A look back at the Hall-of-Fame career of Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre.
He started his career with the Atlanta Falcons, and ended it with the Jets and the Vikings, but Brett Lorenzo Favre will always be primarily remembered for his years with the Green Bay Packers, the team with which he spent 16 of his 20 seasons.
Favre the enigma
Brett Favre began his career as something of an enigma. First you had to wrap your head around the seemingly dyslexic spelling of his surname. Pronounced as it is, one would reasonably expect it to be spelled “Farv” or at worst “Farve” (silent “E”s we can live with, being used to them).
But “Favre”? Shouldn’t that be pronounced “Fahv-RAY” (or, at worst, “Favor”)?
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Okay, so you eventually accept the illogical pronunciation, and then comes another conundrum: Why would a team (the Falcons) draft a player at the start of the second round, a quarterback who can throw the ball faster than Nolan Ryan and farther than Uncle Rico, and then be willing to trade him a year later?
Favre the wild card
The Falcons didn’t understand him. They didn’t know what they had.
The Packers, who traded for him, knew what they were getting. Or at least had a strong enough feeling about his potential to “pull the trigger” and send a first-round draft pick to the Falcons in exchange for Favre’s services.
Ron Wolf, the new Packers GM, had evaluated Favre as the best player in the draft the year before, but was employed by the Jets at the time.
The Jets first pick that year was number 34, and the Falcons selected Favre with the preceding pick.
Ironically, a major concern of the Falcons was Favre’s health; they had serious doubts about how long he would be able to play. This was ironic because Favre ended up being the “Iron Man” of football: durable and always available; and not just for five years or so, but for 20 long seasons.
Favre holds the NFL consecutive game record at 297.
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Favre the heart-attack kid
Favre started off as kind of an enigma with the Packers, too. His first pass was a completion, but it was to himself (after being batted in the air).
He began his ascendancy to become one of, if not the, premier quarterback of his era, when he came in for the injured Don Majkowski the very next week, in game three of the 1992 season. Although he fumbled four times in that game, which led to fans calling for the insertion of third string quarterback Ty Detmer, Favre eventually brought the Packers back, throwing the winning touchdown pass with 13 seconds left in the game.
Favre never returned to his role as a backup.
Favre the blue chip
To shamelessly resort to a hackneyed phrase, “a star was born” that day.
Other highlights include his performance the day following the death of his father in late 2003, when he passed for 399 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 41-7 Packers victory over the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football; and, of course, the Super Bowl 31 victory in 1997, a 35-21 victory over the Patriots.
Favre’s come-from-behind heroics and razzle-dazzle pyrotechnics are too many to enumerate in a brief article.
The scope of Favre’s accomplishments can be easily deduced from the following accolades and awards, though:
- 11 All-Pro Selections
- 6 Pro Bowl Invitations
- 3 League MVPs
- Had his jersey number (4) retired by the Packers
- Named to the virtual All-Decade Team (1990s)
- 2 Super Bowl appearances, with one victory
- Inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2015
- Inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2016
All this from a guy who was traded away by the team that drafted him with pick 33 after just one season, and whose inauspicious beginning included having his first pass for the Packers batted up in the air, resulting in a loss of seven yards, and fumbling four times in the first game he started.
Sometimes football is like a box of chocolates.