Football's Ironman. (Sorry, Cal.)
December 4, 2007 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Through alcohol and vicodin addicition, trauma, grief, and loss, Brett Favre has thrown the ball for the largest muncipally-owned professional sports team in the United States. After reinventing himself several times over, and leading his team to an improbable string of wins and accomplishments a year after almost retiring, he is Sport's Illustrated's sportsman of the year.
posted by absalom (64 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
One wonders how Aaron Rodgers feels about all of this.
posted by xmutex at 2:52 PM on December 4, 2007


If drug and alcohol abuse can get you awards, I'd better start working on my acceptance speeches now!
posted by mullingitover at 2:55 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Did someone say, "acceptance speech"?

See you in hell, fuckers!
posted by psmealey at 2:58 PM on December 4, 2007


There is no happier place than Green Bay, Wis., on a Sunday evening after the Packers have won. The beer tastes better, the girls are even prettier, and few seem to notice the bite in the air.

Mmmmmm...that's good writin'.
posted by docpops at 3:00 PM on December 4, 2007


One wonders how Aaron Rodgers feels about all of this.

Probably better than Craig Nall does.
posted by dersins at 3:04 PM on December 4, 2007


I can't see Brett Favre's name without trying to pronounce it a la Ben Stiller in "There's Something About Mary."
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 3:08 PM on December 4, 2007


excellent post
posted by caddis at 3:08 PM on December 4, 2007


Cementing his place as the most overrated QB of all time, I think. Which is saying something, because he's one of the best. He's isn't jesus, though, which most football commentators don't understand.
posted by MillMan at 3:18 PM on December 4, 2007


Is this something I'd have to have a...

you know what. I'm not gonna be that guy.
posted by shmegegge at 3:22 PM on December 4, 2007


I can't see Brett Favre's name without trying to pronounce it a la Ben Stiller in "There's Something About Mary."

What the hell's Brett Farve doing here?
posted by anazgnos at 3:22 PM on December 4, 2007


He's isn't jesus, though, which most football commentators don't understand.

Very good point. I remember quite clearly John Madden repeatedly calling him Jesus on TV the other day. It doesn't even sound like Favre, however that's pronounced.
posted by shmegegge at 3:23 PM on December 4, 2007


MillMan,

What, exactly, are you talking about? How about you compare his stats to, oh, say Dan Marino? Very similar.
posted by Autarky at 3:24 PM on December 4, 2007


Jesus was shit on third down and long.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:24 PM on December 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Jesus was shit on third down and long.

Can't hit a curveball, either.
posted by eriko at 3:26 PM on December 4, 2007


Jesus was shit on third down and long.

Not his fault his receivers have butter fingers.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:26 PM on December 4, 2007


Jesus was shit on third down and long.

And when you needed a last-second TD to win, do you put him in? Hell no, you call his mother.
posted by dw at 3:31 PM on December 4, 2007 [14 favorites]


Autarky: indeed, note that I did say he's one of the best. You can be very good and also very overrated based on how much media bloviating is thrown your way.
posted by MillMan at 3:33 PM on December 4, 2007


Oh, and I hate Favre. Did I mention that? The one thing that made me happy in a crippling depression ten years ago was watching Elway get his ring by having Terrell Davis run over the Pack.
posted by dw at 3:34 PM on December 4, 2007


Jesus was shit on third down and long.

Hell of a goalie though.

Jesus saves! And Gretzky scores on the rebound!
posted by hangashore at 3:35 PM on December 4, 2007


And he's fucking hot, which is always a bonus.
posted by aacheson at 3:37 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just wrote six different posts and erased them all. I guess all I wanted to say is Brett Favre rules. The only time in my life that a sporting event has caused me to break down and cry tears of joy mingled with sadness was during the Green Bay game vs the Oakland Raiders on Dec 23, 2003. It was the day after Favre's father died. In the first half, Favre threw for 311 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Packers destroyed the Raiders 41-7.

