I’m not one to rip someone apart for an extended period of time (maybe sometimes), but this article has been a long time coming. A once highly respected and loved football player has turned his career into a mockery. I said it before and I will say it again, Favre will not complete this disappointing season. Let’s chronicle my displeasure.
Reason 1: “Brett Favre is the best quarterback of all time.”
I have always had a special interest for statistics and records. Some of my earliest and fondest sports memories involve my dad and I talking sports for the duration of lengthy car rides. Actually, it wasn’t so much of “talking sports” as it was an inquisition on his sports knowledge. I’d ask him a wide variety of random, impossible questions that even the greatest of sports enthusiasts would be incapable of answering. “What’s the record for most homeruns in an inning by one team?” “How many touchdowns have the Jets scored ever?” “Will Derek Jeter be a hall of famer (not an obvious answer in 1997)?” “What basketball player has had the most dunks?” “What is the longest punt ever, and who kicked it?” Seriously, these are only a small sample of what my dad would need to endure. Yet, maybe one out of every 10 questions he could answer, or at least tell me some type of anecdote or tidbit of knowledge somehow related to what I was asking, which was good enough for me. Why did I do this? Maybe it’s because when you’re 7 years old your dad is an encyclopedic, infinite knowledge source. Or maybe I was just starting to understand how much I was interested in sports. It’s funny how seemingly insignificant incidents can come to impact one’s life so significantly. Those conversations were the beginning of it all.
So, what does that have to do with Mr. Favre? Statistics and records might be nice and fun to talk about, but you really need to look at them in context (My dad was the first person I ever heard bash on the 1,000 yards rushing achievement. Honestly, every starting back in the league should be able to muster up 65 rushing yards/game. If someone finished their career averaging 65 yards per game, would they get many votes for the hall of fame? I certainly think not. It’s not a mark of consistency, but rather, one of mediocrity and expectancy). It drives me berserk when someone says the infamous, uninformed, and poorly conceived statement, “Brett Favre is the best quarterback of all time.” Please! Best of all time? If by best, you mean, has the record for many passing categories, then yes, he is the best. But I would like to believe it takes more than longevity to be considered the best. I would like to think that the best quarterback of all time wouldn’t have the most interceptions thrown in a career, and nearly 50 more than the next closest (3.3% of his pass attempts have resulted in an interception, that’s 55th all time). I would like to think that the best quarterback of all time would be better than 9th among retired quarterbacks for career passer rating. I would like to think that the best quarterback of all time is better than 18th all time in pass completion percentage.
Now, at this point, if you were a strong critical reader, you’d stop me and say, “Hey, Adam, you just said how you can’t go off stats to accurately assess one’s career. You just used statistics to reject statistics.” Good job, critical reader. I am merely attempting show that statistics can be manipulated in many different ways to prove a point. The truth is, the quarterback position, perhaps more so than in any other professional sport, is dictated by distinct eras. Who is to say Favre is better than Unitas, Bradshaw, Starr, Montana, Marino, Staubach, Brady, or Manning, just to name a few. He is an all time great, and unanimous selection for the hall of fame, but please, refrain from the Gruden-esque superlative. But above all, the reason he is NOT the best quarterback of all time is…
Reason 2: “The Gunslinger Mentality”
Has there ever been a better term describe something so bad? Can someone please explain to me (1.) What the hell does that even mean and (2.) Who was the Brett Favre lover who invented this term? When Brett rolls out to his right and heaves the ball across his body to the left side of the field, ultimately having his pass intercepted and probably run the other way for a touchdown, was that stupid? No, don’t be ridiculous. That was just the gunslinger mentality. When Favre is under intense pressure and elects to try and underhand pass it, but has the ball stripped, was that ill advised? Nope, gunslinger again. When Favre decides not to pass the ball to the wide open underneath guy on third and 1, and instead heaves the ball deep down the field into triple coverage, he acted foolishly, right? You guessed it, he’s jus being a freakin’ gunslinger. Stupid me. And when Brett Favre single-handedly eliminates his team from the playoffs with one terrible decision 2 out of the last 3 years, everyone must say something like, “This guy is a total moron,” right? Incorrect. Instead, analysts, fans, coaches, and all other types of people just say, “Well, you have to live with that, I mean, he’s a gunslinger!” Actually, I disagree. Why do I have to live with his bullshit and then hear people who have the audacity to say, eh, you get what you pay for?
Let’s take a look at how “the best quarterback of all time” can eliminate 2 teams from the playoffs with 2 passes.
Note, nobody really mentions he had an open receiver for a safe pass, nor gives any major fault to Favre. “The ball must have slipped.”
Everyone has seen it a million times, but I still smile every time. At least the pissed Vikings fan has a clue.
Reason number 3: “Its about me, pay attention.”
This one doesn’t require too much explanation. I simply cannot stand listening to the same thing over and over and over again, especially when the current story is not only static, but also seemingly unable to progress for weeks, or in Favre’s case, months. From the time he knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs last January, Favre was hard at work making sure that the he was the top story, rather than the Super Bowl, free agency, or the draft.
Reason 4: “Go to hell Green Bay”
Brett Favre ruined his legacy in Green Bay in a rude, cold, and condescending nature. I have always said that the best fans in the NFL are the cheese heads of Green Bay. Who is Green Bay to have a professional football team, while big cities like L.A., San Antonio, Memphis, and Las Vegas, are without one? Honestly, I have no idea, but that’s what makes the fans so special. Green Bay has approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Lambeau Field holds 72,928. If need be, the entire city could fit into the stadium. They love their football, and in particular, their quarterback. For Favre to give them a big f-you and peace out to NY, only to return to an inter division foe the next 2 years, I mean, that is frozen tundra cold. And what got him so pissed anyways? Was it the fact that Green Bay correctly identified him as past his prime and realized Aaron Rodgers was a stud in the making? I think they knew exactly what they were doing when they kicked his wrinkly ass out of town. Did I mention he left for the Jets?
