Gunslinger throws another interception
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider senior editor
~Packer fans loved Brett Favre. Since he took over in 1992 from the Majik Man, til his emotional retirement press conference in the winter of 2007-08, fans lived and died with the gunslinger.
He had many fantastic finishes. In regular seasons that is.
But playoffs? That was another story, as older Packer fans can attest to with the wounds still in their hearts.
His biggest failure may have been when he failed to lead the team on the final drive in Super Bowl XXXII against Denver, where his last pass was a force to the covered Mark Chmura, and his earlier interception proved fatal.
Or perhaps you most remember his playoff game in St Louis in which he threw six interceptions, including three pick-6 touchdowns. You thought Romo serving up two pick-6’s last week to Detroit was bad. Favre beat that, plus threw in three more interceptions.
Maybe you still remember Favre freezing up against Atlanta, in handing the Packers their first ever home playoff loss, to the still-wild Michael Vick and his Falcons. The Packers were an 8-point favorite that game.
No? How about a few years later in the playoff loss at Philadelphia? Sure, the Packers defense blew that game on the famous (infamous) 4th & 26 play of McNabb to Freddie X. But that only forced overtime. In overtime, the Packers and their sensational running game got the ball first and figured to pound the ball into field goal range behind 1800-yard rusher Ahman Green.
The Packers running game had already accumulated over 200 yards against the soft Eagles front 7. But Favre had other ideas. The Gunslinger decided to throw up a Hail Mary-like prayer bomb on the first play of overtime, to Javon Walker. When Walker saw Eagles safety Brian Dawkins playing 20 yards deep, he ran the alternate route.
Favre didn’t care because he wanted to be the Gunslinger Hero and wasn’t going to let anything change his plan. So he fired it up and Brian Dawkins basically received a punt, and setup the game-winning, season-losing field goal.
That was the season the Packers could have won the Super Bowl as the Eagles then lost at Carolina in the NFC Championship game, where the Packers would have probably won. Well, not necessarily won because Favre could have thrown that one away too. But the Packers were better than those Panthers.
If that playoff heartbreak didn’t finish off your heart, then the 2007 NFC Championship loss, again at home, again in overtime, against Eli Manning’s Giants surely did.
Enough about the on-field playoff failures of the Gunslinger (of course, he added one more amazing choke-job, heart-breaker to the Viking nation).
Favre’s comments about Aaron Rodgers have been ripped apart for what they are: a backhanded slap at Aaron.
He’s still a media-whore, who loves to get his name on the scrolling ticker. Of course, he didn’t send those filthy texts to Jen Sturger to get headlines, but he does go out of his way to get headlines. He always has.
He claims Rodgers should have won a Super Bowl earlier.”I’m going to be honest, I was not surprised,” Favre said. “The biggest surprise to me would be that he didn’t do it sooner.”
Sooner? Rodgers won his Super Bowl in his third season starting. Favre took five years to win his one and only, which was thanks to MVP Desmond Howard and MVP-runner-up Reggie White, in that Super Bowl win over New England.
“I could see the talent pool across the board was outstanding,” Favre said. “Now our season (2007) kind of ended up being a reflection of that. We came close, and I think we took a lot of people by surprise, but guys emerged rather quickly.”
“And I’d like to think that he watched, he learned, he’s very bright and he got a chance to watch and see successful teams do it right. And so he just kind of fell into a good situation. So I’m really kind of surprised it took him so long.”
So Favre wants to take credit for Rodgers’ success now?
What did Rodgers learn from Favre? How to choke away a game, a Super Bowl, in the playoffs?
That may have rubbed off on Rodgers because in Rodgers first playoff game, in his second season starting (2009), Rodgers did fumble away the playoff game in overtime at Arizona, to lose it in Favre-fashion: gut-wrenching.
But Rodgers quickly “unlearned” that, and his next season, well, we all saw what happened. Rodgers did something the Gunslinger never did, and never will: win a Super Bowl MVP and carry the team through the playoffs to glory.
Today, we in the media asked Rodgers for his comments on the matter.
Notice the difference in class.
Rodgers said, “You know what, I’m just, the only thing I want to say is I’m just really proud of our guys and what our team did last season. It was a great accomplishment. It took all 53 of those guys and obviously it got the attention of a lot of people and we’re proud of the fact that we achieved the ultimate goal as a team.”
Yes, Favre may be sitting on his couch in Mississippi, but he’s still able to throw pick-6’s. Fortunately, this one didn’t break any Packer fans hearts. And this one was returned for a touchdown by the reigning King, Aaron Rodgers. And he didn’t spike the ball in spite. He handled it with pure class. Again.