I know it's maudlin. But it was breath-taking. Favre was out of his head, playing with the kind of controlled ferocity you rarely ever witness. He went out there and WILLED that team to be better, and they responded.

I sat on my couch and wept. It was beautiful, it was artful, it was painful, it was moving. It was everything good about sports, wrapped up in a Christmas package and a burial shroud and performed by a guy with a Mississippi drawl and frostbitten toes.

I love Brett Favre.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:38 PM on December 4, 2007 [18 favorites]


Hey, BitterOldPunk, you're not alone:
In December 2003 Favre lost his father, Irvin, who suffered a heart attack at age 58. The day after Big Irv died, Favre summoned the defining performance of his career, passing for 399 yards and four touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders, and riveting a Monday Night Football audience. Grown men around Green Bay still tear up when recalling that game.
(from the SI link)
posted by joe lisboa at 3:47 PM on December 4, 2007


We have almost no exposure to American Football in New Zealand, but we have heard of Brett Favre and his accomplishments. One of the great sportsman.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:49 PM on December 4, 2007


Wisconsin is a hard place to live when you hate football as much as I do. People here treat it like a fucking religion and Favre like a minor deity.

I never got it, and I never gave a shit until I heard about his vicodin addiction. After that, I felt better about him, because if I were to have an addiction, I could see it being to something like vicodin (which I learned to love after getting my wisdom teeth pulled). I respected that about him.

I still hate football though.
posted by quin at 3:56 PM on December 4, 2007


And my buddy is one of the photogs who shoot him pretty regularly.

It's always a source of amusement when my co-workers realize that I have a friend who is pretty consistently less than 100 feet from the guy.

And that this fact impresses me not one bit.
posted by quin at 3:58 PM on December 4, 2007


MillMan writes "He's isn't jesus, though, which most football commentators don't understand."

I dunno. Most commentators don't hesitate to point out his interception record. It's a pretty glaring weakness.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:07 PM on December 4, 2007


It's looks like it should be pronounced FAH-vruh (and he's from Louisiana, btw).

SkySports pronounces it that way.

But, for some reason it's FARV.
posted by wfc123 at 4:13 PM on December 4, 2007


He's isn't jesus, though, which most football commentators don't understand.

No. What you don't understand is that he IS. And now, you are going to Hell.

Brett Favre is my personal jesus.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:29 PM on December 4, 2007


I was wrong that Favre should have retired after his awful last 2 years, and the sports media slurps him way too much, but Favre is clearly one of the best QBs ever. You want to talk overrated pretty boy QBs, call up Dan Marino and his piddling single Superbowl appearance and loss.
posted by owillis at 4:32 PM on December 4, 2007


Current Football Players If They Decided to Spell Their Last Name Like Brett Favre.
posted by danb at 4:54 PM on December 4, 2007


I told my wife last night that John Madden passes his time on his bus writing Brett Favre/Tom Brady fan fiction.

We then spent the next 20 minutes arguing who was the bottom (I say Tom).
posted by Mick at 4:56 PM on December 4, 2007


We then spent the next 20 minutes arguing who was the bottom (I say Tom)

Brady is clearly the bottom. There can be no doubt about this whatsoever.
posted by dersins at 4:58 PM on December 4, 2007


I can understand not liking all the hype surrounding Brett but he is certainly deserving. If anything, it seems like the media is slobbering way too much over Tony Romo.

You want to talk overrated pretty boy QBs, call up Dan Marino and his piddling single Superbowl appearance and loss.

