- The content on this page originated on Wikipedia and is yet to be significantly improved. Contributors are invited to replace and add material to make this an original article.
Brett Lorenzo Favre (born October 10, 1969, in Gulfport, Mississippi) is the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. He has been their starting quarterback since 1992. He is of French and Choctaw ancestry; one of his paternal grandparents was a Native American affiliated with the Choctaw.
As the only three-time MVP (1995-97) in NFL history, Favre has led the Packers to two Super Bowls: the first being a victory against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, and the second being a loss to John Elway's Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. Favre has played 16 seasons in the NFL. Favre has the most consecutive starts among NFL quarterbacks with 237 (257 total starts including playoffs) and completions (5,021), and ranks second behind Dan Marino for career touchdown passes (414), career attempts (8,223), and career passing yards (57,500). With 147 victories as a starting quarterback, Favre is tied with Dan Marino for second; they both trail John Elway's 148.
- 1 Early years
- 2 College
- 3 Atlanta
- 4 Green Bay
- 5 Family tragedies
- 6 Honors and awards
- 7 Records and milestones
- 8 Notes and references
Favre was raised in Kiln, Mississippi. He was the second of three children and often played football with his brothers as a child. Favre had a strong arm growing up. His elementary teacher recalled Favre throwing 50-yard passes in the fifth grade. He attended Hancock North Central High School where he played baseball and football. In baseball, Favre started for Hancock North Central as an eighth-grader and earned five varsity letters. In football he played quarterback, lineman, strong safety, placekicker and punter in a primarily option, run-oriented offense coached by his father, Irvin Favre. Irvin Favre said he knew his son had a great arm but also knew that the school was blessed with good running backs. As a result, in the three years Brett was on the team, his father ran a run-oriented offense called the wishbone. Favre rarely threw more than five passes in a game.
Favre received only one scholarship offer after high school, from nearby Southern Mississippi. Southern Miss wanted him to play defensive back, but Favre wanted to play quarterback instead. He clawed his way up from the seventh string to the backup job and then to the starting position just three games into his freshman year. He took over in the second half against Tulane on September 19, 1987, and led USM to a comeback victory with two touchdown passes. The night before, Favre had drunk several beers and on gameday was suffering from a hangover. He was vomiting in warm-ups and also was sweating and staggering. In his junior season, Favre led the Golden Eagles to a big upset of Florida State (then ranked sixth in the nation) on September 2, 1989. Favre capped a six-and-a-half-minute drive with the game-winning touchdown pass with 23 seconds remaining.
Favre's college career was turned upside down on July 14, 1990, when he was in a near-fatal car accident. When going around a bend a few tenths of a mile from his parents' house, Favre lost control of his car. It flipped three times in the air, crashed into a tree and got stuck there. Only after his brother smashed the window with a golf club could he be evacuated to the hospital. On the way there, inside of the ambulance, his mother was sitting with him. "All I kept asking [her] was 'Will I be able to play football again?'" Favre recalled later. Doctors would later remove 30 inches of Favre's small intestine. On September 8, Favre led Southern Miss to a comeback victory over Alabama. Alabama coach Gene Stallings said, "You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life."
Favre was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round, 33rd overall in the 1991 NFL Draft. In Atlanta, he was a third-string quarterback with unremarkable numbers and an affinity for partying. His partying resulted in him missing the team photo, and being fined because of the incident. Favre was often in conflict with coach Jerry Glanville. Glanville did not approve of the drafting of Favre, and said it would take a plane crash to put Favre into the game. In one incident, Favre made an $100 bet with Glanville that he could throw the ball into the upper deck of Fulton County Stadium. Favre won the bet and Glanville paid him the money. Favre's first pass in a NFL regular season game resulted in an interception returned for a touchdown. He only attempted five passes in his career at Atlanta, completing none of them.
The Packers general manager Ron Wolf traded a first round pick (17th overall, which Atlanta would use to trade down to #19 to take Favre's former USM teammate, running back Tony Smith, who was described in ESPN's Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame the Falcons for Trading Brett Favre as "a physical coward") for Favre during the following offseason. Wolf, while general manager of the New York Jets, had intended to take Favre in the 1991 NFL draft, but Favre was taken by the Falcons on the pick previous to the Jets.
