Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Football | It’s All Over: Brett Favre’s Storied Streak Comes To A Whimpering End

Brett Favre with the Vikings

Image via Wikipedia

Arguably, one of the most impressive streaks has ended. With the announcement that he was on the inactive list last night due to a shoulder injury, Brett Favre‘s consecutive start streak concluded at 297 games (321 including playoff appearances according to Adam Schefter). Like him or not, the man has had an impressive career.

Personally, the records don’t do much for me (see list below). They are impressive, don’t get me wrong, but I do not believe it is what personified him as a player. I was 13 when Favre’s streak started and I remember being a huge fan of his from as far back as I can remember. Maybe it was the green and yellow of the Packers (my middle and high school colors were green and gold) or the fact that he was a gun-slinging, fun-loving guy who obviously just loved playing the game but I just loved watching him play. He always seemed to have a fire in his belly. He was excited when the Packers were on top and emotional when things were not going their way. He played the game I wanted to play the game. Over the years, I grew to admire not only his intensity, but also his intestinal fortitude. This guy would play and play and play, regardless of his state of health. He was a mainstay in the Green Bay offense and that was impressive.  In addition to the consecutive start streak, he has also set the following records:

  • Career regular-season victories by a starting quarterback: 185 (Regular-season record: 185–111)
  • Wins by a starting quarterback in one stadium: 90, Lambeau Field (including once as a Minnesota Viking)
  • Wins by a starting quarterback against a single opponent: 28, Detroit Lions (19–0 in home games).
  • Career passing touchdowns: 507
  • Career passing yards: 71,775
  • Career pass completions: 6,295
  • Career pass attempts: 10,161
  • Career interceptions thrown: 334
  • Career times sacked: 524
  • Career fumbles: 165
  • Career games with at least 30 completions: 25
  • Seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes: 9
  • Consecutive seasons with at least 30 touchdown passes: 5
  • Seasons with at least 3,000 passing yards: 18
  • Most consecutive AP NFL MVP awards: 3 (1995–1997)
  • Career playoff pass completions: 481
  • Career playoff pass attempts: 791
  • Career playoff passing yards: 5,855
  • Career playoff interceptions thrown: 30
  • Career playoff losses as starting QB: 11
  • Longest gap between receptions: 17 years and 4 weeks (275 games)

This list is by no means comprehensive; he set many other quirky records.  There’s records involving starts and wins at Lambeau Field, starts and wins in all the stadiums and against all the NFL teams.  Weird, odd records that only the Elias Sports Bureau could conjure up.  But, as I said, these don’t mean much to me.  It was all about how the man played the game and how he presented himself as a player.

That was unitl 2006… His tearful post-game interview after the regular season finale against the Bears at Soldier Stadium that year led everyone to believe that he would retire. However, Favre returned for the 2007 season. After that season, he formally retired (for the first time) on March 4, 2008. Nevertheless, in July of that same year, word surfaced that he wanted back in. After some ugly dealings between Favre and the Packers, they traded him to the New York Jets on August 7, 2008. Favre started for the Jets that season, leading them to a 9-7 record after starting the season 8-3. Favre announced his retirement for the second time on February 11, 2009 but remained property of the Jets. The Jets finally cut him from their Reserved/Retired List in May of 2009. This move allowed him to sign with any team, if he wanted to. In true Favre fashion, he again captured national headlines on August 18, 2009 when he signed with the Minnesota Vikings. He played for the Vikings in the 2009 season and led them to the NFC Championship game where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. Favre hemmed and hawed about returning for the 2010 season, which would be his 20th in the NFL. He was finally convinced to come back and the announcement came in August of 2010 that he would return.

That brings us to today. The day the streak is over. The day that his reason for playing is over. His team is not playing well and are not going anywhere this season (to date, the Vikings are 5-8 and are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs). Why play anymore? He is not getting another ring. He is not going to continue his streak. He could pad some of the accomplishments list above but to what end?

Please, Brett, take your leave from the game. Ride off into whatever sunset you have left and let us remember the guy who played with such energy and emotion, the guy who seemed immune to the frigid conditions in Green Bay, the guy who threw for four TDs and 399 yards the Monday night after his father died. Please do not hang around like an unwanted houseguest. Make your exit; sign your one-day contract with Green Bay on the offseason so you can officially retire as a Packer. It is the right thing to do. But please – we beg you- don’t spoil your legacy anymore than you have by staying around any longer.

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