Yeah, and Charles Barkley and Karl Malone are way overrated power forwards, amirite?
posted by effwerd at 5:02 PM on December 4, 2007


Brett Favre is good, and it's good to see him playing well, but all those records he has, shouldn't he get an asterisk too? I mean he was popping vicodin to cut through the pain of playing all that time. I mean, it's awesome stuff: you take it, and you can feel the pain go away. I can see how it would be performance enhancing. I guess if you're not a major league asshole, and you play with something other than a cocky, individual over everything attitude, you get a bye.
posted by Eekacat at 5:12 PM on December 4, 2007


Brett Favre is good, and it's good to see him playing well, but all those records he has, shouldn't he get an asterisk too? I mean he was popping vicodin to cut through the pain of playing all that time

That was like, a year or two from his career from '94-'95.

but I do like this: Dan Marino Hosts Hour-Long HBO Special Celebrating Favre's Interceptions
posted by Ironmouth at 5:16 PM on December 4, 2007


Jesus was shit on third down and long.

Yeah, but that creep can roll man.
posted by rokusan at 5:20 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Anymore, my favorite thing about Brett Favre is that he isn't Tom Brady.

(And Paul of Tarsus was one hell of a cut-blocker in his day, too.)
posted by pax digita at 5:54 PM on December 4, 2007


From wikipedia: " . . . has started every game since his first start for the Packers in 1992. His records include: . . . most consecutive starts among NFL quarterbacks (249, 269 total starts including playoffs) . . . "

It would be hard to find a sporting achievement that would require more tenacity, more desire, more willpower and more pain tolerance than that. Last Sunday he had a separated shoulder and a sprained knee on one play. I didn't see it. That is the type thing I really do not like to watch. He is planning to play this week.

It makes me wince to think of the punishment that guy has taken. If you have never been to an NFL game and watched it up close, the violence is unimaginable.
posted by bukvich at 6:03 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Favre is going to be a fucking mess at 50.
posted by xmutex at 6:14 PM on December 4, 2007


Wisconsin is a hard place to live when you hate football as much as I do.

Hey, I've got the torches. Who's picking up the pitchforks this time?
posted by thanotopsis at 7:24 PM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


If BitterOldPunk has invested that much emotion into professional sports, I wonder how bleak the rest of his life must be.
posted by tehloki at 7:45 PM on December 4, 2007


Earlier this year I was worried that Favre was approaching Ripken territory (athlete kept around to reach records rather than because of talent), but this year he's been fun to watch.

I think I scarred my cats with my hooting when Favre threw a long TD in their game against Denver.
posted by drezdn at 7:48 PM on December 4, 2007


He's not from Louisiana. He was born in Gulfport, MS and grew up in Kiln, MS. This is the Mississippi Gulf Coast which is not far from Louisiana.
posted by whatever at 7:54 PM on December 4, 2007


dw writes "Oh, and I hate Favre. Did I mention that? The one thing that made me happy in a crippling depression ten years ago was watching Elway get his ring by having Terrell Davis run over the Pack."

Yeah, that was an excellent game. I was a Denver fan since their first superbowl appearance, and I stuck through all their other appearances and losses, and finally redemption. I was touring and working for a band, and we stopped at this dive in Coeur d'Alene, ID, just to watch the game. I was one of just a few Denver fans there, and the rest of the band didn't care much. Didn't matter. I went nuts. Really great game, too.

Oh, and I like Favre alright - he's one of the greats - but not when playing Denver.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:13 PM on December 4, 2007


I mean he was popping vicodin to cut through the pain of playing all that time.

Dude. If they put an asterisk after every player in the NFL Hall of Fame that popped pain meds like it was candy, I doubt they'd have anybody left. At least not in the last couple decades.

If BitterOldPunk has invested that much emotion into professional sports, I wonder how bleak the rest of his life must be.

Yeah, not like somebody who spends all his fuckin' time with his head buried in FL Studio.
posted by Justinian at 8:27 PM on December 4, 2007