The trade is regarded as one of the most lopsided in NFL history, but nearly didn't happen. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and other sources, during the physical after the trade, Favre was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, the same degenerative hip condition that ended Bo Jackson's career, and doctors recommended he be failed. Wolf overruled them and the Packers were able to keep Favre.
Brett Favre has played 15 seasons in Green Bay. During his time in Green Bay, Favre has won three consecutive MVP awards, the first person in NFL history to do so. He helped the Packers appear in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI. Favre has also started every Green Bay Packers game since September 20, 1992.
Beginning years in Green Bay
In the second game of the 1992 season, the Packers played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers had built a large lead by half time, which resulted in head coach Mike Holmgren benching starting quarterback Don Majkowski and playing Favre the second half. On his first regular season play as a Packer, Favre threw a pass which was deflected and caught by himself. Favre was tackled and the completion went for -7 yards. The Packers ended losing the game 31-3, with the Packers having only 106 yards passing.
On the Packers third game of the 1992 season, early in the first quarter, starting quarterback Don Majkowski injured a ligament in his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals. Favre replaced Majkowski and did not play well during most of the game; he fumbled four times and was sacked six times. On the eight yard line, down 23-17 with 1:07 left, Favre helped lead a fourth quarter comeback. On the second play of the drive, Favre completed a 42 yard pass to Sterling Sharpe. On the next play Favre threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds remaining. After completing the pass, Favre removed his helmet and hoisted it above his head. Holmgren had to point out to Favre that he was the holder on the extra point kick.
The next week's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers began the longest consecutive starts streak for a quarterback in NFL history. The game ended in a 17-3 victory and his passer rating was 144.6. During the season Favre helped put together a six game winning streak for the Packers for the first time since 1965. They ended 9-7 that season, missing the playoffs on their last game. Favre finished his first season as a Packer with 3227 yards and a quarterback rating of 85.3, helping him to his first Pro Bowl.
The following season Favre helped the Packers to their first playoff berth since 1982 and was named to his second pro bowl. After the season Favre became a free agent. General manager Ron Wolf negotiated Favre into a five-year, $19 million contract. Favre and the Packers finished the 1994 season 9-7, advancing them to the playoffs in back to back years, a feat the Packers hadn't done since the Vince Lombardi era.
In 1995, Favre won the first of his three MVP awards. Favre led the Packers to an 11-5 record, the Packers best record in nearly thirty years. Favre passed for a career high of 4413 yards and 38 touchdowns. His quarterback rating was a career high 99.5. The Packers advanced to the NFC Championship Game after upsetting the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional Game. The Packers lost the NFC Championship game to the Dallas Cowboys, marking the third year in a row the Packers season was ended by the Cowboys in the playoffs. Favre helped the Packers advanced farther in the playoffs than any other Packer team since 1967, the season the Packers won Super Bowl II.
While being treated for various injuries, Brett Favre developed an addiction to painkillers. This became known when he suffered a seizure during a hospital visit. While the NFL investigated, he went public to avoid various rumors. In May 1996, he was immediately forced into treatment by the NFL and remained in rehabilitation for 46 days.
Super Bowl years
Favre led the Packers to their best season in 30-years in the 1996 season, winning his second consecutive MVP award in the process. The Packers led the NFL in points scored as well as fewest points scored against. Green Bay compiled an NFL-best regular season record of 13-3, defeated the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs. The Packers advanced to Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome, a short drive from Favre's hometown.
In Super Bowl XXXI, Favre completed 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the second play of the game, Favre threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to receiver Andre Rison. Favre also completed an 81-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman in the second quarter (then a Super Bowl record). Favre rushed for 12 yards and another touchdown, as the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots, 35-21. In their 19 games of the season, the Packers had a turnover ratio of plus 24, and outscored their opponents 100-48 in the playoffs.
Favre and the Packers continued their dominance of the NFC during the next season. Favre was named co-MVP of the league along with Detroit Lions' running back Barry Sanders, his third straight award. Also, Green Bay advanced to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. After being heavily favored, the Packers lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII by the score of 31-24 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Favre completed 25 of 42 passes for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception in the losing effort.
