For many who grew up watching the NFL in the 1990s and 2000s, Brett Favre is the veritable face of the Green Bay Packers. And this Thanksgiving, the Packers will cement the legendary quarterback’s legacy by retiring his jersey on what is traditionally considered one of the biggest nights in football. Despite not ending his career on the Packers’ roster, there is hardly a player in recent memory more deserving of having his jersey placed among the legends at Lambeau Field.
Consistency and dominance characterized Favre’s career with the Packers, and it did not take the quarterback very long to begin his winning ways. After being traded from the Atlanta Falcons in February of 1992, Favre became the starter in Green Bay just four games into the 1992 campaign due to an injury to the Packers’ first-string quarterback, Don Majkowski. It didn’t take long for Favre to make an impression, and he would not only start the entire rest of the 1992 season for the Packers but started for Green Bay in every game up to the 2008 season. This stint would become part of Favre’s NFL record of 297 consecutive starts, which included his time with the New York Jets (2008) and the Minnesota Vikings (2009 and 2010).
Although Favre’s first couple of performances were lackluster, he quickly turned the team around and ended up leading the Packers to a six-game winning streak in his first season, their longest streak since 1965. Favre made the Pro Bowl that season and in the next season, would lead Green Bay to its first berth in the playoffs since 1982. With Favre at the helm for the 1994 season, the Packers achieved an accomplishment they had not done so since Vince Lombardi was the coach in Green Bay – earning back to back playoff spots.
Over the next several years, Favre would establish himself as a premier quarterback in the NFL. Favre won the MVP award in 1995 and 1996, leading the Packers to win the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots in the latter year. Favre’s 81-yard connection with Antonio Freeman set the record at the time for the longest Super Bowl catch in NFL history.
The following season, Favre won the MVP award again and the Packers returned to the Super Bowl, but they were defeated by just one touchdown by the Denver Broncos. Favre continued his success up until 2008, when on March 4, Favre announced his retirement. However, Favre returned to the NFL with the New York Jets in 2008 and then signed with the Minnesota Vikings for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. He officially retired on January 17, 2011.
Although some fans did not agree with his decision to dress for any team other than the Packers following his first retirement, there will surely be no hard feelings when Green Bay and the rest of the NFL watch his jersey retirement ceremony on Thanksgiving 2015.