Cementing his place as the most overrated QB of all time, I think.
# The league's all-time leader in passing touchdowns (425), completions (5,202), and attempts (8,224) ; ranks second in passing yards (59,546) behind the prolific Dan Marino
# With 153 victories as quarterback, ranks 1st ahead of John Elway (148) and Marino (147)
# Upon taking over the reins as the Green and Gold's signal caller Sept. 20, 1992, has started the ensuing 244 contests, a record for NFL quarterbacks and, astoundingly, the second-longest recorded streak in league annals
# During 15 campaigns under center for Green Bay, has led Packers to 10 postseason appearances, including six division crowns, three NFC Championship Games, two Super Bowls and a World Championship with a victory in Super Bowl XXXI
I don't see how you can possibly call him overrated. If you compare him to someone like Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw, his numbers are better, and he rarely had the supporting cast that those guys did.
posted by psmealey at 3:22 AM on December 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


quin,

I'm not much of a Football fan either, and being a fellow Wisconsinite I commiserate with you on this subject. But, I do enjoy the camaraderie experienced while watching Sunday Football with my room-mates (who are big football fans). And its hard not to find heroes like Favre who, even though his difficulties, seems to be the genuine article. If not because of complete athletic dominance then because of popularity. Or villains; ie. The Patriots (scum of the earth).

If Favre is Jesus then we could see some oldee timee son-of-god asswhoooping when The Pack goes up against The Unholy Beast From The East. (note, I have no idea if that will even happen as my grasp of football schedules is slim and none)
posted by Sam.Burdick at 6:58 AM on December 5, 2007


If BitterOldPunk has invested that much emotion into professional sports, I wonder how bleak the rest of his life must be.

For the record, I also cry at weddings, laugh out loud at stupid pet hijinks, cover my eyes during the scary parts of horror movies, and have been known to mistily sing "Danny Boy" while drunk. I consider it healthy to have access to a full range of human emotion. Being emotionally invested in what is happening around you just means you're really paying attention.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:21 AM on December 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this post. I've adored Brett for quite some time. Brett's '96 season is part of what got me into football. And yes, part of it is the apparent little-boy like charm he has and the sheer happiness he seems to get out of the game. This season has been a delight to watch and I just want to hug him. I do hope though, he doesn't push himself much further. He's already at that point where the man's not going to be able to walk in his late 40s.

And yes, BitterOldPunk, I bawled like a hungry baby at that Raiders game. As did my boyfriend who's a die-hard Raiders fan. We both just had so damn much respect for Brett.
posted by teleri025 at 8:40 AM on December 5, 2007


Sam.Burdick : But, I do enjoy the camaraderie experienced while watching Sunday Football with my room-mates (who are big football fans).

I get that. I've got lots of dear friends who, under any other circumstance, are fully rational and intelligent people. Yet when it comes to the almighty Pack on the field, they are driven to incoherent fits of screaming at the TV.

From an outsider perspective, this can be entertaining to watch, but I just don't get the fanaticism people exhibit beyond game time; a Packers jersey? Ok. A 40 foot high 'G' carved into the hill next to your house? A little over the top.
posted by quin at 9:42 AM on December 5, 2007


Or, the house painted green and yellow with a giant G on it, a few blocks from where I live.
posted by drezdn at 10:40 AM on December 5, 2007


BitterOldPunk, well said. I’m a Bears fan, so I’m mandated to hate everything Green Bay. But when I gnash my teeth and rancorously and copiously swear at the Packers, it’s with less bitterness that I curse Brett Favre. I would even go so far as to say that were I wearing my Singletary or Urlacher jersey, I would not spit at the man. Even if they were home colors.
If I were wearing a Butkis jersey I might have to say something, but I would not bring his family into it. No playing the dozens, nothing.
There is perhaps no finer praise.
(I’m reminded of “Turner and Hootch” where the dog knocks Tom Hanks’ character down and clamps his jaws around his neck and holds him and the owner says ‘Why, he didn’t even break the skin - this dog loves you boy!’)

