I cannot be alone in standing up and giving a big round of applause to Brett Favre for completing one of (if not the) most legendary feats of modern professional sports – 271 consecutive starts as an NFL quarterback.
Records are there to be broken, but almost 17 consecutive seasons of sun, wind, hail, snow, away fan abuse, and defenders trying to put him on his back puts Brett Favre on a stage that I very much doubt anyone will be able to share.
I do hope and pray that Brett’s retirement announcement is official – for two reasons – one selfish and one admirable.
The selfish reason is obvious, I don’t think I could cope with ANOTHER off-season filled with ‘will he or won’t he retire’ gossip from the smug ‘I deserve a big slap in the face’ Adam Schefter or the likes of PTIs Michael Wilbon or Tony Kornheiser to the varied sports writers that guest on Around the Horn (gotta love Woody Page !!!).
The admirable reason is Favre compiled some statistics that make your eyes bleed, from the 17 consecutive seasons with 3,000 plus passing yards to the mind blowing 65,127 total passing yards, to the insane 464 passing touchdowns. Those statistics are to be poured over in 2012 or 2013 (I can’t work it out) when people make their pilgrimage to the NFL Hall of Fame.
Finishing aged 39 with 16 starts in his final 16 games is the perfect way to bow out, and although he threw an equal amount of touchdowns and interceptions in 2008 (22 a piece) he kept up his 17 year streak of over 3,000 yards a season and 18 or more touchdowns.
Any longer and Favre risked not only a serious injury but he risked damaging his legacy as the toughest SOB that ever put on an NFL uniform.
One Super Bowl win (and two Super Bowl appearances) may seem a little low for a guy who was a prime performer for 17 full NFL seasons, but we have to remember he did not always have a world beating support cast, nor did he have the best head coaches (Ray Rhodes, Mike Sherman).
Just for fun and just for the record for you trivia nuts here is Brett’s stats from his first NFL start and his (hopefully) last one.
First – September 27, 1992 – 17-3 home win Packers v Steelers – 14 of 19 210 yards 2 td 0 int – Brett Favre’s First NFL touchdown 76 yards to WR Sterling Sharpe
***269 consecutive regular season games inbetween***
Last – December 28, 2008 – 17-24 home loss Jets v Dolphins – 20 of 40 233 yards 1 td 0 int – Brett Favre’s Last NFL touchdown 13 yards to WR Laverneus Coles
There will never be another Brett Favre, he is a one off, a grizzled block of granite that is tougher than King Kong after Godzilla has just abducted Fay Wray.
I want to thank you Brett for the memories and I wish you a happy, peaceful and content retirement, safe in the knowledge that you left every single ounce of pride, guts, determination, charisma and class on the turf or grass of every NFL Stadium.
Brett Favre I salute you………..as long as you stay retired.