For football fans across the nation, the announcement of Brett Favre’s retirement marks the end of an era in the National Football League. In his 18-season career, Favre has been selected to the pro bowl 10 times, named the NFL’s MVP three times, won a super bowl and broken many records.
Over the span of his 18 year career, Favre threw 442 touchdown passes, 288 interceptions and is the record holder in both categories. Some may think that this is simply because he played more games at quarterback than anyone else, but that isn’t the case. The fact that Favre has the record in both categories is a true testament to his style of play that earned him the title of ‘gunslinger.”
Equipped with a cannonlike arm, he would drop back in the pocket and try to find an open receiver. If nobody was open, instead of throwing the ball away like most well-trained quarterbacks, he would just heave the ball downfield as far as he could and hope that someone on his team would come down with it. This style of play for which Favre is so well-known is what made him so much fun to watch.
One of Favre’s most memorable moments came during the 2003 season. His father passed away on Sunday morning, the day before the Packers were to face the Oakland Raiders in a critical Monday night matchup. Rather than missing the game, Favre played his heavy heart out. He finished the game with a total of 399 passing yards and four touchdowns, leading his team to a 41-7 victory. This display of dedication earned him the nickname ‘Iron Man Brett Favre.”
Another record which Favre holds that suits his character well is his consecutive start streak.
As an NFL quarterback, the risk of injury is extremely high, and there is no way that anyone can go an entire career without getting hurt. However, injury or a family death was not an excuse for Favre, who started as quarterback consecutively in 269 games. The closest quarterbacks behind Favre are Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. However, Brady is now out of contention due to a season-ending knee injury sustained during the 2008 season, so the only quarterback left in the hunt is Manning who still has a long way to go.
Despite all of his career accomplishments, Favre’s final season in the NFL didn’t work out quite as well as he and New York Jets fans had hoped. His controversial return to the NFL for one more season ended with his team collapsing down the stretch and finishing up 9-7, short of a playoff spot.
In a press conference held last week, Favre’s parting words to fans were, ‘To me, it is. It’s been a wonderful career, I couldn’t ask for anything more. It was worth a shot for me to go to New York. I wish I could’ve played better down the stretch. I didn’t. It’s time to leave.”
Now that he is retired from the NFL, he will have a lot more time to go hunting and fishing in his home state of Mississippi.
Whether or not you are a fan of Brett, you have to admire what he accomplished throughout his career. His numerous records and accolades are a testament to the love and dedication that he had for the game of football.
Horowitz is a member of the class of 2009.