Words cannot begin to describe the feelings I have over the retirement of one of the greatest quarterbacks of my generation. Yet I fully support his decision. His statement of feeling tired mentally shows that he feels it’s time to move on. He made almost every game exciting, and every Packers fan had hope when number 4 stood behind the center and commanded the Green Bay offense.
Since coming to Green Bay during his second professional season, Brett Favre showed that true heroes still exist. He took a struggling offense and brought it to the top of its game. Along with leadership on the defense (namely the late, great Reggie White), he led the team to its first Super Bowl in almost 30 years and brought the title back to Titletown. As the only three-time winner of the MVP Award, Favre continued to break records, right through his last season.
Only one night after his father’s untimely death in December 2003, Favre played the game of his life against the Oakland Raiders, beating them 41-7, passing for 399 yards and 4 touchdowns. By then, he was already considered an iron man, having started every game since taking the helm in Green Bay in 1992, despite playing through adversity and injuries. Today, he leaves behind a record of 249 starts.
During the 2007 season, he had all of us believing. He lead the Packers to its best record in years (13-3). He was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. He broke the all-time touchdown record at 442, and passed for 61,655 yards. Although the Packers didn’t win homefield advantage by default, they would have memorable events throughout the playoffs.
The night he played against his former coach’s (Mike Holmgren) team (Seattle Seahawks), he rallied the Packers from a 0-14 deficit to beat the Seahawks in the snow. That same weekend, the Dallas Cowboys lost to the New York Giants, giving the Packers homefield advantage for the NFC Championship Game. Unfortunately, the temperature was in the minus teens with the wind chill. After struggling all evening, Favre could barely keep the offense on top. Unfortunately, he would throw his last Packers pass as an interception to a Giants defender in overtime, sealing the team’s season. Despite this loss in the bitter cold, all of us Packers fans still believed in him up until the very end.
So what’s next? Since Favre will no longer return to Green Bay as a player, I still believe we will see him again. He’s a great player and an awesome person. He overcame pain, addiction, heartache, and even stood by his wife Deanna as she struggled with breast cancer. His down-to-earth character makes him such a great figure in the NFL and a wonderful person off the field. Other players may break some or all of his records in the future, but none will ever be worthy enough to be compared to Brett Favre.
This post is dedicated to his family, to his friends, to his teammates, and to all of his fans! Brett Favre, congratulations on a great career, and thanks for the memories!