Research Paper (Brett Favre) A Living Legend “Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of professional football. You are judged by winning, and he’s won more games than any other quarterback who has ever played. But I will remember him just as well for being such a fierce competitor and outstanding leader. He was the face of the Packers and a great credit to our game. It was an honor to coach against him. ”(Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos Head Coach) Brett’s passion for the game, and winning history, together earned him the respect of the entire football nation.
I am going to give you a summary of this incredible athlete’s life, covering both the ups and downs of his bumpy road to success. I am using factual information, personal opinions, as well as what some of the coaches and players Brett has been around have said about him. Brett has had nothing handed to him both on and off the field, making him who he is today, a living legend. Brett Favre was born in Gulfport Mississippi on October 10th, 1969. He grew up in the town of Kiln Mississippi, a town that did not have a single paved road or stop light. His father Irvin Favre and mother Bonita Favre raised to be the iron man he is today.
His durability and ability to overcome injury started at an early age. Four year old Brett was standing on deck at his tee ball game, when he was struck in the head with a baseball bat. Brett had a big egg on his head and was quoted “If I cried, it was because I figured that’s what I was supposed to do. I used to cry when my old man would give me a whopping. It didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want to get another one. I would cry to fool people. ” The thing about this incident was Brett didn’t cry. “The doctor said it hurt the woman who took him to the hospital more than it hurt Brett,” stated Irvin Favre.
Brett stuck with baseball and earned five varsity letters, starting as an eighth grader. Brett was coached in both baseball and football by his father Irvin Favre. Irvin was nothing close to sympathetic to his son when it came to sports. Brett played on varsity for three years at Hancock High. His father ran the option offense because of the great running backs the school had. This did not give Brett many opportunities to throw the ball, scoring most of his touchdowns on the ground. Brett averaged only five throwing attempts in his three seasons playing varsity football.
In fact, nobody really knew Brett could throw the ball the way he could. Brett’s “iron man” mentality started early in his career, having played special teams, punter, place kicker, strong safety, and the obvious quarterback position he conquers today. Because Brett never had to throw the ball in high school, scouts were not exactly interested in recruiting him. His Father Irvin had to push scouts to even come to the games. The University of Southern Mississippi was the only division one football program to offer Favre a scholarship. Brett accepted, even though the coach had plans for Brett to take reps at strong safety.
Brett entered his freshman year as the seventh spring quarterback. He got noticed taking reps with the scout team every day. Brett knew that he was unlikely to play on game days, so he and his roommate were known to party the night before games. In the third game of his freshman year, Brett was called upon to enter the game in the second half against Tulane. Brett had already threw-up in pre game warm-ups from the night before. The majority of that half he played, he was awful. It wasn’t until late in the game when Brett took his team the length of the field throwing the game winning touchdown pass.
He became the full time starter for the remainder of his career at Southern Mississippi. After outstanding sophomore and junior years, Brett headed into his senior year as a Heisman candidate. That idea almost came to a crashing halt coming home one afternoon. On July 14th, 1990, less than a mile away from his hometown Favre flipped his automobile three times coming to a stop against a tree. Brett’s brother arrived first at the scene having to break out a window to get to him. When the ambulance arrived, it wasn’t looking good for Brett Lorenzo Favre. On the way to the hospital the only thing on Brett’s mind was football.
He kept asking the medics the same question, “Will I be able to play football again? Will I? ” Favre underwent emergency surgery having over thirty inches of his small intestine removed. Favre was released a week later, less than a month from the start of Southern Mississippi’s football season was to start. Brett did not play the first game, but started in the second game of the season only six weeks after the crash. Once again, Brett did not have a glamorous game statistically, but much like his career in a nutshell, came thru when it meant the most.
