If you have followed Funk Football during the 2009 NFL season you understand that I have been critical of Vikings Quarterback Brett Favre all season. Much of that criticism stemmed from his 2008 collapse with the Jets, and his inability to win the "big game" from 1998 to 2007.
Throughout most of 2009 Brett Favre shut me up. But in the game where it mattered most, Brett Favre resorted to "classic-Favre" from and threw another game losing interception in a huge game. In comparison to 2003 and 2007, Favre's other game-losing-interception-overtime-games, this one may have hurt the most because Favre played well all season leading up to this game. Unfortunately, Favre's interception in the 2009 NFC Championship game may have been the worst of his career.
There's no denying that Brett Favre is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, but it's also hard to argue Favre as a top 5 quarterback of all time, as well. Favre's statistics and "streak" are great and extremely commendable; because those accomplishments belong to Favre it's perfectly fine to include him in the "best ever" debate.
But let's be honest: Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, John Elway, those players don't make the same mistakes that Favre made in the NFC title game.
Those stats? Chances are Peyton Manning will surpass all of them, including the games started streak. There is one Favre record that Manning will not come cloes to though; All time leader in interceptions.
Brett Favre coming back for a 19th season did help cement his legacy as the NFL's biggest name. To date no other player has received the in-sport celebrity status that Brett Favre has obtained. The season also served as a pallet for Favre to show what he might have been able to do with a more complete team over the past ten years.
But the truth remains that Favre is an NFL quarterback who in 19 seasons won one Super Bowl, a game in which he wasn't the MVP, and has a lot more memorable playoff losses than he does wins. In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers hasn't missed a beat in succession to Favre, and the Packers offense is more potent in Favre's departure than it was with #4 in 2007.
If Manning gets ring #2 this year, Brett Favre will undeniably fall out of the top five all time (behind Montana, Graham, Unitas, Elway, and Manning in no particular order), and he may also at some point find himself staring at the back of Tom Brady's head, as well. This all may sound ridiculous to you considering that I'm ridiculing Favre by putting him in the top .00001% of quarterbacks ever to play the game, but if being #1 ever wasn't Favre's reason for coming back, than what was?
Essentially, Favre's legacy will become his longevity. Favre's three MVP's were great, but Manning has surpassed that. Favre's one Super Bowl ring is completely pedestrian. When his name fades away from the #1 spot in the record book, much like Dan Marino, Brett Favre will begin to slip further and further down the ranks of all time quarterbacks until he joins the ranks of names like Marino, Bart Starr, and Troy Aikman.
And if you really think about Brett Favre, at his best and at his worst, that's exactly where he belongs.