Reason 5: “Screw you Mangini, I’m going deep”
This one was obviously going to be on the list as it effects me most personally. In fact, I’m still bitter about the way the 2008 Jets season ended. In a career stricken with poor decisions, arrogance, and disregard for the team, reason five still sticks out. After week 12 of the 2008 NFL season, the Jets were 8-3 and regarded as the best team in the AFC. Then, they got Farve-a-fied.
Week 13. Loss, 34-17
Favre’s numbers Less than 10 yards 10 Yards or more
Comp 19 4
Att 32 11
Yds 188 59
TD 0 0
Int 0 1
Rating 76.0 16.9
Why did he keep passing deep? I feel like that kept resulting in failure. Oh, cause he’s a gunslinger, right, ok, never mind. I guess that’s a reason to not feed Thomas Jones the ball, although he had 138 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns in this game. By the way, Peyton Hillis went for 129 yards and a touchdown. For those of you who thought he came out of nowhere this year, he actually had solid numbers before the season. Moving on.
Week 14: Loss, 14-24.
Favre’s line: 20/31, 137 yards, 0 touchdowns, 1 interception. By all comparisons, relatively harmless. Perhaps that’s the most tragic part.
Week 15: Win, 31-27.
Only because it was against the pitiful Bills were the Jets able to get a win, thanks to a defensive score at the end of the game. Favre, to his credit, did his part to hand the Jet’s their third straight loss (17/30, 207 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions). You can’t say he didn’t try.
Week 16: Loss, 13-3.
18/31, 187 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. Now there’s the determination we missed in week 15! Favre managed to bring the Jets record down to 9-6, and his numbers over the 4 games stretch to an abysmal 1 touchdown vs. 6 interceptions. All of this against a 3-11 Seahawks team.
Week 17: Loss, 24-17.
To highlight Favre’s disregard for the team and his gunslinger mentality, he put up a disgraceful 20/40, 233 yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interception performance. Why throw it 40 times? Who knows. But, what I do know, is this loss to Miami put the final nail in the coffin that was the NYJ season.
Favre’s numbers for the final 12 games? 9 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. I want to vomit just writing about this.
And then, to top off this awful season ending performance, Favre would later make the claim that the Jets knew he was injured and did not include in him on injury reports or inform other teams of the injury. As if that would have made any difference. Let’s just pretend that the Jets medical staff told Favre he was injured and that they suggested he not play, which very well could have happened. Given this situation would Favre have said,
A. “You know what, guys, I think you’re right. You’ll probably need me at my best in the playoffs so why don’t I sit out the next game or two. I’m sure you will be able to beat the lowly Seahawks and Bills, especially with Thomas Jones and all having another great year. After all, I’m almost 40 years old!”
Or, could Favre possibly have said,
B. “You have got to be kidding me. The only reason I came to this stupid organization is to show Green Bay that I can still play ball. If I sit out a game, think about how stupid I’d look! Not only will the greatest record in professional sports, my consecutive games streak, end, but everyone’s gonna start to say, ‘Hey, that Brett Favre, I think it’s time for him to retire already.’ No way; I’m playing next game, and the one after that, and the one after that. Why? Because I’m Brett Motherfuckin’ Favre, the gunslinger, and I ain’t gonna let some low level organization ruin me. In fact, don’t even put me on the injury report. Brett Favre don’t get hurt.”
Favre cares only about his own records, such as touchdowns and yards, but no record means as much to Brett as his starting streak, that is, except for perhaps the single season sack record.
Reason 6: “I’m not just a gunslinging great, I can play God too!”
In 2001, Giants defensive end, Michael Strahan, was in pursuit of the single season sack record of 22, which at the time was held my Mark Gastineau. Sitting on 21.5 and entering the last game of the season, he spoke briefly with Favre before the game began. They spoke again towards the end of the game and on the following play, in perhaps the greatest evidence for sports conspiracy of all time, Favre ran a play action play, and rolled to his right, where Strahan was waiting to sack him. The sack would have counted in a 2-hand-touch football game, as he slid down and Strahan merely needed to touch him. See it all in this intriguing video and let’s see if something looks a little unusual at the 1:50 mark…
The most frustrating part of this is that, for all we know, Strahan could have legitimately sacked Favre at some point, giving his record real credibility. Yet, for whatever reason, Favre decided that the season Strahan had was better than that of Mark Gastineau. Who is he to make such a decision? I suppose this just goes to further show that for Favre, personal records trump winning. After all, what professional quarterback would intentionally get sacked? The same professional quarterback who plays football in his backyard with a bunch of middle-aged men.
Reason 7: “I’m comfortable in jeans that are tough. I’m conformable in jeans that last. I’m comfortable in Wrangler, real comfortable.”
Give. Me. A. Break. Honestly, Brett Favre in a Wrangler jeans commercial playing highly organized football with offensive and defensive lines out back in the mud with his truck, dog, and his middle-aged redneck friends… this is the most nauseating commercial I’ve ever seen. But then again, I guess he isn’t exactly taking it easy during all those OTA’s, training camp, and preseason games. Clearly, he’s just having his own football game in his real, comfortable, jeans. No doubt, even in this type of game he makes some serious dumb, oh sorry, gunslinger moves.