Brett led his team to a comeback victory defeating Alabama. Alabama’s head coach Gene Stallings was quoted after the game, “you can call it a miracle or a legend, I just know on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life. ” Favre graduated with a Bachelors degree in Education from Southern Mississippi. This would not be his career path however. The Atlanta Falcons selected Brett Favre as the first pick of the second round. Brett was nothing more than a circus act in Atlanta. Head coach Jerry Glanville did not even want his organization to draft Favre in the first place.
He used Brett before the game to place bets with opposing coaches. He would bet that Brett could throw a football into the third tier stands at their stadium. The Bets would usually be around one hundred bucks, and the winnings going straight to Jerry. Ron Wolf of the Green Bay Packers had a feeling about Brett Favre the next year and pursued the idea of trading for him. When this process was taking place Brett had to pass his physical exam. The doctors told Wolf that Brett would last five years tops, because of a hip condition similar to what took hall a famer Deon Sanders out of the league.
Wolf went with his gut feeling and traded first round draft pick Tony Smith for Favre. Brett came to Green Bay still in the shadows as he was backing up starting quarterback Don “Magic Man” Majkowski at the time. In the third game of the season, Majkowski sustained an injury to a ligament in this foot. Favre trotted onto the Lambeau Field not knowing that this would be one of his numerous come from behind victories. Down 23-17 with 1:07 to go in the fourth quarter, Brett drove the Pack the length of the field, once again throwing the game winning touchdown pass to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brett Favre was more than just the starting quarterback in the Green Bay community and organization. He was face of the franchise, and a living legend in the national football league. Before Favre’s arrival to Green Bay, The Packers had only five winning seasons between the years of 1968 and 1991. In Brett’s sixteen NFL seasons with Green Bay, they recorded just one losing season. With the Packers Brett won three consecutive MVP awards coming in 1994, 1995, and 1996. He was nominated to ten pro bowls with the Packers as well. Before the 1996 season, Brett Favre checked into rehab for an addiction to prescription drug vicodin.
He was released before training camp and held a press conference that same day. Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre shocked the nation as Brett promised to win a Super Bowl that year, and if anyone didn’t believe him to just bet against him. The Packers did indeed win the Super Bowl that year defeating the New England Patriots in New Orleans. Green Bay had been waiting for the return of the Lambardi trophy for decades. After falling one game short of the Super Bowl in 2007 to the New York Giants, Brett announced an emotional retirement. Many believed that this would not hold true due to Brett’s love and passion for the game.
I personally believed that he would come back because he could not retire having his last passing attempt go for an interception. As predicted, the future hall of famer came out of his cave and announced he would like to come back to the Green Bay Packers for one more season. Sports nation was on bored with this idea, but for some reason the Packers organization was questioning bringing back the man that made them who they are today. The final decision was to ride out their hopes with Aaron Rodgers, and kick Favre to the curb. Not only did they not want Brett back, but they limited who he could play for that season.
Brett could not play for any NFC team, as well as any AFC team on their schedule that year. In the end he was traded to the New York Jets where many thought the worst would happen. In 2003 Brett was asked if he could pick a team to be traded to, who would it be? Brett responded “It wouldn’t happen. If I did I would give it up. ” When asked why? Brett responded “I have too many great memories here, and I am too far in my career. It’s not worth me to get traded, to start over with a new offense, a new city, and new teammates. Why would I want to leave here? ” Brett came to the Jets in 2008 with high hopes and full of energy.
He started the season well, letting the back stretch of the season get the best of him. The Jets were 8-3 at one point sitting in first place, only to lose four of their last five games eliminating them from the playoffs. Brett’s second retirement was not as emotional or public. In fact he just made a phone call to the press stating he would finally be retiring for good, leaving it at that. Because of an arm injury he attained late in the season, media and most of sports nation really did believe that it was finally over for Brett Favre. It wouldn’t be a complete summer unless you heard rumors of Favre coming back.
