BIGPLAY’s NFL 100: 100 Personalities From the NFL’s First 100 Years: #9 Brett Favre

Brett Favre played in the NFL for 20 seasons, 16 of them with the Green Bay Packers. During his illustrious career, fans got to see Favre’s youthful exuberance even into his older age. His retirement announcements were always met with some skepticism, but once he finally stayed retired, Favre held many records including all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and most consecutive starts by any player in NFL History.

Favre’s NFL career started poorly. He was a 2nd round draft pick in the 1991 NFL Draft for the Atlanta Falcons and Coach Jerry Glanville was not a fan of his. Glanville would refer to Favre as “Mississippi” and not in a positive way. As a member of the Falcons, he threw four passes and two of them were intercepted. During the off-season, he was traded to the Green Bay Packers.

Here seems like a good point to share an interesting story about the 1991 NFL Draft and how sometimes, things work out in the end. Both the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets were in the market to draft a quarterback. Two available quarterbacks were Brett Favre and Browning Nagle. The Jets’ assistant general manager was very impressed with Favre and was hoping he’d last to pick #34, sadly for him, the Falcons took Favre at #33 and the Jets went with Nagle at #34. That assistant general manager was named Ron Wolf and in 1992 he became the general manager for the Green Bay Packers and traded for Brett Favre. Both Wolf and Favre would go on to have great success in Green Bay while Nagle didn’t last long with the Jets and Glanville didn’t last long with the Falcons.

Photo Courtesy of Doug Mills, AP

With the Packers there were two games where Favre was “other-worldly,” the first was Super Bowl XXXI and the second was a Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders. In Super Bowl XXXI, the Green Bay Packers beat the New England Patriots. Favre was 14 – 27 for 246 yards and two touchdowns. He added another touchdown as he rushed one in for 12 yards. After his first touchdown throw, a 54-yard pass to Andre Rison on the second play of the game, Favre ran down the field with the aforementioned youthful exuberance.

While the Super Bowl win was the most elated moment in Favre’s career, his Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders was one of his lowest. The day before, his father, Irv Favre passed away. Irv and Brett were very close as Irv was Brett’s high school coach. Faced with a tough decision, Favre decided to play and he played great as he went 22 – 30 for 399 yards and four touchdowns.

These stories are just a few of the many that can be told about Favre. He was a great football player but he also had a darker side to him. In this article, these things were not mentioned because the purpose of this series is to celebrate the NFL and the people who made it what it is today. For further reading on Favre, I would highly recommend the book about Brett Favre by Jeff Perlman.

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