Sports Writer Considers Retiring from Favre Retirement Coverage
Writing for the Detroit News sports section for twenty years, Mitch Colletts has always had Brett Favre to report about. Without it's own pro football team, Detroit's writers have been left to ponder topics such as if footballs are still round, or the professional prospects of juniors at Southern Mississipi.
"We didn't really expect kids to retire out of colle... er, come out early in those days. But what else would we write about in the fall? We hadn't even seen an American football in 22 years."
Speculation has been building about how many times Colletts would keep coming back to the same story. Rubbing his sore wrist, Collets talked about the physical toll the years have taken. "I've gone through two IBM Selectrics, one of those crappy one-piece word processors, and five Dell keyboards in the Favre years. And now the surgeons are telling me I need another operation before the next Minnesota press conference." Colletts switched to a Dvorak keyboard during spring mini-camp, but still needed a brace, and a cortizone shot when Favre was hit hard behind the line, only to come back and throw a 47 yard completion on the next series.
In 2007 Colletts was in the front row as Favre gave a definitive "We'll see, we'll see. I don't want to say anything right now." After being passed up for a Pulitzer Prize for his series on quarterback de-mentoring, Colletts returned to the grind of covering absurdly high wide receiver draft picks.
2008 saw Colletts rack up 694,000 frequent flier miles, all DTW to GRB. "I had the same conversation with the same stewardess 139 times. After a while we had a code. If I ordered a gin and tonic, he was hangin' it up. If I ordered a triple bourbon and an antacid, he was coming back."
Finally changing his parka, and his flight crew, Colletts was in New York to quote Favre on how long he might stay with the Jets. "I think that was firmest 'We'll see' that I ever got out of him," Colletts stated. The toll was being taken, but he didn't consider retiring yet. Already facing rehab for carpal tunnel, he trained hard to get ready for the next season. But nothing could prepare this veteran sports journalist for what came next.
"Brett went to Minnesota, Green Bay's back yard rival! It was the matchup of the century. Well, more like a Foreman comeback fight, but there was so much buzz in the online press it was hard to stay head of the pack." Colletts gave it all he had, and nearly got burned out. He was later seen staring blankly into the eyes of Ozzie the Octopus as the Red Wings fought to the last minute of a thrilling one-goal game seven in the Stanley Cup Finals. His column the next morning was rumored to have been lifted from a Chicago Cubs near-miss playoff run article - but there were too many of those in the archives to check them all.
With the weight of so much waffling on his shoulders, one would expect Colletts to consider retiring by this point. But he's not ready to punch out yet. Even though he claims, "There aren't even any new jokes left to throw at this four-year-long roast of a retirement."
We shared with him a new one (to us), about how 'The only one more indecisive than Brett Favre is Bristol Palin'. Colletts didn't laugh. "I wrote one last year about Brett Farve and NBC late night TV execs." He sighed again.
"Some days I feel like Sisyphus pushing the same rock up the same hill every other day."
When reminded that he already used Sisyphus as a metaphor for Favre's jock strap in 2008, Colletts grunted and stared out the window. "Just shoot me."