Where is Favre's place in sports history?
December 14th, 2010
12:26 PM ET

Where is Favre's place in sports history?

Say what you will about Brett Favre - about his wavering on retirement or his inability to make decisions. But there's one thing no one can take away from him - his dedication to the game.

In a sport where players are battered and bruised nearly every week, Favre took the hits consecutively 297 times. 

"Now that it's over, and part of the history books instead of the NFL's week-to-week reality, Brett Favre's 297 consecutive starts streak deservedly will go down as one of the greatest individual accomplishments in sports. And nothing will ever change that, or lessen its impact," SI.com's Don Banks writes, noting the feat perhaps makes Favre the "toughest quarterback who ever suited up."

"To argue otherwise is folly. The beauty of a consecutive-games streak is that it has a quality of perfection to it - and you can't beat perfection," he said. "For almost 19 seasons, the man played every chance he had to play. Case closed. End of story."

The argument, perhaps, is over where that streak deserves to be placed in history. Where does it match up against say Cal Ripken playing 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles? Or what about Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak? Or "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky, who played 51 consecutive games with a point?

That depends on how you feel about the sports, the differing schedules, and whatever else you can bicker about, though most will argue Favre's streak most closely lines up with Ripken's.

As Time.com's Sean Gregory asks: "What's harder: standing on a baseball field for an hour or two, everyday, playing shortstop, or lining up under center once a week in football, where very large men are paid very large sums of money to knock you out of the game?"

That's a comparison you can't make, Banks argues.

"For the record, football and baseball are too widely divergent to truly compare. One game is far more physically demanding, but the other sport gets played almost every day for six months, with no six days to heal up between games. So there's no right or wrong answer as to which streak is pre-eminent."

Perhaps Favre's streak-ending moment doesn't rival that of Ripken's because of his indecisiveness. Perhaps some have filed him in the category of the peppered-haired man who is already retired instead of the way Ripken did it - on his own time.

"It was time," Ripken said of when he decided to stop playing and end his record. "Baseball has always been a team game. I talked to my wife [Kelly] and decided, 'Let's end it in the same place it started. In my home state. In front of friends and family. In front of the best fans in the world.' "

The celebration certainly wasn't the same. Favre wasn't passing a great like Lou Gehrig. His indecision may have given people qualms about whether he knew when it was time to stop playing. To some, the end of Favre's streak could be the conclusion of his career as well.

But that doesn't take anything away from all Favre has done on the field those 297 times he stood in between the hash marks, called a snap and tried to deliver a well-finessed ball to a receiver without being slammed into the ground (not that that didn't happen several times either).

And whether you like him or not, sports fans are talking about the streak Tuesday morning. And with some interesting facts as well, including that the Chicago Bears used 23 - that's right, 23 - quarterbacks in the time that Favre played back-to-back.

To put things in perspective, you only need to look at another number, the age of  Arthur Moats, who knocked Favre to the ground and eventually off the field. His Buffalo Bills jersey may have No. 52 emblazoned on it, but the number he's now known for is 4. That's how old he was when Favre's streak began in 1992.

soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. Sutler

    In the bin labelled "recycled trash."

    December 14, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlterEgo71

      You really have your panties in a wad about Favre. Bless your heart.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Your junior high coach called, he's sorry he cut you from the team. Can we move on now?

      December 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • It's all a lie

      bitter SOB

      December 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • boocat

      Actual the trash bin is where you belong....you are a moron, no question in my mind.

      December 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Nor in mine either.. I am a 100% complete moron without a life.. I live to troll and I crave attention.

      December 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      As a Green Bay Packer fan, he can't be gone soon enough. He ONLY played with the vikings to SPITE the Packers management. He did this with no regard for the millions of fans that do bleed green and gold. He should NEVER be voted into the Green Bay Hall of Fame on display beside the likes of Lombardi, Starr, Hutson, and Hornung.

      December 14, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • stranger steve

      I would take his pictures he sent to jenn sterger, and make them into a poster.

      January 18, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. Fred Bartkowski

    Best ever!

    December 14, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Best ever?! Pfft....

      He belongs right up there with Shaq, Mays, Jordan, Tyson, Magic Johnson, Ricky Henderson, Emmitt Smith, and Jerry Rice.

