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Sam Farmer / ON THE NFL

Favre's Exemplary Journey

November 26, 2004|Sam Farmer

"[Sports were] all we knew. I look back -- and in some ways I wouldn't trade it for anything -- but it was almost sad that that's all we talked about. When we'd sit at the table and eat, that's what we'd talk about. When Saturdays and Sundays would come around -- he coached Friday night football before we went to college -- we'd get up, and after we'd work out in the yard, then we'd all have this big football game or baseball game, whatever was in season. That's all I knew. And it's unfortunate that he's not going to be able to see the end of my career. At least he got to see the better part of it."

Favre likes to say he is anything but a textbook passer. His form, he said, is about as unsound as it can be. But it also helped him last this long.

"I was never taught mechanics," he said. "My dad was a running football coach. I'd say, 'What about throwing, Dad?' and he'd say, 'Hey, get your ... in there and worry about blocking right now.' Those were the coaching points that I got.

"I probably escaped a lot of injuries by throwing with both feet off the ground, by backpedaling when I'm throwing, by leaving the pocket when I'm throwing. I've never, ever been concerned about injury. I know that sounds crazy, but if I'm asked to block, I'll block. There's times when Ahman [Green] breaks to the backside of something, and I have a split-second decision to make and I'll block.

"If you play not to get hurt, then there's a good chance you'll get hurt. If teams play not to lose, more than likely something bad's going to happen. I've always played the game to win, and the only thing I can control is trying to lead the team to victory. Not, what if I get hit from the backside, or protecting my knees, or whatever."

So how much longer will he last? When will he walk away from the game? He doesn't know, and he's tired of talking about it. The speculation, he said, "has taken on a life of its own." But he does know how he wants to be remembered.

"In my mind," he said, "the best way to be remembered is I can see a man and his son sitting in the stands, or anyone saying, 'If I was able to play the game, that's the way I would play it.' Whether you like me or not, whether you're pulling for my team or the opposing team, they say, 'I can't help but appreciate the way that guy plays.' "

Superhuman and very human, all at once.

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Better With Age

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In his 13th season as a full-time starter, Brett Favre is on pace to surpass Dan Marino, John Elway and Joe Montana at the same point of their careers in the following categories:

*--* PLAYER COM PCT YDS PG TD/INT RTG Brett Favre* 64.9 262.6 30/18 92.7 Dan Marino 64.1 262.0 24/15 90.8 John Elway 58.3 248.1 26/14 86.4 Joe Montana 60.6 234.4 16/9 83.6

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* Projected statistics Source: STATS, Inc.

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