There are quite a few people out there who still believe that Brett Favre may be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.  They have him listed among some of the greatest names ever to play the game, with some of them now even sitting in a television studio each weekend analyzing him.

There are plenty of guys who are in the category of names that he’s being associated with.  John Elway.  Dan Marino.  Troy Aikman.  Steve Young.  The list goes on.  However, for now we’ll just stick with these four.


Brett Favre just doesn’t know that it’s time to call it a career, and it cost Brad Childress his job. (PHOTO:Icon/SMI)

But the difference between these guys and Favre, is that they all knew when enough was enough and for the most part walked away from the game at about the right time.  None of them cost their coaches their jobs.  None of them squandered the youth of their teammates.  None of them were looked at with ridicule and disgust by the majority of fans who watch this game week in and week out.

For Aikman and Young, their careers were cut short mostly due to the fact they had both suffered concussions and the potential risks far outweighed the negatives.  Good for them for realizing that it was more important for themselves and their families to call it quits then to play on, and thankfully both were playing at a fairly high level when they hung up their cleats.

Elway went out on top, winning two Super Bowls and hanging it up after winning his second trophy.  Fans wanted him to come back, but his body told him otherwise and instead he’s spending time with his family and is even a co-owner of an Arena League team.

As for Marino, he may have been wearing every brace known to man when he called it a career, and he probably stuck around one year too long.  However, in his final year after battling a neck injury, he still managed to get his team into the postseason (albeit they lost four out of five to back into it) and even won a playoff game.  He knew after suffering an embarrassing performance in a 62-7 playoff beat down that it was time to walk away. 

That loss at least happened in the playoffs.  Favre isn’t going to have that luxury.

Instead he’ll have to slink away somewhere between now and the next six weeks, and there’s not going to be much dignity.  He’s already cost his head coach his job, and he’s also wasted one year of the lives of the guys in their locker room.  He made them endure the charade of the offseason while he pondered whether or not he was going to play, which was an act that had already run its course.  To make matters worse rather than work the kinks out of his aging body during the preseason, he’s now finding out that you can’t just skip camp and think things will be just fine.  At 3-7 the Vikings season is pretty much over with, and it’s a shame that he’s let it come to that.

His body’s been trying all year to tell him to get off the football field.  He’s got broken bones, a shoulder that is failing him, and tendinitis – all things that aren’t letting him perform the way he needs to.  People would respect him if he at least took himself out of the line-up, yet he appears far more interested in continuing “the streak” with #300 clearly the goal he must be shooting for.  He’s currently sitting at 294 straight starts – and there’s six to go, so logic leads me to believe that has to be his plan.  It’s the only record that he has of any significance, because the other one – the interception record – is one that he obviously shouldn’t take any enjoyment from knowing he holds. 

The next guy who will likely break it – Peyton Manning – has started 202 straight games, and odds are probably pretty good with the quick throws he makes, the protection, and the new rules protecting quarterbacks, Manning could potentially play 5 or six more seasons and break Favre’s consecutive start record.  One would have to think that Favre must be aware of this.  He probably knew coming back one more year when he was sixteen away from that mark would give him that milestone.

He’s already thrown 10 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, and the number of turnovers has consistently been higher, and he’s not showing any signs of improving.  Sunday’s showing in Green Bay had to be disappointing for the “true” Favre fans who wore his jersey like a religion.  They’re all now apologists who in their minds have visions of the guy who ran up the Super Dome field holding his helmet in the air after he beat Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells to give them a championship.

But those days are gone, and regardless of how this season turns out, fans in Minnesota will remember less of how last season ended, and will be left with having to watch a guy who didn’t know when the party was over send their team into complete disarray.

That’s not how any of those other names left the game, but that’s how Favre will always be remembered.  They may say time will make people forget, but no one will ever forget all the offseason drama of recent years or the state he’ll leave the Vikings in when this one’s over.

Honestly, it’s really just too bad.  Stop and think – would Bill Belichick have flown to Mississippi and begged him to come back?  I’m guessing probably not.  Childress did, and over the last few weeks he stayed with Favre hoping somehow the magic would return and they’d right the ship. 

That didn’t happen, and now he’s looking for work.