Post Super Bowl years
Favre and the Packers continued posting positive results through the next few seasons. Through the 2004 season, the Packers had the longest streak of non-losing seasons (13) in the NFL, despite an 8-8 record under coach Ray Rhodes, a 9-7 season under coach Mike Sherman, and no playoff berths in either 1999 or 2000. The streak ended in 2005, with the Packers finishing 4-12 overall.
Favre has not had as much success in the postseason since Super Bowl XXXII; he is 2-5 in the playoffs since the 1998 season. Two of those losses were at home in the wild-card game, and they were the first postseason losses ever at Lambeau Field. Since 1998, he has recorded 149 completions on 249 attempts for 1,804 yards, with 11 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions, leaving him with a quarterback passer rating of 70.1 in the playoffs.
In March 2001, Favre signed to a "lifetime" contract with the Packers, the first in team history which also made Favre the first $100 million player in NFL history.
Favre was the target of controversy at the end of 2001 when, in the regular-season finale against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Favre rolled to his right and slid down at the feet of hard-charging Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. It was Strahan's lone sack of the game and gave him the NFL's single-season sack record of 22.5, which topped Mark Gastineau's record of 22 set in 1984. Favre claimed he had changed the play at the line of scrimmage, but the rest of the team appeared to run a different play than Favre's. The Packers were winning the game handily —and did win 34-25— and Favre's offensive line had relegated Strahan to a non-factor for most of the game. Players and fans from around the league were highly critical of the play. Mike Freeman of The New York Times wrote: "Yes, Mr. Favre, Strahan deserves the record, but please, handing it to him the way you did, as if you were throwing change into a Salvation Army bucket, is the kind of mistake Favre may never live down".
2003 Oakland Raiders performance
One of the defining moments of Favre's career, and arguably his greatest game ever, took place on December 22, 2003, in a Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders, the day after his father, Irvin, died suddenly of a heart attack while driving his car. Favre elected to play and passed for four touchdowns in the first half, and 399 yards in a 41-7 victory over the Raiders on international television (even receiving applause from the highly partisan "Raider Nation"). Afterwards, Favre said, "I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play. I love him so much and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn't expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight." He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. He then went to his father's funeral in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Favre won an ESPY Award for his Monday Night Football performance.
In the 2005 Green Bay Packers season, despite throwing for over 3,000 yards for a record 14th consecutive time, Favre had a below average season with only 20 touchdown passes and a league-leading 29 interceptions. His passer rating was 70.9, 31st in the NFL and the worst single season rating of his career. After the disappointing 2005 season, many speculated that Favre would retire. However, on April 26, 2006, Favre announced that he would remain with the team for the 2006 season. Despite earlier comments that the 2006 season would be his last, Favre announced in a press conference on May 6, 2006 that he has not ruled out the possibility of returning beyond the 2006 season.
In the 2006 Green Bay Packers season, Favre suffered his first career shutout against the Chicago Bears. Later in the season, the New England Patriots shut out the Packers in a game where Favre was injured before half time and could not complete the game. On September 24, 2006, Favre became just the second quarterback in NFL history to record 400 touchdown passes (Dan Marino being the first). He connected with rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings on a 5-yard pass that Jennings turned into a 75-yard touchdown play during a win against the Detroit Lions. He also became the first player ever to complete 5,000 passes in his career. On December 31, 2006 the Packers played their last game of the season, winning 26-7 against the Chicago Bears. It was his 22nd career win versus the Bears, moving him to an all-time record of 22-8.
On February 2, 2007, Brett Favre announced that he will return for the 2007 season. "I am so excited about coming back," the 37-year-old quarterback said to The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Mississippi. He also commented, "We have a good nucleus of young players. We were 8-8 last year, and that's encouraging."
On Sunday, December 21, 2003, Irvin Favre ran into a ditch near Kiln, Mississippi, where years earlier Brett Favre had nearly died in a car accident. Sergeant Joe Gazzo of the Mississippi Highway Patrol stated, "It didn't appear that the accident was serious enough to cause him to be unconscious, so that leads us to believe that a medical condition was what caused him to go off the road." Irvin Favre went off the road at 5:23 p.m., according to eye-witness reports, and was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m. An autopsy performed the following day showed that Irvin Favre died of a sudden heart attack.
