take a bye for the rest of your life.

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