In tribute to the recent retiree I’ve compiled a list. If you don’t have respect for the man here are ten excellent reason why you are wrong…
10. His Middle Name is Lorenzo.
The name itself is cool but what’s more impressive is the fact that it completes perhaps the manliest name in the history of manly names: Brett Lorenzo Favre. Its got pretty much everything going for it. “Brett” is simple but forceful, implying the kind of stripped-down sensibility and stoicism normally reserved for characters in a classic western. “Favre” has a cool underground vibe, if you know how to pronounce it you’re in the club. And “Lorenzo”, being the very essence of shoot em up action heroics, is the perfect compliment to the moniker of the last of the true football gunslingers.
9. He was recruited by Southern Mississippi as a defensive back.
When he arrived at practice he impressed the coaches with his arm and was rewarded with the seventh QB spot on the depth chart. He worked his way up and through a series of fortuitous circumstances was playing by the second half of the third game of his freshman year. In that game he led the Golden Eagles to a comeback win over Tulane despite a hangover that had him vomiting before the game started.
8. Atlanta thought they’d robbed Green Bay when they traded him there.
Farve was a second round pick in 1991, threw only four passes as a Falcon (the first of which–and therefore the first of his career–was an interception), gained a reputation as a partier, and got on Coach Jerry Glanville’s shit list. For some reason Green Bay GM Ron Wolf had the wisdom to look past all of this and gave Atlanta a first round pick for him in 1992. The Falcons drafted Favre’s former college teammate Tony Smith (RB) who lasted three seasons in the league without distinction, mostly returning punts. Favre went on to start 13 games in his first season and after that never missed a single game for the next 15 seasons.
7. He earned a teaching degree from Southern Miss with a special emphasis on special education.
Impressive because in addition to being a total badass he also loves children. What a guy, huh?
6. He started 221 games before he was shut out.
Playing Chicago on September 10, 2006, Green Bay was held scoreless. Two months later they were shut out again by the New England Patriots (though Favre left the game before halftime due to injury). These two occasions mark the only times that the Packers have failed to score with Favre at the helm. He was never shut out in college.
5. In 17 seasons with the Packers, he has only one losing season.
This is particularly significant when you consider the state of the franchise before Brett got there. The once proud Packers were a joke, having only four winning seasons since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. They also only made the playoffs twice over that span. Favre only missed the playoffs four times in his career.
4. Despite being the manliest of the manly, he is still married to his high school sweetheart.
He began dating Deanna Tynes, whom he’d known since they were both children growing up in tiny Kiln, MS, in high school. She got pregnant with daughter Brittany shortly thereafter but still managed to work her way through college, graduating in 1994 from Southern Mississippi. She moved to Green Bay in 1995 to be with Favre and helped him overcome a dangerous Vicodin addiction. They were finally married the following year and are still happily married to this day. They’ve survived his career and fame, his alcohol abuse, family tragedies on both sides, Hurricane Katrina’s devastating effects on their hometown, and her own recent bout with breast cancer. (Looks like Brett Lorenzo might have some competition in the toughest human alive category after all!) Oh yeah, she’s also hot.
3. He accomplished more with fewer offensive weapons than any elite QB in NFL history.
Favre has won more games than any other quarterback in NFL history (160). Of the top ten winningest QBs only Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, and Warren Moon had less help over the course of their careers. And none of them ever won a Super Bowl. Unitas had John Mackey, Lenny Moore, and Raymond Berry. Montana had Jerry Rice and Roger Craig among others. Bradshaw had an offense full of Hall of Famers. Jim Kelly had Thurman Thomas and still never got that Super Bowl win. We’re all aware of Payton Manning’s arsenal, most notably future HOFer Marvin Harrison. Only John Elway comes close to matching Favre’s career numbers and even he needed help from Terrell Davis (who surely would have been a HOFer if his career hadn’t been cut short by injury) to win the big one. Favre put up his numbers with Dorsey Levins and Ahman Green in the backfield and Antonio Freeman and Donald Driver catching his passes. These are all fine players but they aren’t nearly equals of the all-time greats mentioned above. And none of them would have been able to play at the level they did without Favre leading them down the field.
2. He played at his best in the face-reddening cold of Lambeau.
Brett Favre’s identity as a football player is inextricable from his identity as a Packer. Seeing him in any other uniform would be unnatural to say the least. This statement is confirmed by his numbers in freezing temperatures. At 32 degrees or colder Favre was 36-9 and completed 61.6 percent of his passes. These ridiculous numbers are proof-positive that Brett Favre at Lambeau was about as good as home-field advantage gets. The numbers are even crazier than they look as he is 6-8 since 2003 in freezing conditions. This means that in his first ten years he was 30-1! Statistically he was unbeatable.
1. He accomplished everything with 30 fewer inches of intestines than the rest of us.
BLF almost never made it to the NFL. In the summer before his senior season at Southern Miss he was nearly killed in a car accident. He lost control of his car and flipped it three times going around a curve near his parents’ house. His brother had to smash one of the windows with a golf club to get him out of the wreck and into an ambulance. At the hospital doctors had to surgically remove a 30-inch length of his small intestine in order to save his life. Nevertheless, Favre started in Golden Eagles first game just six weeks later, a victory over Alabama. (Now that’s what I call intestinal fortitude)
[Perhaps the most impressive fact is that I am a Vikings fan who has suffered through many years of defeat at the hands of this evil genius. I’m sad to see him leave but glad to see him go. Aaron Rodgers just isn’t as intimidating for some reason.]