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Brett, Thanks 4 the Memories: Sports Will Never See Another Athlete Like You

For the first time in his life, Brett Favre was a spectator to the game he loved.
For the first time in his life, Brett Favre was a spectator to the game he loved.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2010

Eighteen years ago there was a guy they called The Majik Man in Green Bay. His name was Don Majkowski.

This guy was great. He earned his nickname in crunch time, where he always seemed to come through. 

Packer fans ate this guy up, and many believed he would be the one to finally lead them to the promised land after almost 20 years of disappointment.

However, he couldn't escape the trainer's room. Year after year Majkowski went down, so in 1992 when Packer nation saw him laying on the turf and gripping his leg, most people didn't feel good about it.

And with some redneck that most had thought the Packers wasted a first round pick on named Brett Favre ready to get under center, you'd better believe expectations were low.

Favre entered the game, and the entire Lambeau crowd was screaming in unison for Head Coach Mike Holmgren to put Ty Detmer in the game after he fumbled four times. But he stuck with Favre, and when he brought Green Bay 92 yards in just over a minute for the game winning score, he had etched himself in Packer lore.

The next week he started against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then he started again the next week, and the week after that and the week after that and the week after that.

The awards began to add up to the tune of three MVPs, 11 Pro Bowl appearances, and six all-pro teams.

It took some time, but everyone knew who the real Magic Man was in Green Bay. 

As the years passed, Favre dealt with over 50 different injuries, addiction problems, the birth of a child, his wife's cancer, three retirements and his father's death, but one thing remained the same: Favre kept starting.

Five Presidential elections, the rise and demise of Tiger Woods, Y2K, 9/11. All these things came and passed, but one thing remained the same: Brett Favre kept starting.

And before you knew it, he was starting his 100th consecutive game, then his record-breaking 117th, then his 200th.

And as every game passed it became as much a part of his identity as his first name.

Brett Favre didn't shy away from hits, he didn't want to avoid contact. In fact, he probably got hit more and got hit harder than any quarterback in the history of football. But with every bone-crushing trip to the turf he took, one thing remained the same: Brett Favre kept starting.

Before you could even blink, Favre had brought Green Bay it's first Super Bowl since the Lombardi era. And the fan base loved this guy. Then again, who didn't?

And the years kept passing and passing until Favre was 37 years old and in he midst of the worst two-year stretch of his career.

But with everything that had changed within Favre's game over the years, one thing remained the same: Brett Favre kept starting.

And when 2007 rolled around, he was thankful that he did. That year Green Bay finished 13-3.

The milestones continued to add up for Favre. He became the all-time leader in passing yards, attempts, touchdowns, completions, interceptions, and many more.

And when he finally retired from football that season it was one of the saddest moments in the history of sports.

But then he came back, and from Broadway Brett to Minnesota Favre one thing stayed the same: Brett Favre kept starting.

And he started and started and started and started and started. 

But Monday night, something changed: Brett Favre didn't start.

And just like that, the streak was over, and so is perhaps the greatest career in the history of football.

So Packer fans, today, Dec. 14, 2010, is not a day to talk about what Brett Favre has done wrong, nor a day to talk about what Brett Favre has put us through; today is a day to praise a man who has given us all he had to give for so long. 

Nobody played the game with as much passion as Brett, and nobody was more fun to watch.

There will be another Peyton Manning, there will be another Tom Brady, but I promise you there will never be another Brett Favre.

And it's time we realize that and appreciate sports' ultimate iron man.

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