Soon after in 2004, Favre's wife, Deanna Favre, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following aggressive treatment, she has made progress and is expected to make a complete recovery. She created The Deanna Favre Hope Foundation which supports breast cancer education and women's breast imaging and diagnosis services for all women, including those who are medically underserved.
In late August 2005, Favre's family suffered another setback: Hurricane Katrina blew through Mississippi, destroying his family's home there; however, none of his family members were injured. Brett and Deanna's home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was also damaged by the storm.
Honors and awards
- Favre has won the National Football League's Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award three times, all in consecutive years (1995, 1996, and 1997; the last shared with Barry Sanders).
- In 1999, he was ranked number 82 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. In 2005, TSN published another special feature honoring the 50 Greatest Quarterbacks. With his career statistics considerably augmented, Favre was ranked number 4, behind Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana and John Elway, and just ahead of previous Packer quarterback legend Bart Starr.
- Favre has been selected to play in the Pro Bowl eight times in his career.
- Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle declared November 29, 2004 as Brett Favre Day to honor Favre's 200th consecutive NFL regular season start. That night, the Packers defeated the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football.
- Men's Health Magazine voted Favre the "Toughest Person in America" in 2003.
- Established the 'Brett Favre Fourward Foundation’ in 1996; in conjunction with his annual golf tournament, celebrity softball game and fundraising dinners, foundation has donated more than $2 million to charities in his home state of Mississippi as well as to those in his adopted state of Wisconsin.
Records and milestones
Favre currently possesses a number of NFL records:
- Most career pass completions: 5,021
- Most seasons with 20 or more touchdown passes: 12, all consecutive (1994-2005)
- Most seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes: 8, 5 consecutive (1994-1998, 2001, 2003-2004) For perspective, only five other quarterbacks in NFL history have recorded at least two consecutive 30-touchdown passing seasons in their careers: Steve Bartkowski, Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Jeff Garcia, Y.A. Tittle.
- Most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes: 4 (1995-1997, 2003)
- Most consecutive 3,000+ yards passing seasons: 15 (1992-2006)
- Most consecutive 300+ completion seasons: 15 (1992-2006)
- Most consecutive NFL MVP awards: 3 (1995, 1996, 1997)
- Most NFL MVP awards: 3
- Most consecutive starts by a quarterback: 237 (257 including playoffs)
- Longest touchdown pass: 99 yards (to Robert Brooks, 1995)(tied with several others)
Favre continues to close in on several NFL career records. As of the end of the 2006 NFL season, Favre stands at:
- Second all-time in career passing touchdowns, with 414 (Marino, 420)
- Second all-time in career passing yards, with 57,500 (Marino, 61,361)
- Second all-time in career pass attempts, with 8,223 (Marino, 8,358)
- Second all-time in single stadium passing yards, with 25,765 (Elway, 27,889)
- Second all-time in career interceptions thrown by a quarterback, with 273 (George Blanda, 277)
- Second all-time in career regular season wins by starting quarterback, with 147 (Elway, 148; Marino, 147) 
- Third all-time in career consecutive starts by an NFL player, with 237 (Mick Tingelhoff, 240; Jim Marshall, 270) 
Considered the Iron Man of the NFL, Favre is the only NFL player to have started every game his team has played over the past 14-year period. Brett Favre is currently in first place for consecutive NFL games started by a quarterback. During the first 200 straight games started by Favre, 178 other quarterbacks started in the NFL, eleven of them being back-ups to Favre at one point.
Notes and references
- Brett Favre's stats. Databasefootball.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Mississippi Choctaw chief to speak at Brett Favre Day. Indianz.com (2004-05-07). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Brett Favre - Career Statistics. NFL.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-14.
- Sources including ESPN.com and profootballreference.com list 8,224 passing attempts.
- Favre Watch. Packers.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Brett Favre Player Page. Sports Illustrated (2007-02-07). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- D'Amato, Gary (2005-10-10). Favre was toughened by brothers, dad. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- D'Amato, Gary (2005-10-17). Favre caught on quickly in college. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Traina, Jimmy (2002-10-05). Brett Favre Timeline. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Brett Favre Biography. Wireimage.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- King, Peter (1999-08-04). Favre is changed -- and happy. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- D'Amato, Gary (2005-10-24). Trading places. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Merrill, Elizabeth (2005-10-05). So close, so Favre. The Anniston Star. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Favre's statistics at www.packers.com.
