Retirement is tough for anyone. For you, one who has given his life, his body, his physical and his mental health to his career, it’s nearly impossible. You’ve done the impossible before, and you can do it again.
Remember when you drove your car around a curve too quickly, bordering on (dare we say it) reckless? You found out that speed limits really respect the laws of nature. Your injuries nearly killed you, but you recovered. You not only played college football again, you played well. Very well.
Your time with the Atlanta Falcons, the team that drafted you into the NFL, wasn’t exactly stellar. In fact, black hole might be a better description. But Ron Wolf took a look at your talent and made a trade that changed history for you and for all of Wisconsin, the state that calls the Green Bay Packers their own.
Substance abuse. Addiction. Rehab.
Playoff success. Super Bowl ring. MVP honors.
Changes in coaching. Changes in personnel, receivers, centers, offensive line, back-ups.
Personal losses. Deaths of close friends and family.
Personal trauma. Your wife’s cancer.
Through it all, fatherhood. Raising two daughters in the shadow of Lambeau Field, with a famous father, and attempting to keep their lives “normal.”
Brett, football has been the center of your life all of your life. High school revolved around football. College revolved around football. After that? Seventeen years of records breaking, numbers falling like dominoes. When you announced your retirement, you must have wondered how you’d fill the hole left empty without the NFL, without the Green Bay Packers. Where will you go each day with no team meetings? No workouts? No training camp? How will you fill your time, your thoughts, focus your energy?
Brett, you’ve suffered in public so many times. Now you’re suffering again, but this time it’s different. We Packer fans are watching you panic. We’re watching you fall apart, grasping for a cloud that is rapidly evaporating, fading out of reach.
Brett, it’s not about you any more, and that’s central to the panic. Your team, the fearless green and gold, is moving on without you, and you just don’t know what to do.
Please, Brett, get help. Get professional counseling. You have value, with or without a football in your powerful hands. As I mentioned above, you’ve already done the impossible; you can do it again. But you don’t have to do it alone. Retirement is tough for anyone, and much, much tougher on you. Get some help, and get it now. You can retire, and you can retire with class.
A concerned and caring fan