It was almost three years ago that I wrote probably the only honest and heartfelt post that this blog has ever seen. It's hard to believe most of what I wrote today. The way that I gushed about Brett, his contributions to the sport, his honesty in the face of adversity and his desire to do things the right way turned out to be a mirage. The way he lied, manipulated, harassed and victimized the rest of football nation over the past three seasons/retirements makes me wonder if the 16 years of goodwill was fake, too.
As a passionate fan of a team, you see lots of athletes come and go over the years. Some you remember, some you forget. Some become such a part of your experience that you feel like they are an unofficial member of your family. That's why this whole escapade continues to sting. Brett wasn't who he claimed to be. Like the politician who made promises to get into office, only to cave to special interests. Or the neighbor who invites you over for dinner with their family, only to berate you after the fact.
The point is that with this guy, what we were led to believe was not real.
It's too bad, because he could've rode off into the sunset three years ago and we average fans never would've known. We'd still think he was great. We'd still cheer for him.
Now he's just another guy who did it for himself. A sad caricature of a once great legend.
Last night, as Brett lay on the frozen turf with what looked like a shoulder injury and possible concussion, I was indifferent. Just another QB who took a hard hit and couldn't get up.
I don't know what Grandpa would've thought about all this, because it was never in the realm of possibility. That's probably the saddest part.