Join Date: May 2004
Brett Favre:Hurts so good
The quarterback famous for his intestinal fortitude is missing 30 inches of his intestines as the result of a car crash in 1990.
The icon who will make his 252nd consecutive regular-season start today against the Bears at Soldier Field flunked his physical after his trade from the Atlanta Falcons to the Green Bay Packers in 1992.
That a quarterback is threatening to break the all-time record for consecutive games played is astounding enough, given the nature of the position. That that quarterback is Brett Favre is more astonishing, considering how unlikely a candidate to break a longevity record he seemed to be when the streak began.
''They thought he had a hip problem that would curtail his longevity,'' former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said of team doctors. ''Obviously, they were incorrect.''
The Bears thought they had rid themselves of their longtime nemesis when he posed for pictures and shed tears after the Packers' 26-7 demolition of Lovie Smith's halfhearted crew in the regular-season finale last season. Leave it to Favre to turn New Year's Eve into April Fools' Day. Not only is he back, but he is the primary reason the Packers have done what few thought possible -- supplant the Bears as the dominant team in the NFC North.
The most amazing thing about the man who will retire with virtually every major passing record has nothing to do with throwing a pass. Favre's consecutive-games streak is second only to that of former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall's record of 270 (282, including postseason) and likely will be remembered as a landmark achievement in NFL history.
Four hundred quarterbacks have played in the NFL since Favre's streak began in the fourth game of the 1992 season. The Bears have used 21 starters during that span, none of whom has been the answer to their perpetual quarterback dilemma.
The Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans didn't even exist in 1992. The Bulls had just won their second NBA title. The Blackhawks had played in the Stanley Cup finals at Chicago Stadium the year the streak began.
''If anybody gets close to it, it would be a guy like Brett Favre,'' Marshall said. ''He's one of the best and most durable quarterbacks to have ever played the game. I hope he stays around a couple of more years and breaks my record because I have a lot of admiration for that guy.''
We're used to thinking of Favre as an ironman now, but that didn't appear to be the case when Wolf acquired him from the Falcons.
The car wreck in 1990 put not only his football career in jeopardy, but his life, too. He suffered a concussion, lacerations and cracked vertebrae. He led Southern Miss to an upset of Alabama eight weeks after a portion of his intestines was removed as a result of complications.
After the trade, Packers team doctors diagnosed Favre with a disorder that results in a lack of blood supply to the hip and sometimes results in replacement surgery. The doctors said the disorder could shorten his career dramatically.