Effervescent NFL quarterback Brett Favre has done it all and now looks to cap a fine career, writes Ryan Mackenzie
Brett Favre possesses some of the most coveted quarterback achievements in American Football, holding records for most passing yards, passing touchdowns, wins, season MVP (Most Valuable Player) awards, consecutive starts and the highest career quarterback rating ever – not to mention the all-important Super Bowl ring, won in 1997 with the Green Bay Packers, needed by any great quarterback to lay his claim to the title of greatest ever triggerman.
While these achievements demonstrate Favre’s outstanding talent, it’s his ability to continue to perform at the top level after almost twenty years that makes him such a legend of the game.
Favre made his NFL debut in 1991 with the Atlanta Falcons, before making the historic move to Green Bay the next season where he became a legend at the helm of the Packers’ offense. It was here that the Mississippi native immortalised his famous number four jersey and emerged as a surefire candidate for the NFL Hall Of Fame.
He plied his trade in Green Bay’s Lambeau Field for 15 monumental years, ending in 2007, after the Packers’ management decided to replace the veteran with a younger model. Favre controversially moved to the New York Jets to continue his NFL career, despite widespread opinion that he should retire after a terrific 2007 season, which would have provided the perfect climax to his legendary career.
Favre’s time in the Big Apple was a roller-coaster ride. While showing moments of brilliance, his season was overshadowed by uncharacteristic mistakes and overall poor play by his own high standards. Unsurprisingly, most critics attributed this dramatic drop in form to his age, as the autumn of his career appeared to be approaching at an alarming rate.
This undoubtedly played a vital role in Favre’s decision to retire during the 2009 off-season but would also prompt the move that, above all else, demonstrates his astounding passion for the game.
After a brief retirement that lasted all of six months, from February to August 2009, Favre signed with the Minnesota Vikings, bitter rivals of the Green Bay Packers. Now the gunslinger finds himself rapidly approaching the wrong side of 40, but – in a curious parallel to Ryan Giggs – surprisingly in the best form he has displayed in some time.
Following the first four games of the season, Favre is the third highest ranked quarterback in the entire NFL, and has led his team to a flawless 4-0 start. What’s more, Favre’s Vikings side beat the Green Bay Packers last Monday night, in a game that saw the veteran shine, with three touchdown passes demonstrating to his old club just what they’re missing. The win also enabled Favre to become the first quarterback in history to beat all 32 NFL teams.
The Vikings look to be major contenders to hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy this season – the first title in the franchise’s history – and should Favre win his second Super Bowl ring, 13 years after his first, it will not only cap off a Hollywood-style career but would also make him a real contender for the title of the greatest player ever.