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What Brett Meant To Me

1980 was the first year I was a Packer fan. The Packers finished 8-8 in four of the following five seasons, only making the playoffs in the strike shortened season of 1981. Still, 1981 was a big deal because it was their only playoff appearance between 1972 and 1993. Their best record during that time was 10-6 in 1989. Basically the Packers were bad-to-average, rarely a playoff team, and never very good.

The late 1980s and early 1990s were the worst. Usually Randy Wright or Don Majkowski started at QB, but the Packers tried out a whole bunch of washed up and failed QBs like Jim Zorn, Vince Ferragamo, Marc Wilson, and Mike Tomczak. Wilson was such a bust, when free agency was in it's infancy he was a Plan B signing, that although he was signed to be the starting QB, he didn't even make the team out of training camp. The quarterback position was never settled during that time.

When Favre first stepped on the field to replace an injured Majkowski in 1992, it was promising but not necessarily the dawn of a new era. Majkowski was a promising young QB in 1989 who went to a Pro Bowl and then turned into a one-hit, injury prone wonder, and there was nothing stopping Favre from heading down the road of unfulfilled promise too. The turning point was the playoff win at Detroit in 1993. Favre had a down year, but the Packers' 9-7 record that wasn't good enough in 1992 made the playoffs in 1993. Unfortunately they had to travel to Detroit, where they had just lost the week before, and play a very good Lions team. It looked like another loss, but Favre connected with Sterling Sharpe on a deep TD pass down the sidelines in the final minutes to win.

It was the first real success the Packers had in all the years I had followed them, and Favre was the leader of it. He had a lot of help from GM Ron Wolf, head coach Mike Holmgren, and the great Reggie White, but all the winning in the 1990s wouldn't have been possible without Favre. He lead them to two Super Bowls which a part of me believed could never happen. I had thought those Packer victories in Super Bowl I and II were just history, not something that could ever be done again.

Sometimes it is lost in his amazing streak of consecutive games played how valuable stability is. Knowing every week that the quarterback had the potential to have a great game was such a relief after those few seasons before Favre when you hoped that the starting QB for that week would at least have an average game.

I don't care if he was the greatest quarterback of all time. I don't care if he was overrated. A lot of authors on the web are probably gushing about his greatness or ripping him apart just because they want some attention to their article or post. He was always great to just above average every season, and if you look closely at the stats of any Hall of Fame quarterback you probably can find something to criticize.

It was an amazing career and he did it all (almost) with my favorite team. Thanks Brett.