Greatest Record In Sports
By: Braden Gall | 12/14/10, 10:27 AM EST
It is the single greatest record in sports, and now, its over.
For the first time since Sept. 6, 1992, the NFL played a regular season week without Brett Favre taking a snap (bye weeks aside, of course).
That is 297 consecutive regular season starts over 19 years, all while playing the single most demanding position, in the most physically demanding professional American sport. If playoff games are included, the streak actually reaches 321.
Favre has endured everything from his father's passing, his wife's cancer, a prescription drug incident, shoulder, wrist, ankle, bicep, and most certainly, head injuries along the way. And every weekend, he answered the call for his team.
There are a lot of great records out there, but none can match the difficulty, success level and pain threshold that Favre displayed.
Cal Ripken's 2,632 games played is remarkable. However, even as a self-proclaimed baseball lover, I recognize that for 90 percent of those games Ripken was largely standing around — in the dugout, on the left side of diamond, on a base, in the batter's box. Although, few ever have stood around like Ripken.
Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak is amazing. Tiger Woods' four straight majors is nearly unprecedented. Byron Nelson's 11 straight PGA Tour wins will be hard to eclipse. UCLA's seven straight National titles from 1966 to 1973 is unmatched (10 out of 12 ain't bad either). Wayne Gretzky tallied a point in 51 straight NHL games. Other names like Johnny Vander Meer, Alexander Karelin and Anson Dorrance (that's right, I went women's soccer on you) have accmplished amazing feats as well.
There are plenty of unbelievable records out there. None match Favre's though.
To put in perspective, Ron Jaworski had the previous consecutive starts streak at 116. Favre nearly tripled the old record. Furthermore, Peyton Manning is now the current active streak holder, and would have easily topped Jaws for the record had Favre never existed. Manning has started 205 straight games in roughly 13 years of action. He would need to start nearly six more full seasons to reach the record. Strangely enough, Eli Manning is now second with 100 straight starts.
It wasn't just that Favre showed up, however. He is the NFL's all-time leader in completions with 6,295. Dan Marino is second with 4,967. He is the all-time leader in attempts with 10,162. Marino is second with 8,358. Favre is the all-time leader in yards with 71,775 passing yards. Marino's (see a theme here?) 61,361 is a distant No. 2. Favre is the all-time leader in passing TDs with 507. The once untouchable 420 of Marino now seems a distant memory.
Of course, the 335 interceptions top the charts as well. But a Brett Favre who throws it away when rolling to his left on third down is a boring imitation of the real thing.
Most importantly, no one has ever won more NFL games as a starting quarterback than Favre. Toss in two trips to the Super Bowl and one World Championship and NFL fans got to watch one of the greatest to ever live play at a the highest level for nearly two full decades.
But we may never see No. 4 take a snap again.
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