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From the Bayou to Green Bay

Submitted by da HOOK on 6 March, 2008 - 16:20

Mike Tomczak. Blair Kiel. Don Majkowski. (Anthony Dilweg came on in relief.)

The last four Packers to play at quarterback before Brett Lorenzo Favre, who has announced his retirement from the team.

He can still play, he could be a good quarterback this coming fall, but he just can't be Brett Favre good anymore. This season, he worked harder off the field than he had in a long time, if ever. If he returns, he would not to be at the Brett Favre level all of us, and especially the man himself, have come to expect.

In 1992, Favre completed the first pass of his NFL himself. (He had 4 attempts for Atlanta in 1991; the Redskins intercepted 2 of them.) I have 7 more career receiving yards than Favre does.

Ron Wolf of the New York Jets wanted to draft Favre in 1991; Atlanta beat him to it. In 1992, with Green Bay, Wolf traded one of two first-round picks that the Packers had to Atlanta. The Falcons selected running back Tony Smith, also of Southern Mississippi.

Coach Mike Holmgren mentioned that he had never had someone with so strong an accent in practice as the QB from Kiln, Mississippi (or was it Fenton, or Diamondhead?).

In Chicago, most of the afternoon games and many of the evening games were available on radio from the Milwaukee station. (WTMJ's Wisconsin football games were sometimes mentioned in Chicago papers.)

In 1993, Favre led the NFC with 24 interceptions. He threw 3 in the playoffs, and 2 more in the Pro Bowl.

Favre took over for Majkowski as starting quarterback due to the latter's injury (on a sack by Tim Krumrie of Cincinnati). It was before Majkowski returned that Coach Holmgren announced Favre would continue to start.

And yet, Holmgren had to be talked into keeping Favre instead of Mark Brunell by one of his assistants when the expansion draft was held before the Jaguars and Panthers entered the league in 1995. I remember listening to the Thursday night game (the Pack was in Minnesota) in '94 when Favre got hurt and Brunell had to finish.

Favre finishes his career with some of the most noted NFL QB records: Completions- Attempts- Interceptions- Touchdowns- Yards, as well as 3-TD games, wins as a starter, consecutive starts/ appearances for a quarterback, consecutive playoff games throwing a touchdown, and probably some I am forgetting. He started every game since September of 1992, when Daddy Bush was President. Favre's Packers averaged ten wins per season, including three seasons of 13 wins. (The Colts have averaged 10.5 in Peyton Manning's ten years; he'll need five years or so to catch Favre there.) His winning percentage against the NFC North is higher than his overall winning percentage. He was 13-0 against the Lions in Green Bay and 3-0 in Milwaukee. During Favre's early years, Bears coach Dave Wannstedt viewed the Packers as just another game instead of the most contested rivalry in NFL history.

He trails only John Elway with his 40 4th-quarter comebacks, including one I didn't see mentioned at the WTMJ website when Robert Brooks ran the kickoff out of bounds at the Packer 15 or so in the last two minutes.

They often talk about how badly Favre performed in domes; I think that outdoor games on artificial turf were worse (0-9 in Dallas including playoffs, also games on Philadelphia's artificial surface).

He was the last Packer QB to start a game in Milwaukee, the Pack's second home for 62 years. Favre was 7-2 in his nine games there, losing to Minnesota in '93 and Miami in '94.

He's 4th on the all-time list for most touchdown passes at Soldier Field, Chicago, even though he didn't have any in his last game there. The total just includes touchdowns thrown to the Packers. During the most recent Bears game, when I was home with my parents for Christmas, the Pack had the ball at the Bears 14 yard line. My mother said, "Ok, we want a touchdown here!" She should have been more specific ; Favre threw an interception and Brian Urlacher ran it back for a Chicago TD.

During at least part of Favre's career, the Packer Radio Network had affiliates in Favre's home state of Mississippi. When I checked their website Tuesday, those stations were not listed.

He threw most of the passes that Sterling Sharpe caught when Sharpe became the first receiver in NFL history with consecutive seasons of 100 catches. Sharpe caught Favre's first touchdown pass (but Kitrick Taylor caught the one that won that game).

Prior to this season, Favre was the last starting QB to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

In 1997, the year of his 3rd MVP (shared with Barry Sanders), Favre sat out the second half of the final game of the season. Broadcaster Jim Irwin said that the Packers had a mere mortal (Steve Bono) at quarterback for that half. One way to show a player's value is to look at the team without him.

In the past few weeks, I was considering how Elway's career ended. In 1996, Elway's Broncos went 13-3 and missed the Super Bowl. He came back for two more seasons and two more Super Bowl Championships (including beating Favre after the 1997 season). In 2007, Favre went 13-3 and missed the Super Bowl. I don't think the Packers could have beaten this year's Patriots in Arizona. (As the Colts are my #2 team, I'm glad the Pats did not finish 19-0.) Elway did not play for the team who drafted him; he said he would rather play for the Yankees than the Colts.

There was one game in Tampa (before the Bucs' Super Bowl season, I think-Tampa may have still been in the NFC Central) where Favre asked the crowd for quiet....and got it.

Then there was the recent game where he avoided a tackle by faking a lateral to the defender.

And for the library angle, he is the author of Favre : for the record ; of Favre (with his mother) ; he wrote the introduction to receiver Don Beebe's More than a ring and the foreword to In his shadow, by Reggie White's son (brother?). He helped his college coach on 10 to 4 : Brett Favre's journey from Rotten Bayou to the top of the NFL. That does not include the videorecordings, including A Crash Course on Calcium for the National Dairy Council. His wife Deanna recently came out with her own book, Don't bet against me! Her title came from something Brett said during the 1996 Super Bowl championship season. Mrs. Favre has been the honorary chair of the Brown County (Wis.) Give-A-Kid-A-Book campaign for years, and she was already in Green Bay when he flew up for the press conference this morning.