So the great Brett Favre, a favorite of mine, retires. I was always glad to claim him as being yet another in the long line of great Louisiana/New Orleans-area quarterbacks (Kiln, Miss., is just 50 miles from N.O.). From being a tremendously talented, terrific football player who also was a punk, he grew into an honorable, gritty, community-minded leader and even role model. And, of course, he broke just about every passing record in the history of the NFL. He won one out of two Super Bowls, and played in several other NFC championship games. If he had won two Super Bowls (or more), you could make a case that, with his other numbers, etc., he was THE greatest QB ever. With “just” one Super Bowl win, he doesn’t quite earn that decisive a judgment. But what he does earn is more than good enough for most mortals: Among modern-era QBs (this excludes Sammy Baugh; the game was just too different back then), he joins the argument about who the greatest ever was, an argument that now includes Favre, Montana, Unitas, and Elway, with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady sure to join the mix once their careers are in the rearview mirror and thus can be put into full perspective. (Just missing the exalted company of four-to-six demigods, but still among the greatest Titans, are Dan Marino (no Super Bowl wins, though), Terry Bradshaw (four SB wins aided by a phenomenal cast around him, but his numbers weren’t truly all that great), Steve Young, Bart Starr, and maybe Roger Staubach and maybe Troy Aikman. But I dare say that Favre was, by far, the most fun to watch. The sheer joy with which he played; plus the improvisational nature of his game (as opposed to the sort of clinical proficiency of Brady and Manning); plus (I ackowledge sheepishly) the fact that he was such a gambler and there is something thrilling about high-stakes play even when it isn’t always the smartest way to go): All of which made him the one guy on the field you could never take your eyes off of. He will be missed. And he deserves a very, very happy retirement.