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Illustrious Favre Streak Ending Overdue

Dec 13, 2010 – 7:09 PM
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David Whitley

David Whitley %BloggerTitle%

All good things must come to an end. Then there was Brett Favre's streak, which was a good thing that should have ended before Monday night.

After 297 consecutive starts, the NFL's only living grandfather did not trot onto the field and take the opening snap. As weary as we are of all things Brett, it was sad to see the streak end.

It was even sadder that it didn't end 13 games ago. That would have been the NFC Championship Game. Minnesota lost to New Orleans, thanks in no small part to a late Favre interception. But he'd long since proved the critics of his Vikings comeback were wrong.

This year he's proved them right. It's been the worst sequel since "Weekend at Bernie's II," which was tired from opening credits.

Favre could have ridden into the sunset as an Iron Man. Now we'll look back and remember too many Weekends at Brett's.
Would the corpse return from Mississippi? Would he text Jenn Sterger in the huddle? Would Brad Childress even know if he did?

Hey, was that Randy Moss throwing food in the corner?

Would the streak survive a fractured ankle, a shattered coach and the NFL's sexual-harassment policy?

It turned into a tragic comedy. By the time Monday night's snow-delayed game against the Giants came around, I was mad that Bills linebacker Arthur Moats hadn't crunched Favre's shoulder 297 games ago.

But then, the Bills linebacker was only four years old when Favre's streak began. That got me pondering.

Even if you enjoyed the sight of Favre on the sideline (assuming you were in the 3.6 percent of America that actually got to witness the FOX broadcast from Detroit), you have to admit his attendance record is astounding.

The streak covered 18 years, two months and 17 days. That's 6,652 chalk marks if you're marking them on a prison wall. The first George Bush was president. Miley Cyrus wasn't born.

Cell phones were the size of cereal boxes. There was no texting, which spared God knows how many Green Bay sideline reporter/bimbos from catching Favre passes.

Cal Ripken Jr. is a mythical figure for starting 2,632 consecutive baseball games. A.C. Green played in 1,192 straight NBA games. He did them all as a reborn-again virgin, too. Make up your own Favre joke with that one.

Nothing against Ripken or Green, but they didn't face 15-plus years of opponents trying to maim them. Favre was sacked, jacked and bounced off the frozen tundra a few thousand times. His streak translates to playing about 2,000 straight NBA games or 5,000 baseball games in a row.

And he didn't just show up for work, Favre always put on a show. How many near-death escapes, frozen ropes and Lambeau Leaps were in the streak?

A perfect script would have had him ending it all as a Packer. We would have been spared the summer guessing games from Hattiesburg and the Year of Texting Dangerously with the Jets.

The second-best script would have been for him to sit out 2008 and return as a Viking last year. As traitorous as he was to the Cheeseheads, Favre did enjoy the greatest year any 40-year-old quarterback will ever have.

But he was addicted to the drama, and maybe the $18 million Minnesota was waving at him. So out rolled the sequel. But Favre had turned from hero to anti-hero to Bernie the Quarterback Corpse. The antics he used to find amusing became annoying.

His streak was supposedly good as gone last month when Favre spent the week in a walking cast. But come Sunday, there he was.

That's why I didn't believe Rasputin wouldn't start Monday. So what if he didn't throw a pass since last Sunday. He'd rub some Mississippi mud on his sprained sternoclavicular joint and get out there.

Even God seemed to want the streak to stay alive. It took an act from him for a game in Minnesota to be postponed and moved due to snow.

The Metrodome roof soufflé bought Favre another day. That was probably about 14 days too few, but Favre wanted to wring this out for all the drama possible.

I'm glad it finally ended, just so we don't have to put up the suspense any more. I'm also sorry to see it end this way.

Favre could have ridden into the sunset as a Iron Man. Now we'll look back and remember too many Weekends at Brett's.

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