Did you ever have to make up your mind???
As I sit here watching celebrity golf on TV on a lazy Saturday morning/afternoon, I look at the former athletes that are participating in these fun little tournaments and I wonder about some recent sports announcements. Some of these former athletes have even made a career on the Pro-Am circuit playing in such tournaments. Guys like Dan Quinn, former Vancouver Canuck and Pittsburgh Penguin, is an avid golfer and has joined the pro-am tour as a top finisher. I dare even say he is a better golfer than he ever was a hockey player. These guys get to hob knob with some of the A and B listers in Hollywood on the golf course! Looks like retirement can be fun.
Charles Barkley was out there having fun, hamming it up, and with the looks of Sir Charles’ body these days, taking in some finger licking good eats between holes, and possibly between shots, but he’s having fun and enjoying his retirement. He’s playing with a very thinned out Boomer aka David Wells. With all of Wells World Series rings, one wonders how good he is golfing with them on his fingers.. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky golfed with former Oilers teammate, Grant Fuhr and his lovely wife Janet and they were laughing the day away enjoying their retirement.
So it appears…
Seeing all this, brings me to Brett Favre…Brett Favre is now looking for a possible comeback in the NFL, but he has also asked for his release from the Green Bay Packers. First off, I have to question, why? Not that I believe that Brett Favre can’t play the game anymore, even in his ‘advanced age’ (in athlete years) I believe Favre is competitive and can still engineer a drive down the field. It’s not a question of Brett’s ability or even his desire but I have to question the big deal that was made about his retirement, and now just a few months later, he changes his mind and asks for his release to be able to join another team for another shot at a winner!? I don’t have a problem Favre coming back, but my issues are with in the manner he made his retirement announcement and his sudden urge to come back. It looks rather lame now.
I personally think, if you’re going to retire, you stay retired. What’s the point of making such a big deal announcing your retirement just to come back a few months down the road and say “I want to play.” What Favre should have done was put his retirement ‘up in the air’ much as Mats Sundin is doing right now. Mats is saying things like, “I need to take some time and ponder what I am going to do with my career and my life.” Take the offseason to reflect, and even if it takes the whole off season before you make your decision, but make it and be firm with it.
What also annoys me are players like Teemu Selanne (who is one of my favourite players of all time) and Scott Neidermayer, who decide to get their asses on the team roster mid-way through the season. Do I want to be retired? Do I want to play? I noticed that both Neidermayer and Selanne made their decisions just as the Ducks were really showing signs of contending in the playoffs. Great move, half a season, half a salary and half the work to make it for a shot at Lord Stanley. Also let’s not forget how much they fooled around with the team cap to accommodate them. Brian Burke would have been a fool not to, but boy did he ever take the hit to do as such.
One exception I will admit to not have a dislike for is the un-retirement of Mario Lemieux. We all knew, Mario didn’t really want to play again, but he also knew what that his playing meant the salvation of the hockey club he owns. Mario passed the torch when Crosby was ready. Glad to see Mario on the links and enjoying ownership and retirement instead of taking pain killers every night to play another game in another city just to make sure his team will stay in Pittsburgh.
Well, folks, I say if you’re going to retire, please stay retired. Especially if you’re retirement announcement/send off, etc etc, was such a big deal to the community, fans, media and organizations alike. Also, if you’re contemplating retirement in the offseason as an athlete, make sure you make your mind up prior to your respective training camps. It only makes it harder for those around you in your organizations to accommodate you in the long run.
Once you utters those words, “Today I officially announce my retirement from ____” or something to that effect, as a professional athlete, have some class and abide by them. Last thing I want to see, as much as he one of the people in the world I truly idolize, is Trevor Linden, strapping on the gear and hitting the ice with the Canucks this season after he previously announced his retirement. I’d rather see #16 hung in the rafters than wanting to hang #16 in the rafters for going back on his word.
This is a view from a broad, a not too distant perspective.
On a side note: Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, for surpassing the Great Mickey Mantle. I’m sure the lovely Madge will be awaiting for your return to New York City.