Greatest Gunslinger Of All Time.
Allow me just this once to be a fanboy. To be the kid who watched Brett Favre play, while wearing a backwards Packer hat and sitting on the floor at my mom’s house so I didn’t miss a thing on our 24 inch TV. Why? Because you just couldn’t miss a second of Brett Favre playing.
He isn’t the greatest quarterback ever. Truthfully, he probably won’t be the greatest Packers quarterback of all time, once Aaron Rodgers career is over. Doesn’t matter. There is no quarterback who ever was as exciting to watch, no qb who you couldn’t take your eyes off of, like Brett Favre. The core of the issue is, Favre, at heart is a gunslinger, not a quarterback. As a gunslinger nobody was better. Not Joe Namath, not Dan Fouts, not even Dan Marino was a better gunslinger then #4.
That arm like a howitzer, the interceptions, the great last minute comebacks to make up for the interceptions. The constant belief that he can make the throw that no other human on earth could make.
Eight times out of ten he was right.Let me go back to being that kid on his mom’s floor. There was no NFL ticket then. There was only your local game, the three nationwide games, and Monday night football. There was no fantasy football, no Internet, you watched your team and maybe a little of some of the other games. Except certain games, games with certain players.
Players that transcended the game. Not just for their greatness. Not the Reggie Whites, Bruce Smiths, Jerry Rices or even Joe Montanas. For all their greatness you didn’t cancel other plans just to watch them. You didn’t stop whatever you were doing every time they touched the ball out of fear that you might miss one of their magical moments.
These few players may not have always been the greatest to ever play their positions, but they were the most exciting. The electricity of their presence in a game shot through even those 9os small screen tvs. For that young kid sitting on that floor all those years ago there were 4 players who I would cancel all other plans just to watch. Those 4 players were Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders, Bo Jackson and Brett Favre.
I’m not old enough to remember Lawrence Taylor in his absolute prime. Nor Marcus Allen, Gale Sayers, or OJ Simpson. I saw flashes of that magic at times in Randy Moss, Randall Cunningham, Micheal Vick and now in Odell Beckham Jr..
To my fan boy eyes, wearing my teenage colored glasses of life, though, no players have entertained me, have excited me, have made me afraid to even turn away from the TV even for a second if they were on the field, like those 4 did.
That’s the thing about Favre. If it was, bringing back the shovel pass, or threading the needle into triple coverage with a throw that appears to be traveling at the speed of sound, you never knew what to expect from Favre. Only that it was going to be special. You knew that there would be at least one play that you would be talking about for the entire next week.
That’s not even to mention him throwing a td, then leveling a snot bubbler of a hit on his own wide receiver while tackling him in celebration (there is a theory that Leroy butler invented the Lambeau leap just to protect himself from a Favre celebration). The joy at playing, the joy that brought us back with him to scoring our first touchdown in Pop Warner.
The toughness of playing through anything and everything. This was a guy you were sure was going to get into a fight with defensive tackle, Warren Sapp, one day.
The way he rose to the moment; Monday night football in the 90s and early 0os might as well have been called Favre night football. The Halloween game in Chicago, the Antonio Freeman circus catch, the Oakland game after his father’s death.
I personally have Favre rated the 5th greatest qb of all time. None of the 4 qbs I have ranked above him would I want to see play live instead of Favre. Excellence isn’t always exciting. Magic is! Miracles are! Brett Favre is a huge part of why the NFL became the number 1 sport in America over baseball.
So as we get ready to celebrate the career of old number 4, the gunslinger. Let’s throw the insane stats out the window like a bullet pass to Sterling Sharpe in double coverage. The streak of superhuman toughness let’s toss aside like a fake jump pass after a handoff. What made Favre so great was the simple fact. Favre was must see TV.