Divorce Football Style/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on July 28, 2015


A sportswriter named Conor Orr recently wrote about two teams, two quarterbacks, and a football “divorce”.  The Green Bay Packers are presumed to have mishandled the departure of their star player Brett Favre when they announced his departure from their team several years ago. It was an embarrassment to both team and start player alike that the departure took place without any true expression of the appreciation and esteem that the Packers, and their fans, had for their premier player who had performed so well over two decades. It was a divorce without a positive touch. By contract, the Indianapolis Colts, years later, held a press conference together with their star player, Peyton Manning, when they announced to the world of sports that the relationship had ended. It was a divorce that had elements of true sorrow and genuine gratitude and respect. It was a positive football divorce.

Divorce is not a pleasant experience. However, it is foolhardy to deny the good times and the positives that punctuated the years of marriage. Keeping a balanced picture of what the relationship actually meant is an antidote to the needless confrontation and enmity that divorce often brings in its wake. It is also a true reaction to a pivotal event in the life of a family.The late Rabbi Avraham Pam told his students that in the event of divorce, they should bring their wedding album to the final hearing on divorce. It is important to remember both the sweet and bitter times. A balanced view will make the future more inviting to all concerned. Even football teams have learned that a divorce need not be a time to delete all memories of the good times that once were. There is a way to achieve a dignified moment, even as a divorce, person or professional, is to take place.