Brett Favre retired yesterday.
I think just about every football fan would rank Favre among the greatest of all time. The only reason I put Joe Montana in front of Favre as the #1 all-time is because Montana has 4 rings. Favre only 1. Yes, there are other QB's with more rings than Favre, but for my money - when you look at the entire package (records, leadership, big plays, comebacks and Super Bowls), Favre and Montana rank above all the others.
What sets Favre apart for me (besides the records, including that he didn't miss one game in 16 years) is the enjoyment factor. There's something about watching someone perform who's enjoying themselves like a 7 year old kid that wins you over. That was Favre. There are alot of superstars in all the major sports that when you watch them, it doesn't appear fun...all business. No, Favre didn't smile all the time but for the 16 years that he played...he made it possible to be 12 years old in the back yard again dreaming of throwing the winning touchdown (including 38 year olds).
The other Favre factor for me was his transparency and authenticity. Favre played in an era of Peyton Mannings, Tom Bradys, Troy Aikmans. Guys who make sure they say the right thing and look the right way. Always dressed in Armani and always prepared with a cookie cutter answer. Favre? T-shirt and wranglers...always stumbling over his words trying to honestly answer the question being asked.
In an increasingly "packaged" sports society, where image is everything and guys are coached on how to "play the part" of the superstar, Favre's retirement leaves a hole that may never be filled. Favre truly was one of a kind.
Kleenex available upon request...
Have a great Wednesday.