After a brilliant 16-year career with the Green Bay Packers, including a 1997 victory in Superbowl XXXI, we all thought legendary quarterback Brett Favre would hang up his spikes. Between the years of wear and tear on his body and the mental stress associated with his signature come-from-behind wins, the 40-year-old signal caller appeared ready to move on with his life. The Packers were set to hand over the reins of the franchise to 2005 first-round draft pick Aaron Rodgers, who had been shadowing Favre for three seasons. After a tearful press conference, Favre announced his retirement from the game he loved.
Retirement was short lived. After claiming that he still could play at a high level and after much speculation as to what the Packers would do, Favre was unexpectedly traded to the New York Jets. Known as “Jet Favre,” Brett enjoyed some success, finishing with a 9-7 record but falling short of the playoffs. The Jets were ill-prepared to handle the hoopla Favre brought to New York, and it certainly showed down the stretch. Unhappy with Favre’s performance, the Jets cut ties with him after the season was over.
But, of course, Favre’s story was far from over. After back-and-forth conversations with Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress, Favre signed with the Vikings, one of the Packers’s biggest rivals. The next chapter in the Favre saga was about to unfold.
At age 40, what could we expect from Favre? He had already accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the game, and he had already proven he could make a successful comeback.
However, Favre truly was out to prove to his old team, the Packers, that he still could lead a winning team. And what better way to do that than with the Vikings? With one of the NFC’s top defenses and a strong supporting cast on offense, Favre fell smack into the perfect situation. With weapons like Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Visante Shiancoe, Favre would never be without a playmaker open for the pass. If his passing suffered, he could easily hand off the ball to Adrian Peterson, arguably the game’s best running back, or to the versatile Chester Taylor. It’s safe to say the 2008 Jets are certainly not the 2009 Vikings.
The Vikings have jumped out to an early 7-1 record to lead in the NFC North. The highlight of their season so far occurred Sunday with a 38-26 victory against none other than the Packers. Favre, who was greeted by a chorus of booing, was on target all day. He finished with a line of 17 of 28 for 244 yards and 4 touchdowns. While Aaron Rodgers had an impressive second half, the 40-year-old comeback kid proved once again that he still possesses all the skills to be a winner in this league. After this game, I wonder if the Packers are starting to regret their decision.