Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Brett Favre series - Part 1
This topic is one that I have touched on a few times, but I never took the opportunity take a deeper look into it. So instead of doing a short blog on this topic I will be doing a five-part series that begins today. Brett Favre, regarded by some to be the best quarterback to ever play the game, was ultimately overrated. The first part of the series will be how it all started, how Brett Favre went from a great quarterback, to a (supposedly) legendary one.
Brett Favre came to Green Bay before the 1992 season. At the time he had just finished his rookie season with Atlanta, a team that never gave him an opportunity to start. Nobody quite knew what to make of Favre at first; he was a Mississippi country boy coming to the frigid cold of Green Bay, and he was backing up Don Majkowski at the time anyway, so many did not give him a second look. Lightening struck, though, and Favre quickly got the chance to start when Majkowski injured a ligament in his ankle in week three. Though Favre was booed by Packer fans because of his inability to hold onto the football (fumbling four times), he drove the Packers 92 yards and threw the game winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining to beat the Cincinnati Bengals. After that game, Favre started 253 consecutive games for the Packers, bringing the Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one, and garnering three Most Valuable Player awards from 1992-2007.
The state of Wisconsin embraced Brett Favre as the face of not only the franchise, but the state. Favre was synonymous with Wisconsin, and Wisconsinites loved that. As he went on to a hall of fame career, breaking what seemed like every record in the book, fans embraced him as one of their own. Packers fans viewed him as the best quarterback of all time, and even though outsiders did not always hold him in such high regard, that just made fans love him even more.
I am a lifelong Packer fan, I bleed green and gold, and my favorite season is football season. I grew up loving Favre as much as the next fan, and my countless pictures, signatures, and books prove that. Because I did not start watching the Packers until after the 1997 season, though, I got a unique view of Favre. My view was not blurred by the franchise Favre built; instead, I got a firsthand look at what he truly was: a quarterback blessed with the durability to be legendary, but the tools to be mediocre.
Favre was the only sports star to stay in Wisconsin as long as we wanted him. Every other star during this time period left, including Ray Allen, Reggie White, Carlos Lee, CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Gary Sheffield, Sam Cassell, Glenn Robinson, Gary Payton, Richie Sexson, etc. Favre stayed. He was the one who truly cared about the fans. This made fans put him on a pedestal, one that he never really belonged on.
The second part of the series will be available tomorrow night.