- Silverstein, Tom (2005-08-17). What, his hip? Favre reveals he has avascular necrosis. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- McGinn, Bob (2005-11-05). Year of great highs, lows. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- NFL Box Score for 9/13/1992. Databasefootball.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- McGinn, Bob (2005-10-01). Favre bursts onto the NFL scene in 1992. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- 1992 Green Bay Packers. Databasefootball.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Nickel, Lori (2005-10-08). Packers roll dice. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Silverstein, Tom (2005-10-15). Favre seizes first MVP. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- TheEditorInChief (2006-09-19). The NFL's Punitive Substance Abuse Policy. Treatmentonline.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- D'Amato, Gary (2005-10-22). Drug abuse rocks his world. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- McGinn, Bob (2005-10-29). Having the time of his life. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Silverstein, Tom (2005-12-24). Post-seasonal depression. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- NFL, NCAA, AFL Quarterback Rating Calculator. Retrieved on 2006-11-15.
- Record and Fact Book: The Definintive Source for NFL Information. NFL.com. Retrieved on 2006-11-15.
- Freeman, Mike (2002-01-13). "PRO FOOTBALL: INSIDE THE N.F.L.; Favre Was Not First To Grant Special Favor.". New York Times.
- Packers-Raiders Recap. Packers.com (2003-12-14). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Favre, Parrish, Cundiff earn NFC awards. NFL.com (2003-12-25). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- The 2004 ESPY Awards winners. ESPN.com (2003-12-25). Retrieved on 2006-12-12.
- NFL Passing Stats 2005. ESPN.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-12.
- Favre says he's leaning toward retirement. ESPN.com (2006-01-30). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Favre to play '06 season for Packers. ESPN.com (2006-04-26). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Favre, Packers shut out by Bears 26-0. NFL.com (2006-09-10). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- McGinn, Bob (2006-11-12). A painful lesson. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Braun, Rick (2006-12-27). The 400 Club: Favre joins Marino's class. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Packers' Favre to play in 2007. NFL.com (2007-02-02). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Favre to return in 2007. Packers.com (2007-02-02). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Jones, Al (2007-02-02). Favre to play in 2007. The Sun Herald. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Jones, Al (2003-12-21). Favre's Father Dies At 58. Packers.com. Associated Press. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Weisman, Larry (2005-10-19). Deanna Favre gives Green Bay another reason to cheer. USA Today. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Cancer taught Favre value of life (2006-10-24). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- D'Amato, Gary (2005-08-13). Packers feel the effects of Katrina. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Fedotin, Jeff (2005-12-14). Favre Deals With More Heartache. Packers.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Football's 100 Greatest Players. The Sporting News. Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- Most Pro Bowls, By Position. Packers.com (2006-12-20). Retrieved on 2006-12-20.
- Every Day is Brett Favre Day in Cheeseland. NFL.com (2004-12-01).
- Parkosewich, Gary (2006-10-27). Bringing Social Justice Through Sports. The Daily Campus.
- The Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Leaderboard:Completions. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- Steve Bartkowski's career stats. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Dan Fouts's career stats. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Dan Marino's career stats. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Jeff Garcia's career stats. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Y.A. Tittle's career stats. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- 1995 NFL Leaders. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- 1996 NFL Leaders. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- 1997 NFL Leaders. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- 2003 NFL Leaders. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- AP MVP winners. DatabaseFootball.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Favre extends domination of Bears. Associated Press (2002-10-09).
- NFL Game Summary - Green Bay at Philadelphia. Sportsnetwork.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-07.
- Cross, B. Duane. Favre from finished. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved on 2006-11-13.
- Brett Favre Career Stats. profootballreference.com. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
- Spofford, Mike. Notebook: Group Effort Replaces Jennings, Favre Scores Rushing TD.
- Team Record Book. Packers.com. Retrieved on 2006-12-28.
- D'Amato, Gary (2004-11-28). 200 reasons to admire Favre. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.