Yes, it’s true, as JB mentioned Tuesday, I have been a little busy over the last couple of days because a certain quarterback decided to retire.
Though I watched him practice a few times, watched him play hundreds of times and typed his name thousands of times, I never met Brett Favre.
But I long ago came to regard him as something special, something to be appreciated in the moment because we are not likely to see a player like that again in my lifetime.
Two songs came to mind when the news of Favre’s retirement broke.
One came from a woman who e-mailed me from the Chicago area. Almost distraught, she invoked Thelma Houston’s “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”
The other — lest you think I’m too reverent — popped into my head when I heard Favre say he was worn out mentally: “I’m Tired,” by Madeline Kahn, from the film “Blazing Saddles.” That, of course, is a song about sex.
“I’m tired/Tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired/God dammit I’m exhausted.”
“Tired, tired of playing the game/Ain’t it a crying shame/I’m so tired.”
Now that you have that image of Brett Favre as seductive dance hall girl seared into your head, let me offer a real tune for your consideration.
In 1997, in the wake of Green Bay’s victory in Super Bowl XXXI, Packers safety Eugene Robinson produced a rather eclectic urban/soul/R&B EP that turned Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown” into “Titletown,” covered McFadden and Whitehead’s “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” and had the Packers’ Reggie White singing “Amazing Grace.”
That EP also featured a slow, smooth, soul- and R&B-tinged version of a familiar sports-rock anthem.
I got the chills when they played Queen’s “We Are The Champions” at Lambeau Field on Christmas Eve 1995, after the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to win their first division title in seemingly forever.
Great as that was, and is, I’ve come to like this version better.
“We Are The Champions,” Darnel Alexander, David Booker and Tracy Harris, from “(Eugene Robinson Presents) Titletown,” 1997. It’s out of print.
Alexander and Booker were in 2nd Nature, an early-’90s R&B group out of Seattle, where Robinson played for a decade before coming to Green Bay. As for Harris, I don’t know anything about her.