He is one of the best all around quarterbacks to play the game. There’s no question Tarkenton was the best scrambler.
Johnny Unitas was probably the most unshakable (and he is underrated) although Elway was Mr. Comeback and Joe Montana was supernatural.
I’d give it to Marino in terms of precision (with Bart Starr) and speed and athleticism. But Montana had a better system (lot of people consider that an extra, and I think Tom Brady and the patriots have proven the benefit of that kind of team integration) and a better leader. And Elway was a better strategist.
But Favre is good all around, he can scramble, throw accurately, he’s a good leader, etc. I’d say he’s the most reliable, so ironman is apt. And he is pretty tough. Not Otto Graham tough(you could drive Otto Graham through a brick wall strapped to a cement mixer and he’d keep going) but he’s got a lot of heart and it’s really hard not to like the guy.
Try as I might as a Bears fan.

“If BitterOldPunk has invested that much emotion into professional sports, I wonder how bleak the rest of his life must be.” - tehloki

Your favorite pastime sucks.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:35 PM on December 5, 2007


I don't see how you can possibly call him overrated. If you compare him to someone like Joe Montana or Terry Bradshaw, his numbers are better, and he rarely had the supporting cast that those guys did.

I've always thought he was overrated because he's a system QB -- I doubt he'd be doing what he's doing now if, say, the Packers went to the power-I or the spread offense tomorrow. And he's never struck me as a great improviser.

And while I still think he's a system QB, I don't think he's overrated anymore. He's calm, unflappable, and has great field vision. And he's still doing it at 38. He definitely deserves all the acclaim he gets.

Tom Brady, OTOH... talk about the Derek Jeter of professional football.
posted by dw at 2:01 PM on December 5, 2007


“If BitterOldPunk has invested that much emotion into professional sports, I wonder how bleak the rest of his life must be.”

Wow, you're an asshole.
posted by shotgunbooty at 2:45 PM on December 5, 2007


I suspect tehloki was reacting to my rather floridly phrased comment and not necessarily passing judgment on the putative richness of my inner landscape. I'm not bothered by his comment in the least.

Besides, how can you be mad at a guy who's favorited you that many times?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:06 PM on December 5, 2007


Now you're just blatantly trolling for tehloki-favorites.
posted by dersins at 3:10 PM on December 5, 2007


I've always thought he was overrated because he's a system QB -- I doubt he'd be doing what he's doing now if, say, the Packers went to the power-I or the spread offense tomorrow. And he's never struck me as a great improviser.
posted by dw at 2:01 PM on December 5


Actually for a few years during Ahman Green's days Favre did run a power I offense, and now he is running the spread offense. He started out as a west coast system QB and has evolved into something much different.


Or, the house painted green and yellow with a giant G on it, a few blocks from where I live.
posted by drezdn at 10:40 AM


You forgot to mention the fucking inflatable Favre things that every in Wisconsin seems to put on their lawns. Don't get me wrong I love me some green and gold, but as mentioned by quin some people in Wisconsin take it too far.
posted by hexxed at 3:10 PM on December 5, 2007


I don't need to kiss the glove to get favorites from tehloki! Now I AM offended!

Pistols at dawn, sir!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:13 PM on December 5, 2007


I don't need to kiss the glove to get favorites from tehloki!

Well, nobody does-- that was sort of my point...

Pistols at dawn, sir!

Dawn's a little early for me. How about, say 10 or 11?

Also, pistols? A little too hurty-- killy even-- for my taste. Is invective OK? Or hugs?
posted by dersins at 3:21 PM on December 5, 2007


OK, OK, soft fluffy pillows at noon, then. Then we'll have a nice lunch. Maybe a salad. Something light.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:25 PM on December 5, 2007


What the fuck people, the answer is broadswords in a pit.
posted by absalom at 6:28 PM on December 5, 2007


I have yet to see an inflatable Favre, but now due to Beider-Meinhoff I see hundreds of them.
posted by drezdn at 6:35 PM on December 5, 2007


did you mean this drezdn?
posted by hexxed at 8:10 AM on December 6, 2007


Indeed hexxed, and I had tried to check the spelling via google.

I still haven't seen a a giant Favre yet, but I'll be heading to the west side sometime in the next few days and wouldn't be shocked to see them on every block (like Packer flags on cars in '96-'97).
posted by drezdn at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2007


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