I've always said that I'm not a Packers fan. I'm a Brett Favre fan. A Colts fan in Packers clothing, if you will. Why? Because even non-Packers fans can admit that there's a lot to admire about Brett. I mean, even Bears fans might hate him, but they have to respect him. Brett Favre was sort of the hook that my male friends used to get me interested in football. I knew about him before I even realized that Indianapolis had a football team.
So now that he's retired, those same friends (mostly Bears and Lions fans <-- yes they are out there) are asking me when, if ever, I'll stop rooting for the Pack. I think of it like this.
It's like when you're 16 years old and you find out that your boyfriend's family is moving out of state. Sure, it's not happening until the end of the school year, but you know it's going to happen sooner or later, so your relationship is sort of limited. You still care about your boyfriend (the quarterback), and you don't really want to end it before he moves because A) you want every minute you can have with him (or watching him) B) you really do love him, and C) he really is a great guy - there's a certain comfort to backing a guy who's a surefire winner, even if he does let you down every so often these days.
But, you know, you're a realistic gal. You're not one to write your initials in a heart all over your notebook. You realize that at 16, a different state is pretty much a death sentence to any future you may have imagined with this boy. Besides, there's this other guy that you've noticed... and while you would never cheat on your boyfriend (by wearing that other guy's jersey,) you can't help but notice this other guy's prowess. I mean, he's in the same city you are...he's really really good at what he does... It gets to the point that you find yourself following this other guys progress, and even rooting for this other guy to win. You console yourself with the thought that if it were ever a head-to-head matchup, you would most definitely have your boyfriend's back. But if your boyfriend is busy elsewhere, and winning most of his games, there's no harm in rooting for this other guy who has absolutely nothing to do with your boyfriend.
Now that the day has come and your boyfriend's belongings are all packed and you've said your tearful goodbyes (because, really, are there any other kind when you're a teenager?) you can accept that while you'll always remember your boyfriend's ex team with nostalgia, and probably never be able to actively root against them, it's time to move on to the other guy and fully embrace the crush you've been fostering all along. You might still bust out the old boyfriend's jersey from time to time, because your old boyfriend - he really was great. But your allegiance is now firmly with the new guy and his entire team. Because, you know, they're in your city and stuff.
So am I sad that Brett's retiring? Absolutely. He was a great player and it was awesome to root for him play the game he obviously loved. Am I going to take down the Brett Favre autographed picture that my father gave me for Christmas? Nope. He was a great player, and I don't regret following the little bit of his career that I did. Am I going to continue to root against the Bears and Lions? Well, not actively...it might just be reflexively. After all, old habits die hard. Am I going to purchase a Colts jersey? You bet your ass I will :-)