As early as May the rumors began about Favre communicating with the Minnesota Vikings. Because Favre was last not with the Packers, he has rights to go wherever the Jets would allow him to go. In the middle of August, Brett came out to the public in telling them he would remain retired. Head coach Brad Childress did not buy the remarks made and tried one last time to get Green Bay God to give it one more shot. On August 19th Brett Favre was picked up at the air port in Minneapolis to be taken to the Vikings headquarters in Eden Prairie MN. He signed a 2 year/25 million dollar contract with the Vikings and began practice that day.
So far this season has been all Brett and the Vikings could ask for plus more! The team is sitting at 11-2 in first place of the NFC North. Brett was thrown directly into an already developing Viking squad. Both Brett and the team were unsure how each would accept each other. Much to both of their surprise, things clicked very fast and the team was rolling. With Brett’s leadership and experience combined with all of the playmakers the Vikings were stacked with, success as exponential. Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre give the Vikings a duel threat that most teams do not have.
The most anticipated game in all of sports came this year when Brett faced off against his former team and Viking rival the Green Bay Packers. Former Packers Robert Ferguson and Darren Sharper gave their thoughts on this situation. Robert Ferguson had this to say about his former teammate, “I think he’ll do great. First of all, he’s a competitor, and regardless of what he says, it’s going to be a big night f or him going up against the Packers and (G. M. ) Ted Thompson. It’ll still be early, so that chemistry with the guys might still be lacking a little because they haven’t put the time in yet.
But I think Brett will bring his teammates up to his level, especially in this one. Trust me, this is huge for him. He never thought in a million years he’d play against the Packers, never thought in a million years he’d be a Minnesota Viking. ” Sharper is now with the New Orleans Saints and has played for both the Packers and Vikings in his career. He had this to say about the future hall of famer going into the game, “I would think he’ll play pretty well against Green Bay. Both times, because he’s got a good team around him, and that coaching staff will let him hand off to that beast he’s got behind him (Adrian Peterson).
He’s going to want to do something to show a spark, maybe get a strike for a touchdown. That’s the competitor in him. And he wants to help the team, I think his nerves will be there, but he’ll be fine. Brett’s been in a lot of situations like this playing former coaches and teammates. Nothing that will be hyped like this, but he’ll be able to control his emotions. I’ve seen him do it before. ” The two teammates were dead on, as Favre played lights out in both matchups against his former team. Favre threw seven touchdowns with zero interceptions in the two games combined.
At 40 years of age, Favre is playing with the spark of a twenty five year old. Many are picking the Vikings to be matched up against the Saints in the NFC championship game. Brett has already accomplished so much in his career, and holds more records than he can keep track of. His most impressive record is his consecutive start record of 308 and going. He now has 491 touchdowns through the air, and 316 interceptions. Some are calling him the greatest football player to ever play the game. The reason I idolize Brett Favre is not so much because of these statistics and glamorous times he has had in the NFL.
I respect and enjoy Brett for the person that he is on and off the field. He is always smiling and giving back in one way or another. His ability to overcome adversity makes him the “iron man” of our era. Brett Favre has lost his father, lost his brother in law, almost lost his own life, wife diagnosed with breast cancer, broken a thumb on his throwing hand, and overcame an addiction, and not one time has he made an excuse or point a finger. He has not missed a single game during this mess of a life, and it is because of his drive and dedication to his teammates and fans.
Awards such as 2007 Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year, or 2003 Health Magazine’s “Toughest Man in America”, both define Brett Favre. He doesn’t play for the money or the fame; he plays for the love of the game. Works Cited Favre, Bonita. FAVRE. New York; 2004. Sporting News; 9/01/2003, Vol. 227 Issue 35, p12, 6p, 1 chart, 2 color. Sporting News; 9/28/2009, Vol. 233 Issue 22, p62-62, 1/3p, 3 color. http://www. brettfavre. com/person. php http://wwhttp://sports. espn. go. com/nfl/players/profile? playerId=112 http://www. officialbrettfavre. com/