Brett Favre Concussed, Career in Jeopardy: What Legacy Does No. 4 Leave?
Last night, finally, may have been the last game that we see Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre in an NFL football game.
He'll still dominate the news until next season starts and not a team has the grumpy old gunslinger shouldering the load for their offense, but it seems that Favre is done.
Favre suffered a concussion in Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, and nothing could be more fitting for the man.
He didn't go out from a measly little shoulder injury that ended his consecutive games streak, but he went out with a true Brett Favre injury, getting hurled to the turf by a stellar Bears defense that he has battled with for the entirety of his 19 years in the NFC North.
It was the type of injury that would keep Favre out of a game, one that gives him no possible chance of continuing.
This will obviously start the debate, what is Favre's legacy? So why don't I go ahead and get that started?
From his feud with the Green Bay Packers font office to the infamous Jenn Sterger scandal, it's impossible to ignore the things that plagued Favre off the field.
He, near the end of his career at least, had the media talking about things other than his football game that he played on Sunday. He became Tuesday-Friday news, rather than just Friday-Monday news.
Favre was pressured to retire in 2008 by the Packers front office, even though he may not have been quite ready to take his helmet off for good, leading to a long drawn out feud that led to a tampering case between Green Bay and Minnesota and Favre eventually joining the Jets.
Then there is the Sterger scandal, to whom Favre allegedly sent lewd voice mails and photos, leading to a league investigation and an overall awkward situation for the whole world.
He also admitted to being in a drug rehab clinic in 1996 for Vicodin addiction and alcohol abuse.
There is no denying the rocky life that Favre lived in his 20-year NFL career, and it is no doubt part of his legacy.
The one thing that I am sure is the highlight of Favre's career for him, and his fans around the country (all 14 of them that are left anyway) is his victory in Super Bowl XXXI.
Favre's Packers won the Super Bowl in 1997 behind his (and Desmond Howard's) excellent play. Favre was 14 for 27 in that game, throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns, along with a rushing touchdown.
He spent the rest of his career trying to reach that apex again. Alas, we all know how that turned out.
He also has the most wins of any NFL quarterback, with 184 against only 112 losses.
Along with his ring and his winning nature, Favre won three MVP awards throughout his career, in 1995, '96 and '97.
Along with his inconceivable 297 games started streak (321 with playoffs), Favre owns a slew of NFL records, good and bad.
He has a career mark of 507 touchdowns, 334 interceptions, 71,775 yards, 524 sacks, nine completions of eighty-plus yards, 165 fumbles, nine seasons of 30 or more touchdown passes, 30 playoff interceptions and has won a game in every current NFL stadium and even some that aren't around anymore.
Regardless of your feelings toward Favre, it is impossible to deny, with that rap-sheet, that he was an exciting player.
My personal favorite record that he holds is the longest time between receptions. He caught a pass in 1992, and then another in 2009. That was over 17 years between receptions, or 275 games.
Top this Michael Jordan, Favre retired, or at least was speculating to be contemplating retiring four different times, and he has to do it at least once more.
We all saw the tears shed and then subsequently un-shed with his constant return to the game.
All of this was heightened by the insane amount of media coverage surrounding one of the greatest quarterbacks of this era retiring.
Looking back, this is what made people turn on Favre.
He was holding teams hostage, was the claim, by not committing to them earlier, and was just driving everyone batty with his indecisiveness.
This is the thing that I have to leave off with, because for me, it's the most memorable part of Favre's career.
Brett played football with a type of childlike joy and wonderment that made him one of the most watchable players of the 90s and 00s.
He was downright exciting to watch, not only because he was unpredictable and a magnificent gunslinger, but because he was excited to be there.
In a world where we marvel at sports stars who seem to take it all for granted, and make us seem stupid for loving sports as much as we do, there was Brett Favre.
Every touchdown was exciting, and he showed his excitement not just for himself, but his team and city as well (most easily noticeable when he was still with Green Bay and not a crotchety old man).
He showed that he loved playing football, and really, what more can we ask of a football player?
In my lifetime (granted it isn't an all-encompassing time period, but it's what I can vouch for), there is only one other person in sports that rivaled Favre for his love of playing his sport, and that is Ken Griffey Jr.
They are a dying breed, and for that, I will thank Favre and remember his joy on the field on Sundays, and not for his actions that made headlines on a random Wednesday morning in June.