GREEN BAY – For all the drama in his career, there was no drama with this one.
As expected from the moment he retired five years ago, former Packers quarterback Brett Favre was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016 inductees on Saturday.
“It is an incredible honor,” Favre said. “I always loved playing the game of football and never dreamed that it would have resulted in all of this. I just went out there and had fun because that’s what football is to me.”
This summer, Favre will become the 24th individual from the Packers to be enshrined in Canton, and the third in the last four years, joining Lombardi-era linebacker Dave Robinson (2013) and former general manager Ron Wolf (2015), the executive who traded for Favre and brought him to Green Bay in 1992 from Atlanta.
“When I traded for Brett Favre I thought he would be sensational,” said Wolf, who surrendered a first-round draft pick to the Falcons. “He became incomparable.”
At the time, the trade was bold and controversial at best, questioned and borderline ridiculed at worst, given that Favre was a third-string QB. Packers Chairman Emeritus Bob Harlan put it in perspective.
“It turned out to be the best trade in Packers history and maybe one of the top trades in the history of the National Football League,” Harlan said.
Check out photos from Saturday night's annual award show, featuring several present and former Packers. Photos by AP Images.
A second-round pick of the Falcons in 1991, Favre played 16 seasons for the Packers (1992-2007) before finishing his career with the Jets (2008) and Vikings (2009-10). Players must be retired for five years before being eligible for Hall of Fame induction, so this is Favre’s first eligible year.
Not including the Hall’s charter members in 1963, Favre is the fifth Packers player to be inducted on the first ballot, joining Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg in 1977, Ray Nitschke in 1978 and Reggie White in 2006.
Favre is the 74th first-ballot Hall of Famer overall and the only one in this year's class. Including quarterback-kicker George Blanda, Favre is the 14th QB to go into the Hall on the first ballot and the first in a full decade, since Troy Aikman and Warren Moon in 2006. The first of the 14 first-ballot QBs was Starr in ’77.
With Green Bay, Favre became the first three-time NFL most valuable player, winning the award three straight years (1995-97). During that time, he also led the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI following the 1996 season. It was Green Bay’s first NFL title in 29 years, dating back to the Lombardi era.
“They say that old Yankee Stadium was the house that Ruth built,” Wolf said. “Well, the Lambeau Field reconstruction was the house that Favre built.”
Favre retired with virtually every major NFL career passing record. In the intervening five years, his records for TD passes and passing yards have been surpassed by Peyton Manning, who will be playing in his fourth career Super Bowl on Sunday for Denver.
Regarding his many records, Favre is best known for – and has said he’s most proud of – his streak of consecutive games started.
For Green Bay, he started 253 consecutive games, 275 including playoffs. By his final season in the NFL, he had extended that record streak to 297 consecutive games, 321 including playoffs. Favre called it “a blessing to be able to play the game for so long.”
Last summer, Favre became the first player in team history to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and have his jersey number retired at the same time. Four months later, on Thanksgiving night, Favre’s No. 4 was unveiled on Lambeau Field north end zone façade, joining the franchise’s other five retired numbers.
Packers General Manager Ted Thompson referred to Favre as “a once in a generation type of player,” and Head Coach Mike McCarthy called it “another incredible and well-deserved honor.”
“He belongs among the greatest players in the history of the game,” McCarthy said.
Packers in Pro Football Hall of Fame
Name (year of induction)
Curly Lambeau (’63)
Cal Hubbard (’63)
Don Hutson (’63)
Johnny Blood (’63)
Clarke Hinkle (’64)
Mike Michalske (’64)
Arnie Herber (’66)
Vince Lombardi (’71)
Tony Canadeo (’74)
Jim Taylor (’76)Forrest Gregg (’77)Bart Starr (’77)Ray Nitschke (’78)
Herb Adderley (’80)
Willie Davis (’81)
Jim Ringo (’81)
Paul Hornung (’86)
Willie Wood (’89)
Henry Jordan (’95)
James Lofton (’03)Reggie White (’06)
Dave Robinson (’13)
Ron Wolf (’15)Brett Favre (’16)
(Bold = first-ballot selection)
QBs elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame on first ballot
Name (year of induction)
Bart Starr (’77)
Johnny Unitas (’79)
George Blanda (QB/K) (’81)
Roger Staubach (’85)
Terry Bradshaw (’89)
Dan Fouts (’93)
Joe Montana (’00)
Jim Kelly (’02)
John Elway (’04)
Dan Marino (’05)
Steve Young (’05)
Troy Aikman (’06)
Warren Moon (’06)
Brett Favre (’16)