Favre was the greatest of all time | NevadaAppeal.com
YOUR AD HERE »

Favre was the greatest of all time

JOE SANTORO

Sports fodder for a Friday morning . . .

If you watched Brett Favre’s retirement press conference Thursday with dry eyes, well, you might want to go see a doctor. All of Favre’s passion and love for the game came flowing out. You just knew that Thursday’s press conference was going to be difficult for Favre. This was a guy who never wanted to sit out a single play, let alone walk away from the game. Favre during his career was all of sports’ greatest cliches come to life. He was a true warrior, a fierce competitor, the ultimate teammate and a guy who played with reckless abandon. When you take into consideration everything that goes into playing quarterback in the NFL, Favre simply has to be considered the greatest to ever play the position. He has all the records. He was one of the greatest leaders to ever play a team sport. The NFL is not the same this morning because Favre is no longer a Green Bay Packer.

•••

It was the right time for Favre to retire. His last game was the NFC Championship game. He was one of the best quarterbacks in the league in his final season. He played as well in his 17th season as he did in any other season. No other quarterback in history can say the same. But would it surprise you if Favre slips on a jersey sometime next season? Of course not. Retirement is not going to be easy for Favre. You can only do some much hunting and fishing.

•••

Warren Sapp, who also retired this week, and Favre will become eligible for the Hall of Fame the same year. Sapp, who had 96 1/2 sacks in his career – a remarkable number for a defensive tackle – is also a sure Hall of Famer. Can you imagine the party that weekend when Favre and Sapp are inducted into Canton’s shrine at the same time?

•••

Who will be the next Favre? Well, Tony Romo plays a similar style. Peyton Manning has the ability and character. Tom Brady is certainly good enough. But he’s a pretty boy who dates supermodels. That wasn’t Favre. Favre was a guy who would be just as comfortable playing with a leather helmet and would cut off his left arm to get away from a defensive end just to throw a screen pass. See? The legend is already growing.

•••

What, exactly, are the Oakland Raiders doing this off-season? First, there were the rumors that Al Davis wanted head coach Lane Kiffin to resign. And now they sign a couple of guys – wide receiver Javon Walker and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly – who were injured for much of last year to big-money, long-term contracts. They also let defensive end Chris Clemens and wide receiver Jerry Porter escape via free agency. The chaos continues in Oakland.

•••

No matter what happens Saturday night in Fresno or next week in Las Cruces, N.M., this has been a successful season for the Wolf Pack basketball team. Don’t forget that this was a team that had to play a freshman at point guard. Don’t forget that a big piece to the puzzle this year – Demarshay Johnson – missed all of last season. Don’t forget that the team had to replace its top scoring threat (Nick Fazekas) and point guard (Ramon Sessions). Don’t forget that Brandon Fields, Javale McGee and Matt LaGrone averaged just 24.5 minutes a game combined last year as wet-behind-the-ears freshmen. The NCAA Tournament is still a possibility but don’t be at all disappointed if this team is in the NIT in a few weeks.

•••

Is McGee ready for the NBA right now? Of course not. And here’s hoping he comes back to the Pack for his junior season. But in the NBA draft, it doesn’t really matter if you are ready to play in the league. In the NBA it only matters if a team will draft you in the first round. And when you are seven feet tall, can jump over Lawlor Events Center with arms as tall as Mount Rose, well, you are always ready. McGee, though, might turn out to be a lottery pick by the end of next season.

•••

Now that Favre is gone, the NFC North has quite possibly the worst collection of starting quarterbacks for one division in the history of the league. Get a load of this list of golden arms: Rex Grossman (Bears), Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Tarvaris Jackson (Vikings) and Jon Kitna (Lions). And there is really only one great running back (the Vikes’ Adrian Peterson) in the division. Welcome to the worst division in the NFL.

•••

Bobby Knight as an ESPN analyst is sure going to be interesting. And you just know that a four-letter word or two or six will slip out now and then. But, hey, it’s cable. Anything that cuts into the air time of Dick Vitale and Digger Phelps is a good thing.

•••

Let’s hope college baseball revisits its new rule of starting the schedule in late February instead of late January. Forcing schools to play a ton of doubleheaders is ridiculous. Forcing schools to play five and six games a week, just so they can play a full regular-season schedule by late May, is a joke. Why go out of your way to put so much stress on the arms of young pitchers? It just makes college baseball as a whole even less desirable for young pitchers. College baseball, especially since major league teams started throwing around six and seven-figure bonuses to high school seniors, has never had enough pitching to go around. Why emphasize the worst thing about your sport?