Monday, December 6, 2004

Apple #4: Brett Favre

(quarterback, Green Bay Packers)

Brett Favre had a bad game today. He threw two interceptions early in the first quarter, and then managed maybe a couple first downs. Usually he puts on his impressive, super-human something and manages to pull his team out of the crapper and into a win. Tonight, though, it didn't happen. He never really got any steam going, and then he sat out the last 11 minutes of the game. I can't remember the last time he went to the bench. The Packers got killed, 47-17.

To me, Brett Favre is the living proof that if you never give up, you can achieve your goals. I've admired him for several years now because he has continued to press on and perform unbelievably well even under the worst circumstances. Like his father dying suddenly, for example. Or his wife being diagnosed with breast cancer. He grits his teeth and plays with gusto, and he achieves what seems impossible.

So tonight, seeing him get sacked three times (which is almost unheard of), and then going to the sidelines saddened me personally. Here's to better games, Number Four.

Here are some of his accomplishments, and the things he's overcome to get there:

  • 30 times he has led his team from fourth-quarter deficits or ties to win the game
  • He is football's only three-time MVP, a recognition he won in consecutive years, from 1995-1997
  • In 2002, held a streak of 117 passes with zero interceptions
  • Threw a touchdown pass in 36 consecutive games (which goes back to 2002), until tonight
  • Played most of 2003 with a broken thumb on his throwing hand
  • Has a 29-0 record at home when the game temperature is 34 degrees or below. Including playoffs in these conditions, he's 36-1.
  • Including playoffs, has started in 208 consecutive games, an NFL record
  • In 2003, he reached 3,000 yards passing for his 12th season, tying John Elway for second place. He is the first NFL player to reach that 3,000 mark for 10 seasons in a row.
  • Injuries he has overcome include: recurring broken ankle, several bone chips and a bone spur removal; back injuries; abdomen and ribs; sprained thumb for most of 1999; broken thumb for most of 2003; tendonitis in his elbow; sprained knee ligament requiring surgery.
  • In college, he survived a major car accident that resulted in such serious internal injuries he had 30 inches of his intestines removed. A month after this surgery, he led his college team to a win.
  • Early in his career, he was a partier. He was hospitalized in 1996 for an addiction to Vicodin. After that hospitalization, he broke his addiction, stopped drinking, got married, and improved his game.
  • He's played with the Packers for 14 seasons and has a lifetime contract. He's 35 years old.

Sources: images/ss/980_34.html

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