As I watched Brett Favre limp off the field last night, I must say I was happy.
My Packers had just narrowly escaped with a win -- their first over a Favre-led team since his "retirement" from the Packers three years ago.
My boys were also tied for first in the NFC North with the hapless Chicago Bears. A first-place tie with a team that's looked as bad as the Bears recently isn't too bad.
But then I watched the post-game press conferences. I watched Vikes coach Brad Childress fire some shots at Favre, essentially saying the aging QB cost them the game.
(Was Childress right in his analysis? Probably. Was his behavior right for a head coach? Not at all. If one of your players throws another under the bus, you're ticked because you have to spend the whole week doing damage control and minimizing it. Now Childress has to deal with things he said all week. Sometimes you just keep your mouth shut and deal with it privately.)
And I watched Favre's post-game comments. The man on the podium was not the one I remember watching all those years. He seemed resigned to the fact that he might not play next week. I never thought I'd hear Favre say "I'm no spring chicken."
He was a man who readily admitted his coach was probably right about what cost the Vikings the game.
When his comments were over, I watched him limp off the field like a man far older than Favre's 41 years. He walked with that limp from a bum ankle, but he was also carrying 20 NFL seasons, the pain of a bad loss, the weight of what this week will hold with the Childress controversy and with the weight of what his apparent actions in New York two years ago have caused.
Favre's bad choices on the field and possibly off led to the shell of a man I saw last night, so he really doesn't really need my sympathy.
But I can certainly say I don't envy him.