American Football: Favre content as streak ends
Tuesday 14 December 2010
For the first time in 19 seasons Brett Favre failed to report for work, ending one of the most remarkable ironman streaks in all of sport.
The 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback started his first game on Sept. 27, 1992, leading the Green Bay Packers to victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He kept the job for 297 consecutive regular season games until his battered body would not allow him to take the field Monday when his Minnesota Vikings faced the New York Giants.
"It's over and done with," Favre told the reporters after watching from the sidelines as the Vikings were pounded 21-3. "Whether it ended today or in several weeks or the end of last season, it has been a great run. I'm very proud of it."
Word that Favre's amazing streak was over spread quickly, the magnitude of 41-year-old quarterback's feat of durability leaving fans and fellow athletes in awe.
"Such a privilege to have seen one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history. Hats off to Brett," praised Tiger Woods on his Twitter account.
Favre played the game with a boyish joy and bulldog determination that endeared to him to fans and earned him the respect of both team mates and opponents.
The three-time league MVP, who was also a member of the New York Jets in 2008, played with a free-wheeling recklessness. He conceded that his streak probably should have ended long ago.
But for nearly two decades, Favre survived the kind of punishment that made him seem indestructible, playing through pain, broken bones, torn ligaments, contusions and concussions.
He also played through grief, scandal, and an addiction to pain killers.
Football fans grieved with Favre when he lost his father in December 2003 and celebrated with him when he went on the field 24 hours later and produced one of the most remarkable performances in a career filled with magical moments.
Favre fought through the sorrow to toss a career-best four first-half touchdown passes and lead the Packers over the Oakland Raiders.
"It's been a long time," Favre said after the Giants game. "I'd much rather be playing, that's just my nature. I won't say it was time (for the streak to end) but it probably was long overdue.
"There have probably been a lot of times the streak should have ended. I can't believe something like this hasn't happened before. Pretty amazing.
"I don't like getting injured but that is part of it... I will not hang my head one bit because it ended today."
It seemed nothing could keep Favre off the field.
But this season, time finally seemed to catch up to the 41-year-old grandfather as he battled through a laundry list of injuries, including tendinitis in his right elbow, a broken ankle and split chin.
Each week there were questions whether Favre's streak was about to end until it finally did after he was slammed to the turf on the opening play of last week's game against the Buffalo Bills, leaving him with a separated shoulder.
Ironman records and the men who achieve them have always held a special fascination for sport lovers.
Former Baltimore Orioles infielder Cal Ripken, who holds Major League Baseball's mark of 2,632 consecutive games played, became an American folk hero.
The perseverance, determination and dependability ironmen display resonates with fans, with many of those qualities seemingly lost among today's pampered, highly paid athletes.
Like many great athletes, Favre has had trouble facing the end, twice coming out of retirement, unable to let go.
Prior to Monday's game, the Vikings placed Favre on the inactive list but gave no indication what the future holds for the future Hall of Famer.
"We all have to say goodbye to what we love. I feel for Brett. We can only choose to follow our hearts, not how the fairytale ends," 43-year-old Dara Torres, an Olympic swimming champion, told Reuters in an e-mail.
Latest in Sport
QPR 1 Arsenal 2: Arsene Wenger praises 'mental strength' of strikers Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud in win over QPR
Newcastle 0 Manchester United 1: Louis van Gaal describes performance as 'maybe our best match of the season'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Newcastle vs Manchester United match report: Ashley Young scores late winner as Angel Di Maria fails to shine yet again
Brooklyn Beckham to be released: Why Arsenal could regret letting David Beckham's son depart
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 4 Penis size: Study revealing 'what's normal' sends international media into meltdown
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...