But win or lose Favre will probably play out these final six games, get his 300th start, and then finally slink off into retirement in less than dramatic fashion.  Hopefully it was worth it, because the fans and players in that locker room certainly deserved better.

One Streak By Favre Hopefully About to Be Broken Soon

Sunday’s win over the Colts has Brady tied with Favre on another “streak” of his own.  Brady tied the record for consecutive regular season home wins for an NFL quarterback with 25 after they beat Peyton Manning and the Colts at Gillette Stadium. Favre managed to string together 25 consecutive home win at Lambeau Field for the Green Bay Packers from 1995-1998. 

Brady’s last regular season home game loss at Gillette Stadium was back on November 12, 2006 against the New York Jets.  Ironically The Patriots will try to break the record on Monday Night December 6th against – you guessed it – the Jets.

In case you missed it: SI’s Peter King makes one heck of an accusation

I remember back in my days of going to Foxboro and covering the team seeing Sports Illustrated’s Peter King standing in a corner after Bill Belichick’s press conference, having a one-on-one interview with the Patriots head coach.  I used to wonder how he was able to get that type of access when we all had to sit there as a group while he stood at the podium, but I’m guessing that the chances of that happening anytime soon are probably pretty slim after this one.

King quoted a source in an article that ran a few days ago that insinuated that the Patriots may have had a bug in the visiting locker room, which is apparently the reason why Peyton Manning never discusses strategy inside the locker room.

I’ve always heard, reliably, that the Colts never trusted that they were totally alone in the Colts’ locker room in Foxboro, and that when Manning had something of strategic significance to say to offensive coordinator Tom Moore, they both stepped outside into the concourse outside the locker room. So if you’re outside the locker room Sunday, don’t be surprised to see Manning and his first-year coordinator, Christensen, huddling for a few minutes.

It’s a bit laughable that there are actually a few sites out there that are hoping this story gains legs.  That’s also a heck of a thing to have a “source” just throw out there…much like when other people’s “sources” said they tape walkthroughs before Super Bowls.  We all remember how accurate that turned out to be.

Belichick: “The Page Has Been Turned”

Prior to this season as we all remember, the history of all the championship teams and big moments were purged in hopes of seeing this new group create their own identity.  Tom Curran of NECN reported Monday evening that head coach Bill Belichick feels that this group has done that, and we’re starting to see it come together. 

“Yes, absolutely, I would agree with that,” Bill Belichick told me Monday afternoon when I asked if the page has finally been flipped. “These guys don’t…they’re just trying to go out there and do their best. Whatever kind of personality our team has it’s new. It’s been created. There isn’t a lot of carryover or as much carryover as we’ve been used to in the past.”

Brady: Mankins is the present day “John Hannah”

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Monday morning, and noted the importance of Logan Mankins on their offensive line and what a difference he’s made.  Brady emphasized that they’re a much better team with him lining up with them, and even equated Mankins with a former Patriot that’s pretty well revered here in New England.

“Offensive line is always collective. There’s no doubt that Logan, Logan adds a hell of a lot to that collective unit as group because he’s so powerful, he’s so strong, he’s so athletic. He’s so tough. Yeah, he’s so mean. He’s everything you look for in an offensive lineman. He’s a John Hannah type player.”

Richard Seymour Facing a fine After Dropping Ben Roethlisberger with one Swat

I’ll close this out with this observation.  I don’t condone violence in any way, but I couldn’t help but be impressed when I saw now-Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour drop Ben Roethlisberger in one swat following a touchdown pass by the Steelers QB on Sunday.  In the video below you’ll see Roethlisberger raise his arms in the air following the touchdown, and then says something to Seymour.  Seymour then turned and whacked him in the facemask – with one hand – and Roethlisberger went down in a heap.  Considering how big this guy is and how tough it is to take him down, it goes to show you how strong Seymour is. 

Seymour – who is obviously going to get fined after this one – was apologetic after the game, saying, “First and foremost, I apologize to my teammates,” Seymour said. “You never want to do anything to hurt the team.

“You always want to protect yourself, but there’s no excuse. I’m not sure why (Roethlisberger) ran up on me, I just turned around … it was a natural reaction.”

You’ll see it in the video below.