Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bret Favre Goes to the Hall

This weekend was the Pro Football Hall of Fame 2016 inductions and speeches. 

There was a big crowd from Green Bay on hand to see Bret Favre's enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Favre, a man known for his imperfections as well as his near perfection on the football field, gave a speech filled with child-like enthusiasm for his sport. He thanked the people who supported him in life and spent time discussing his motivation that came in large part from his father, a football coach.

We have published a couple eBooks on some great Hall of Fame Packers before, Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau for Packers who love their history.

Irv Favre helped develop Bret's insatiable appetite to succeed and play. Like Favre himself, his motivations, though tangled in guilt and a never ending sense of "not-good-enough," led to a beautiful player who was a beautifully imperfect human--one that most of us can appreciate.  Favre was the worst nightmare of Packer's opponents, but one that visitors or home team could not take their eyes off.  I certainly couldn't, even as die-hard Bears fan.

Today's quarterback lesson plans seem to call for a machine-like ball tosser who is exploiting the opposing team by throwing with precision with plays that call for deadly plodding up the field. Eliminate mistakes and win. Favre was too fun-loving for such an approach. And on most Sundays his methods worked.  

Brett Favre was certainly one of the best quarterback ever, although he sure threw a lot of interceptions.  In his 20 seasons, he led the league in interceptions 3 times.  His 29 interceptions in 2005 gives him the 12th highest mark for the single season interceptions for all time. If you watched Favre play, you knew he had a gunslinger mentality and he was going to do his best to resurrect a game even if it made him look foolish. And as good as Favre was, sometimes he did look foolish.

Favre had 336 career interceptions. In this way, Favre was a QB equivalent of Babe Ruth. Ruth led the league in strikeouts, but holds several other more coveted records.

But the final tally on Favre has to be a winning number for fans, not his missed marks. Fahre's 1996 Packers won the Super Bowl; his 1997 Packers lost it. In his post-Packers years, in the 1999 season with the Vikings,  his team came within 3 points of winning the Conference Championship against the New Orleans Saints and going on to another Super Bowl.   The Saints were the only team to possess the ball in overtime and won the game on a field goal--this was before the rules were changed to give the opposing team another possession under such circumstance.

Packer fans had to be "in for a penny, in for a pound" with Favre.  He would work miracles in one game with his efforts, though heroic in some ways, and then in the next contest he might take more risks than necessary. But for Favre it was always a game, a sport, and a lifelong love--never a business.

Copyright 2016 Sporting Chance Press 
Sporting Chance Press's Pillars of the NFL by Patrick McCaskey looks at the great coaches and brings the reader into their world.  The coaches early life, schooling, playing days, coaching days and their contributions to the game are all there for you to see and examine.  Packer fans will appreciate Pillars of the NFL, which includes coverage of Vince Lombardi and Curly Lambeau.  Order this classic title from the publisher or order from Amazon.

See our eBooks on Lombardi and Lambeau

About Sporting Chance Press:

Our goal at Sporting Chance Press is to provide entertaining books that can give readers a lift in sports and in life. We publish books that give readers insight into the hero within each of us. When sport is at its best, there is a payoff constantly taking shape – a payoff "at work." We are improving—whether it is building self esteem, improving health, developing strong social skills, or learning the habit of achievement. There is a discipline needed in preparing for sports contests and life contests. Getting our bodies and minds in shape for the competition is critical. If we can approach sports training and life with enthusiasm, the contest is pure joy. If we can approach sport and life with passion and not pressure, we can achieve and release that fearless hero within. 
Lawrence Norris