      All were players who never knew when to say they were done.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus of Nazareth

      He makes some brilliant throws no doubt. But he's too much of a turnover machine. It's a crime that Brett will probably walk into the Hall of Fame and Kurt Warner is iffy.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So let me get this right Sutler. The best ever have to know when to step away from the games they have defined? That's the criteria for knowing if they're great or not? Not what they've done on the field? Let me guess, you got cut from your junior high team and are still ticked about it.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      If by defining the game you mean how to throw interceptions, I agree with you. I mean, the man did throw over 300 picks in his career. Now that is something to be proud of!

      December 14, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Well, now that I think about it.. He did throw for over 500 TD's, has more yards than any other QB.. Wish I knew why I only focus on the Interceptions, probably because I am nothing more than a jealous wanna be myself.

      I wish I could play like him, instead I guess its easier to talk trash about him than to admit that I could not do what he did.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      @Sutler
      507 touchdowns
      71775yards
      99yard touchdown pass
      196 wins

      This is a list of comparable players based on career from pro football reference.com
      Fran Tarkenton*, Dan Marino*, John Elway*, Johnny Unitas*, Joe Montana*, Peyton Manning, Warren Moon*, Ken Anderson, Dan Fouts*, Terry Bradshaw*

      There are other stats other than INT's. Babe Ruth held the record for Homeruns AND Strikeouts. play the game long enough and it happens.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRR

      I think he is one of the greatest ever for sure. Quarterbacks like Manning and Brady have been so fortunate in their careers to have strong offensive lines and a deep receiving core. Favre spent many years at GB without that. When you get pressure on Manning and Brady, their performance drops significantly. Favre spent most of his career facing significant pressure from the defense and learned how to shine.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fish

      Best EVER? Whew... that's some pretty good company he's up against. He wrote the record books, but part of that has to do with he played longer than any other QB. However, that also speaks to his durability that he could play that long. He is one of the greats and belongs in the HOF, I will give him that. I just wish he had retired after the great season last year. I saw Dan Marino try to play longer than he should have and it was painful to try and explain to my kids how great he "was".

      December 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe Stalin

    Great player ~ lots of heart. Let's hope he sit down now

    December 14, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Homer Simpson

    hes like a cat you abuse constantly, but cant keep himself from coming back for more.

    December 14, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wild Hurricane

    Farve belongs in: toss it in the air, hope the right guy gets it, oh! did he catch it?, aw- shucks the other guy did, oh! did i do good?, wahh! i did bad Land!

    December 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      Yeah, that's all he ever did huh?? You may want to check his records a little better, 500+ career touchdown passes, 185 career wins, 6000+ career completions, over 71K career passing yards, oh yeah, all of those tops of any other quarterback. Yeah, he's absolutely horrible, did real bad!! Idiot!

      December 14, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      335 picks....
      195 single pick games....
      94 double pick games....
      39 triple pick games....
      524 sacks....

      All NFL records!

      December 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      I wish that I could set some records, then maybe I would not have to troll here and post stuff to get attention. Wouldn't have to if I had a record of my own.. Guess I am just jealous..

      December 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      Yeah, then followed by, "I don't care, I just love this game. Hey, why are the fans throwing stuff at me?"

      December 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rus

      Sutler, put those in perspective. In baseball, do you know who is the career leader in Strike Outs? Reggie Jackson, do you take away from Mr. October because of that? Actually, looking at that list, many on it are hall of famers, Mike Schmidt, Mickey Mantle, Willie Stargel, etc... Were they that bad of players, or were those stats simply because they played for so long and were so good, they got so many at bats and teams kept them around for production? Heck Cy Young is revered as one of the all-time great pitchers in MLB, but he also holds the record for the most losses in a career with 316.

      You're going to get a lot of negative stats in a career that spans nearly 20 years, when many that are really bad losing 20+ games a year won't last more than 2-3 years tops.

      Despite all of Favre's interceptions, he is in the top 20 in NFL history in QB rating, above people like Aikman, Elway, Staubach, Starr, Tarkenton, Unitas, Graham, etc...

      Put those in perspective over such a long career. And #2 on the list is an all-time great as well, George Blanda.

      December 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kb

    The Lions should draft him

    December 14, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      ROFL.

      The Bungles may beat them to it.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Richard

    The only thing Favre is dedicated to is Favre.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • boocat

      Another hater.....why don't you and Sutler both take a nice long walk off a short pier?

      December 14, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kathy

    Greatest to ever play the game!

    December 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Sounds like he has sent you a few texts and pics on your phone. Such blind loyalty.

