The storybook ending to Brett Favre's career would've gone like this: Mr. Funball leads his Minnesota Vikings to a clutch win in the NFC Championship, then presides over a Super Bowl demolition of the Indianapolis Colts. In the victorious post-SB locker room, Favre wins MVP honors, publicly defecates on a Packers banner, and then returns to Mississippi for a month-long Vicodin bender during which a half-dozen teams court him for yet another "comeback." Alas, that isn't how it unfolded. Favre's decidedly un-clutch 4th-quarter INT last night may be—we hope—his last play as a professional football player. Hate him or hate him, that's a shitty way to go out.

'Course, Favre isn't the only sports superstar to end his career with a whimper. From Muhammad Ali to Michael Jordan, here's our list of great athletes who left on a losing note...

Willie-Mays

WILLIE MAYS, NEW YORK METS
LAST GAME: October 13, 1973
FAREWELL FAIL: After a 22-year, HOF career which included two MVPs and over 20 All-Star game selections, the "Say Hey Kid" retired as a New York Met after the 1973 World Series. Ending your career on the big stage—not bad, huh? But Mays only saw seven at- bats during the Series (in which he got two hits) and started only once as the Mets went down in seven games to Oakland. After stumbling in the outfield, Mays said, "Growing old is just a helpless hurt." Is it us or does everything the Mets touch turn to shit?

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MUHAMMAD ALI
LAST FIGHT: December 11, 1981
FAREWELL FAIL: Just one year younger than Favre, Ali laced up the gloves for the final time in a bout against up-and-comer Trevor Berbick. The Greatest ended up losing by unanimous decision to a guy who's best remembered for getting knocked silly by Iron Mike. Speaking of Tyson, at least Ali didn't go out like one of these dudes.

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BjornBorg

BJORN BORG
LAST MATCH: November 8, 1993
FAREWELL FAIL: After winning 11 Grand Slam titles, including five consecutive Wimbledons (1976-1980), the Swedish tennis star retired in '83. However, divorce, money problems, and a coke habit led Borg to attempt a comeback during the early '90s, using the same '70s-era wooden racket from his glory days. From 1991 to 1993, Borg was eliminated in the first round of 12 ATP events in a row, his final loss coming to Alexander Volkov at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Old man x solid wood = L.

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Mark-spitz

MARK SPITZ
LAST MEET: 1992
FAREWELL FAIL: The O.G. Michael Phelps won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summers Olympics, then suddenly retired at the age of 22. Nineteen years later—and one year older than Favre—Spitz tried out for the 1992 U.S. swimming team. Alas, "Mark the Shark" failed to even qualify for the team. Old man x successful splash-off = L.

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MICHAEL JORDAN, WASHINGTON WIZARDS
LAST GAME: April 16, 2003
FAREWELL FAIL: In '98, MJ had the perfect ending to his career with his Finals-winning shot over Brian Russell of the Utah Jazz. Not content to ride off into the sunset with that memory, Jordan came back with the Wizards in 2001 for two forgettable seasons. In his final contest—a meaningless game between the Wiz and the 76ers—Jordan scored 13 points and ended his career at the free throw line after a pity foul by Eric Snow. Pretty sad, but certainly not the only embarassing L from his career.

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ZINEDINE ZIDANE, FRANCE
FINAL MATCH: July 9, 2006
FAREWELL FAIL: Zidane's final moment on the world soccer stage was stupid, sad, funny, and badass at the same time. We ride with you, Zizou!

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