Last night, Brett Favre was left inactive for the first time since he was named the starter in Green Bay back in 1992. I'm wiling to bet that several of you readers weren't even alive when that streak started, or if you were you're daily routine likely involved crapping your diapers and having Gerber fed to you.
297 straight starts.
For me, this stat blows away any number of Super Bowls a quarterback has 'won.' Say whatever you want about Brett Favre, the person. As a football player, he was one of the greatest of all time.
The new NFL iron man is our own #18, Peyton Manning. He has started 205 straight games for the Indianapolis Colts. From the first game of his first year in the league up until now, Peyton has started. To break Favre's record, you have to figure that Peyton will need to play for six more seasons, meaning he would hang up the cleats at age 40.
Probably more amazing than Peyton's current streak is Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber. He's at 179 straight. Considering Barber plays corner in a Tampa-2 system, which requires corners to tackle, 179 straight games is nothing sort of a miracle. Just ask Jerraud Powers (broken forearm).
With Favre streak ended, and with the numbness in his shoulder making his hand look purple, it's likely old #4 will get shutdown for the reminder of the season. This means his career is likely over, and with it the end of an era. It was during Favre's emergence in this league that I started watching football. I cheered watching the Packers win their Super Bowl over the Patriots in 1997. Favre was a pleasure to watch by the game. While media hype and all-too-true mechanisms behind an industry geared to build up and then tear down athletes did indeed take some of the luster off his career, the fact reminds that he was a dominant NFL quarterback.
If you had Favre on your team, you had a chance to win because the man could be counted on every. single. Sunday.