Liguori: A Tarnished Legacy
What a way to go out, not that Brett Favre has or will make any kind of retirement announcement anytime soon. But in hindsight, had he retired before the beginning of this season, perhaps the ‘sex texts’ would not have been released and if so, with Brett not playing, perhaps they would not have received as much attention? Who knows? But one thing is certain, when Favre finally does decide to call it quits, his legacy will tremendously be affected by the scandal that is getting more attention than whether the two ankle fractures he sustained last week in the third quarter of Minnesota’s 28-24 loss at Green Bay, will prevent him from continuing his NFL record of starting in 291 consecutive games (315 including the postseason).
Starting in 291 consecutive games! That stat is unbelievable when you think about it! As a quarterback in the NFL for 20 years, Favre is the target of every linebacker and defensive player on the field, yet for 291 straight games, he has not let injuries get in the way of his starting!
There is only one other NFL player with a longer ‘consecutive streak’ — former punter Jeff Feagles. Feagles played 22 seasons and played in every single game, 352 games overall before retiring in April of this year at the age of 42. He won a Super Bowl with the NY Giants in the 2008 season. He’s had the most enduring career as a punter but obviously is not taking the hits or on the field anywhere near the time that a quarterback is. Jim Marshall, a defensive end for the Browns and the Vikings from 1961-1979 played in 282 consecutive games. That statistic is pretty amazing as well. But Brett Favre is a quarterback! And the game today has to be even more physical as these athletes are bigger, stronger and quicker (although some of the old timers may disagree).
Whenever Favre really decides to call it quits, history will look kindly at the number of NFL records he comprised in his career. There are so many of them. For a look at all of Favre’s records, click here.
But had he called it quits after last season, with such an excellent season — 33 touchdown passes and 4,202 passing yards for the Vikings — he could have perhaps savored his retirement, had few regrets, played golf with little distraction and hung out with his family without the angst and discomfort that this much publicized scandal must be causing him and his family. Yes, the scandal still could have gone public but without him playing, it would not have gotten near the attention, I believe. I am by no means condoning his behavior, by the way. He has disappointed so many fans and has greatly hurt his wife and family. As I have written in numerous columns, I do think his ego, like the ego of so many athletes and others who reach a certain level of fame, contribute to a feeling of invincibility as if they can do no wrong, not even thinking there may be consequences. It’s such a pity. One’s ego, this feeling of invincibility and entitlement bring so many individuals down – Tiger and Roger Clemens, to name two whom I’ve recently written about.
The scandal is such a tragedy to Favre’s legacy. I would assume that most people will now, when they think about Brett Favre, not only talk about the number of NFL records he has earned, but the texts and calls that he admitted sending to the Jets’ hostess when they were both employed there. Favre denied sending the lewd photographs but the publicity it all received certainly will make Brett the ‘butt’ of many jokes to come. And to think, he could have walked away from the game at one time with perhaps less trouble and turmoil and with only ‘physical pain’ endured from a stellar career.
Be sure to order a DVD copy of Ann’s interview with Brett Favre, taped a few years ago while they were playing golf at Hattiesburg Country Club. Visit her web site at www.annliguori.com and click ‘archives’ on the left side of the home page to order a copy.