A Tribute To My Hero, Brett Favre
I sit here in my recliner, heartbroken and dejected after yet another dramatic and painful Brett Favre comeback that falls short by one play. Tonight, the Green Bay Packers traveled to Carolina for a Monday Night Football matchup. Going in to the game, I had the feeling that we may see some Favre-magic tonight. If you've seen him play then you know what magic I'm referring to. The Packers were 0-3 going in to the game against a 1-2 team whom many bandwagoners predicted to go to the Super Bowl this year. Favre always performs well on MNF and he is hungry for a win like never before. Never in his career (which he has not missed a game since 1992) has he started out 0-3. After a rough first half full of Green Bay injuries, the Panthers were up 23-7, and then went up 26-7 midway through the 3rd quarter. Then something happened. Something a defensive player should never do. A defensive lineman got to Favre right after he unleashed a pass, and tweaked Favre's ankle enough to make him cringe and limp. Those who weren't familiar with Favre would have thought he'd gingerly limp to the sideline for at least a play or two. I knew better. I immediately made the comment to my wife - "He's about to throw a touchdown, watch this." Favre didn't go to the sideline, he gathered his team back up for another huddle and gave them their instructions for the next play. The pocket collapsed behind him and a huge hole opened up, and on his freshly twisted ankle, Favre scrambled 12 yards for a first down. Three plays later, he hit Donald Driver in the end zone for a 26 yard TD pass! It was no surprise to me, but just like Favre does when he scores, I couldn't help get giddy, and I couldn't help but smirk at the Panthers, knowing full well what was probably about to happen.
Favre is THE ULTIMATE competitor. You see, when Brett is hurt, mad, or emotionally distressed, something from deep within gives him the ability to overcome physical and emotional pain and he becomes a maniac on the field. Looking back just over the last year and a half alone, we see this time after time. Literally the day after his father passes away, he goes crazy on MNF and leads his team to victory, completing some 4-5 TDs and throwing for some 400 yards, give or take. A short time later, his brother-in-law was tragically killed in an ATV accident, and a week after that his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. How did Favre respond? He turned a 1-4 Packer team into division champions and playoff contenders. Most recently, his parents' house was completely washed up in the aftermath of Katrina. So far this year, 6 points is all that separates them from being 3-1 instead of 0-4.
Tonight, after the third quarter Donald Driver TD mentioned above (which gave me my 4th win in fantasy football!), that started a comeback, down from 19 points. However, with a minute left to play in the game, Panthers only leading 32-29, Donald Driver misses a short pass that would convert a 4th down around the Carolina 35 yard line. Worst case scenario, with that first down, they could kick a field goal and send it to overtime. But, no such luck. My stomach is still sick from this defeat. They have lost the last 3 games by 3pts, 1pt, and 2pts, respectively.
Even the naysayers said before preseason that offseason player movements made Green Bay a weaker team, but I sure didn't jump on that bandwagon. Sure, they lost a few good players, but you can never take anything away from that Favre-magic. Even with the loss of his primary receiver, Javon Walker, and the 4 key players that were injured tonight, even with the makeshift line and backup players, he still lead his team to a near comeback win over the team that so many have proclaimed to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this year. But, I know it makes his job a lot more difficult, and admittedly, a weaker team, but I will never count the ol' beat up Packers out of any game. Bring on Indianapolis, San Diego, Pittsburgh...because with Favre, truly anything can happen.
I know you people who don't care about football or Favre just think this is another boring ol' blog by Kirk, but at least it's not about economics or work, right? I know you may think I'm just fantasizing about some football character whom I over-sensationalize...but ask me if I care. HA! Everybody should have a hero, and Brett Favre is mine. After the game tonight, there were more Panthers (including the Panther coach) than Packers that hugged Favre and congratulated him on his performance and professionalism, and unbelievable determination to not give up, almost winning what would have been one of his greatest comebacks ever. I have never talked to anyone who didn't like Brett Favre. You just have to like him. When his wife was going through chemo treatment, he shaved his head to be like her. You can see it in his eyes that he loves what he does, and you can see it in his team and opponents how much everyone respects him. I recall one game several years ago that he got tackled and dislocated his finger. He ran to the sidelines, gave his hand to the medical staff and turned his head while they yanked his finger back into place - and then he immediately went back in the game and played the rest of the game! Last year he suffered a concussion and the coach took him out, not knowing he had a concussion yet. A few plays later, Favre convinced his coach that he was ok and he went back in the game and immediately threw a touchdown. Unbelievable.
I will wrap this tribute to Brett Favre up now. I just have to voice my feelings after such a dramatic loss. Favre, you still rock! The silver lining is that Green Bay happens to be in a weak division, and even at 0-4, they're only 1 game behind the division leader! HA! I'm not giving up on Favre and the Packers.
Brett Favre. Resilient. Focused. Family-centered. God Loving. Determined. Persevering. Self-confident. Uplifting. Encouraging. Competitor. Winner. Champion. My hero.
Posted by Kirk Wimberley at 10/03/2005 10:55:00 PM