      December 14, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      How is that blind loyalty when he does hold the most records out of any quarterback to have ever played?? You cant take his records or pure talent away from him just because of how the past few years have gone, thats like saying all the wins Tiger Woods had years ago didnt mean anything because of what he did in his personal life, he still is one of the greatest golfers to live!

      December 14, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRR

      It amazes me how many Green Bay fans turned on Favre. I am a loyal GB fan from Wisconsin, but I like Favre and always will. The organization owes him a lot.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      If only I had some friends that would text me, or that were loyal to me. I am just one of those people that run around foaming at the mouth because somebody else is getting all the attention.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    This is why you don't cross the Moats

    December 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pam

    Favre is the best!!

    December 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Yup: all rookies should learn from him.

      Favre 101 – Learn to know when the game has passed you up
      Favre 102 – Learn to save, then you won't have to work until you die

      December 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jb1960

    Farve has lost a lot of credibility over the last three years. I see him now as just another bonehead with talent. He was a star then he started acting like a spoiled brat. Is he a hall of fame guy yes. is he someone I respect no.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Patrick B

    One word that will never be said about Brett Favre – "whimp". This guy had GRIT and was one tough SOB getting knocked around like that week after week after week. Sadly his days are over, but he sure had one hell of a run!

    December 14, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Mine would be "Whiner."

      "Please coach! Let me start, please please please! I have a consecutive streak going that I cannot relinquish. There is no I or we in team but there is a ME. And its all about ME ME ME!"

      December 14, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Actually I should have changed that post..
      Mine would be, "Be like Bret".

      I wish I could be like him, it would really save me having to bash on a guy that is obviously a better athlete than I am.
      It would also save me from having to bother everyone on here by posting garbage just to get attention.
      Don't mind me everyone, I'm going to go back to my basement room in my mom's house and cry.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Randall

    Reminds me of the character in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the guy gets arms and legs hacked off and still wants to continue the fight.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Tis but a flesh wound! Now put me in coach!

      December 14, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lenore

    Best QB to ever play! As a Packer fan, the last three seasons have been awful to watch...ut if anyone expected him to sit down three years ago, they didn't follow Brett Favre as a player.

    December 14, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      I agree 100%!!

      December 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRR

      Ditto... Last year may have been the best year he has had in his career.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      I agree that he was a very talented athlete. But in all truth, he is DEFINITELY not the best QB to play the game. You obviously havent watched any one else play. Too bad he couldn't get his lazy ass to training camp. hee hee

      December 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CURLEAN

    RIGHT BEHIND TERRY BRADSHAW, JOE MONTANA, TROY AIKMAN, TOM BRADY, BART STARR, JOHN ELWAY, JIM PLUNKETT, AND MAYBE EVEN BIG BEN! BASICALLY ALL OTHER QBs WHO'VE PLAYED JUST ENOUGH GAMES TO WIN MORE SB'S THAN THE DIVA!

    December 14, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Funny, in all those years, you would think he would have won more SBs than just that lonely one back in 1997. His one and only win in his lengthy career. Though he did return in 1998 and lose to Elway. How great can he really be if he was only good enough to take his team to the SB twice and win only once in 20 years?

      December 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • CURLEAN

      OH, BY THE WAY HAS ANYONE KEPT TALLY ON THE GAMES HE SHOULDN'T HAVE PLAYED IN AND DIDN'T ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING ANYWAY? THAT WOULD BE AN INTERESTING METRIC!

      December 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      Oh by the way....

      I think your caps lock is broken. You might want to call in the Geek Squad to help you out with that one.

      Just sayin....

      December 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JRR

      Winning Super Bowls is about a team, not an individual player. Some QB's like Brady have been very fortunate to have excellent offensive lines and receivers. The Packers have struggled for many years to get the right combination of players to repeatedly make it to the SB. Favre had his favorites that he trusts like Sharp, driver, etc. But the Packers have not typically had a real deep team especially in running. This makes it all the more difficult to make it that far in the playoffs.

      December 14, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      And look at the Packers now. Even without Favre at the helm they are still showing they can win. The Jets continue to show they are "wannabes" and the Vikings as "pretenders."

      December 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sutler

      And... look at me. I like to pretend to, I pretend that I have friends, a life, and that I have a clue. In reality I have none of the above. I am sitting here with a sports book in my hands typing random garbage because I dont have a life. I really am pathetic arent I?

      December 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • z71truck

      YOu put Aikman ahead of him just because of Superbowl wins.... YOU are an idiot! I dont have time to write all the reasons you are an idiot but Aikman? My God, YOu are stupid.

      December 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
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