Archive: Fourth and Long: Brett Favre Back For One Last Drive
The following is an article I wrote for my school newspaper back in September of 2009. I felt that by adding it to Bleacher Report, I could expand my article resume and reach out to other fans, besides those of baseball. Enjoy.
The date was Sept. 27, 1992. The Green Bay Packers trampled onto Lambeau Field that crisp autumn day, in search of a well-fought victory. A new quarterback, ready and willing, ran out of the tunnel to the roar of thousands of fans. Young, and capable, he led the Packers to a devastating blow against the Pittsburgh Steelers, throwing two touchdowns and leading the team to a 17-3 win. Not only did this start a career for football’s “Iron Man,” the game began the longest consecutive starts streak in NFL history. Seventeen years later, the legacy continues, and Brett Favre, is back… for more action.
After a second consecutive off-season of wavering back and forth, Favre was introduced to the public as a Minnesota Viking on Aug. 18, 2009. At the age of thirty-nine, most professional athletes are be retired, enjoying their time away from the game, the chance to thrive dried up, along with the possibility of ever playing again. However, after playing for three teams and showing no signs of stopping, Favre continues to impress critics. While at his introductory press conference, he said, “…You won’t know unless you take the chance…I hope from my standpoint, I felt like I could offer some experience and leadership. I have to admit, through this whole process, after I said no three weeks ago, at times I was okay with it but at other times I felt like I could really help that team and I think that’s the competitive fire in me. As a player, regardless, of sport, you have to feel like you can make a difference. I truly feel like I can so I just didn’t want to look back. I have no idea how I will feel a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now. But I didn’t want to say, ‘What if?’” (Introductory Press Conference).
Throughout his career, records have been broken, and countless games have been won. He leads the record books in most career touchdown passes (464), passing yards (65,127), and wins as a starting quarterback (169), passing attempts (9,280), and completions (5,720) (OfficialBrettFavre). The most astounding statistic, however, is the consecutive start streak, currently standing at 269 games. All it takes is one more game, and Brett Favre will tie the all-time consecutive starts for any position, at 270. He has also won one Super Bowl, won three MVP awards, and has been elected to the Pro-Bowl ten times. Statistically, he is the rated as the all-time best quarterback.
Favre played for the Green Bay Packers from 1992 to 2007, and he joined the AFC as a member of the New York Jets during the 2008 season. Returning to the NFC as a Minnesota Viking, Favre will play his former team, the Packers, twice during the current season. Asked about this fact at the introductory conference, he said “Sixteen years played in Green Bay were great years and that was home to me… The bottom line is that it’s football. Once people start chasing you and once you step into the huddle, I don’t look at the helmets, I look at the faces. I think the guy’s will know I’m in it for the right reasons… I know there are people out there taking sides or whatever. This is not about revenge, believe me. You can’t take away 16 years I had in Green Bay. It was unbelievable and it was great. That will be forever cherished by me and the guys I played with. They’re moved on and I’ve moved on so I think it’s great for football. I can’t see how you wouldn’t think it would be” (Introductory Press Conference).
As for his legacy? Fans and media alike speculate whether or not it is tainted with his recent string of attention-seeking moves. The summers of 2008 and 2009 were dragged on relentlessly as if it were a soap opera, with the media wondering if he would come back to play for another season. 2009 is no different than the rest of his career. He is back to play the game, legacy intact: “First of all, when people start talking about my legacy, it’s mine. It’s what I think of it. I know the way I play the game. I know the way I handled myself as a teammate, as a leader, within the public. Yeah, I’ve made mistakes along the way, we all have. But if I had to do it all over again, I would do it the same way. I don’t think anyone has played the game with as much passion and has loved it, and loved his teammates as much as me. I haven’t always been the best player. I would like to think that every player that I have played with would love to have me in the foxhole. I have no idea what is going to happen this year. I didn’t know last year. As I look back, I gave it everything I could give. That’s what I’ll do this year” (Introductory Press Conference). The Iron Man is back, and 2009 will be one interesting year.
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