I grew up in Chicago watching him
toss our asses up and down the turf.
I can’t really remember a time when
Favre wasn’t bouncing up and down;
Pumping fists over our dead Soldiers
and leaping into the crowd.
Call it Lambeau Syndrome—
but I began cheering Favre
those last ten years of his career.

When Corey Wootton sprang loose,
slamming Favre’s head
into the frozen ground,
I felt bad for the old boy.
There is an AP photograph of his body,
several inches from impact.
Favre’s eyes are wide open—
and then they were shut— for him.

Forget the record numbers.
The 297 consecutive starts.
The 507 touchdowns.
The 334 interceptions.
That rookie, Wootton, was just 4 years old
when number 4, Favre, started in the NFL.
That number, 4, is poetry—
and that is how things are settled
between the wild beasts in Africa.
The young lion brings down the old—
and that’s exactly how Favre intended to go.
His last game, starting or not starting,
playing or pacing the sideline—
would be against Lions.

Whether you’re a football fan or not,
this is the stuff of poetry.
Number Four, Brett Favre.
Visit the old boy in Canton,
when you can.

written on 12/29/2010 by: Matt Kane