To further put the streak in perspective, baseball players Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig were the only other athletes in major sports history to start every game for one team over a span of 12 or more seasons, according to the NFL.
Ripken started 2,632 consecutive games for the Baltimore Orioles from 1982-’98 and Gehrig started every game for the New York Yankees from 1925-’39.
Favre also credits his unorthodox style for helping him avoid the debilitating injury that would bring his streak to an end. His late father, Irvin, who coached him at Hancock North Central High School in Kiln, Miss., didn’t much believe in the passing game and never bothered to teach Brett the fundamentals for playing quarterback.
“I was never taught mechanics. My dad was a running football coach,” Favre said. “I’d say, ‘What about throwing it, Dad?’ He’d say, ‘Get your ass in there and worry about blocking right now.’ That’s the coaching pointers I got.
“So I probably escaped a lot of injuries by throwing with both feet off the ground, by backpedaling when I was throwing, by leaving the pocket when I was throwing, things you’re not supposed to do.”
When the end does come, Favre will be at or near the top of nearly every major career passing statistic.
But he doesn’t want to be remembered for touchdowns or yards or even the consecutive games streak.
“I’m very proud of the fact that I have remained the same person,” he said. “In my mind, the best way to be remembered is, I could see a man sitting in the stands with his son and he turns and says, ‘Son, if I was able to play the game, that’s the way I would play it.’
“Whether you like me or not, whether you’re pulling for my team or not, I would like Joe Blow who works at the gas station to say, ‘I can’t help but appreciate the way that guy plays.’ ”
It will be a sad, sad day in Wisconsin in Brett Favre retires. We should definitely value each game from now until then as The Time When Football Was Good in Wisconsin.