5 times Brett Favre was the GOAT
The history of the NFL is one defined by greatness, skill, strength, and toughness. The players we grow to love for their excellence on the field check every box, and do it with their own personal style that leaves a lasting memory ingrained in the minds of fans and foes alike.
Few players in NFL history have embodied those four qualities better than Green Bay Packers legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Join us now as we reflect on his extraordinary career and examine five moments when Favre was the greatest of all time.
1. Super Bowl XXXI
There is no bigger stage than the Super Bowl, and no position receives a bigger share of the spotlight during the game than quarterback. Favre rose to the challenge in Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 by throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns and adding another touchdown on the ground in Green Bay's 35-21 victory over New England. Coming on the heels of a 13-3 season in which the Packers led the league in points scored, the moment was a legacy-builder.
Even now, who could forget watching Favre race across the Superdome Field, helmet held high, as he celebrated his team's exceptional win?
2. Three-year MVP run
No player in the history of the league has had a more impactful three-year run than Favre had from 1995-to-1997, where he won three straight regular season MVP awards. Favre and the Packers went a combined 37-11 during that span and made two Super Bowl appearances.
During the 1990’s era where we had a great many quarterbacks take the field, Favre had as good of a stretch as any.
3. Favre breaks Dan Marino's completions record
While Tom Brady and Drew Brees have since passed him in the record books, there was a time when Favre’s 6,300 completions was the most by any quarterback in league history. Favre had an incredible 18 seasons with at least 300 completions, which is a testament to his longevity and consistency.
4. "The Catch" to Antonio Freeman
It was a rainy Monday Night in Green Bay back in 2000, at a time when there could be no game or sporting event during the week that was more watchable. The Packers were just 3-5, the Vikings were 7-1. With the game in overtime and the Packers facing third and four, Favre back-tracked and threw a prayer up to one of his long-time favorite targets, Antonio Freeman. Freeman caught one of the most miraculous receptions of all-time, rolling onto his feet and scoring the game-winning touchdown.
Upon reflection, Packers head coach Mike Sherman was quoted as saying, "No, I wouldn’t call it a miracle. I’d call it a happy moment."
That seems fitting, since Favre was responsible for a lot of happy moments just like that throughout his career. Known for his gunslinger attitude and cannon of an arm, Favre had the skill, strength, and bravado to complete passes that no other quarterback was capable of, and that made him a ton of fun.
We watch sports to be entertained and to witness extraordinary physical acts we know we can’t accomplish ourselves. While Freeman’s catch was possibly more luck than skill, it also serves as an embodiment of the way Favre played quarterback: anything is possible.
5. Favre makes his 321st consecutive start
All of the greats have records tied to their names that get held up as testaments to their success. Most of them are breakable as players get better and offenses become more innovative. One such record that will almost assuredly never be broken, however, is Favre’s 321 straight starts.
In the ultimate tough man sport, Favre will forever hold the tough man record. Colts QB Phillip Rivers is a full 70 games behind him, and at age 39 doesn’t have time to catch up. As the strength and speed of the game’s participants continues to advance, such a streak is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve.
Favre will forever be remembered for answering the call when his team needed him. His availability - and consistency - deserve the upmost of respect.