*The Winningest Quarterback of All Time Is the Fourth
Pro Football Player Honored Since the Award's Inception in 1954*
Packers quarterback Brett Favre, the NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes and victories under center, has been chosen as the 2007 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. The award, given annually by the magazine to the athlete who best symbolizes in character and performance the ideals of sportsmanship, was announced by SI Group Editor Terry McDonell.
The Sportsman of the Year issue, dated Dec. 10, will hit newsstands Wednesday, Dec. 5. A tribute to Favre, including exclusive video segments, galleries of past Sportsman covers and My Sportsman nominations from dozens of SI writers, will be featured on www.SI.com/sportsman. Favre will receive the Sportsman of the Year award, a sterling silver trophy crafted by Tiffany & Co., at a party in his honor in New York City Tuesday evening.
"Brett is a great winner, but this award recognizes much more than winning," said McDonell. "It recognizes performance off the field equally and celebrates the love of the game. Brett is having an astounding year on every level."
This season, Favre has completed 296 of 439 passes (67.4 percent) for 3,412 yards and 22 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He is on pace to set career highs in completions, completion percentage and yards. His current quarterback rating of 97.9 would be the second-highest single-season mark in his career.
In this week's cover story, SI senior writer Alan Shipnuck talks with Favre about leadership and Favre states, "It's somehow getting 52 other guys to raise their level of play. To get them to believe in what we're trying to do. You do that by setting an example, by doing things the right way. I've always shown up, I've always been prepared, I practice every day. I practice hard. I study. No matter what happens on the field, I never point blame at anybody else. Everything I do comes back to leadership, the example I want to set."
Favre has started 249 consecutive games, the longest streak ever by an NFL quarterback. This season, his 16th in Green Bay, he tied Bart Starr for most seasons in a Packers uniform. He also broke Dan Marino's career records for touchdown passes and pass attempts, as well as John Elway's record for career victories by a quarterback. With 60,912 passing yards, Farve should soon surpass Marino's career record of 61,361.
Favre's Sportsman credentials include an impressive history of philanthropy. In 1996, Favre established the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation, which has donated more than $4 million to charities in Wisconsin and his home state of Mississippi, including $1 million raised to assist Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties on Mississippi's Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Favre is the fourth NFL player to be named Sportsman, and all have been quarterbacks: Terry Bradshaw (1979, with Willie Stargell), Joe Montana (1990) and Tom Brady (2005) were the others. Favre is the first Green Bay Packers player to earn the honor.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SPORTSMEN AND SPORTSWOMEN OF THE YEAR
*1954 ROGER BANNISTER, TRACK
1955 JOHNNY PODRES, BASEBALL
1956 BOBBY MORROW, TRACK
1957 STAN MUSIAL, BASEBALL
1958 RAFER JOHNSON, TRACK
1959 INGEMAR JOHANSSON, BOXING
1960 ARNOLD PALMER, GOLF
1961 JERRY LUCAS, COLLEGE BASKETBALL
1962 TERRY BAKER, COLLEGE FOOTBALL
1963 PETE ROZELLE, PRO FOOTBALL
1964 KEN VENTURI, GOLF
1965 SANDY KOUFAX, BASEBALL
1966 JIM RYUN, TRACK
1967 CARL YASTRZEMSKI, BASEBALL
1968 BILL RUSSELL, PRO BASKETBALL
1969 TOM SEAVER, BASEBALL
1970 BOBBY ORR, PRO HOCKEY
1971 LEE TREVINO, GOLF
1972 BILLIE JEAN KING, TENNIS & JOHN WOODEN, COLLEGE BASKETBALL
1973 JACKIE STEWART, AUTO RACING
1974 MUHAMMAD ALI, BOXING
1975 PETE ROSE, BASEBALL
1976 CHRIS EVERT, TENNIS
1977 STEVE CAUTHEN, HORSE RACING
1978 JACK NICKLAUS, GOLF
1979 TERRY BRADSHAW, PRO FOOTBALL & WILLIE STARGELL, BASEBALL
1980 U.S. OLYMPIC HOCKEY TEAM*
1981 SUGAR RAY LEONARD, BOXING
1982 WAYNE GRETZKY, PRO HOCKEY
1983 MARY DECKER, TRACK
1984 EDWIN MOSES, TRACK & MARY LOU RETTON, GYMNASTICS
1985 KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, PRO BASKETBALL
1986 JOE PATERNO, COLLEGE FOOTBALL
1987 ATHLETES WHO CARE**
1988 OREL HERSHISER, BASEBALL
1989 GREG LEMOND, CYCLING
1990 JOE MONTANA, PRO FOOTBALL
1991 MICHAEL JORDAN, PRO BASKETBALL
1992 ARTHUR ASHE, TENNIS
1993 DON SHULA, PRO FOOTBALL
1994 BONNIE BLAIR & JOHANN OLAV KOSS, SPEED SKATING
1995 CAL RIPKEN JR., BASEBALL
1996 TIGER WOODS, GOLF
1997 DEAN SMITH, COLLEGE BASKETBALL
1998 MARK MCGWIRE & SAMMY SOSA, BASEBALL
1999 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM*
2000 TIGER WOODS, GOLF
2001 RANDY JOHNSON & CURT SCHILLING, BASEBALL
2002 LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLING
2003 TIM DUNCAN & DAVID ROBINSON, PRO BASEKTBALL
2004 BOSTON RED SOX
2005 TOM BRADY. PRO FOOTBALL
2006 DWYANE WADE, PRO BASKETBALL
- HERB BROOKS (COACH), CRAIG PATRICK (ASSISTANT COACH), MIKE ERUZIONE (TEAM CAPTAIN), BILL BAKER, NEAL BROTEN, DAVE CHRISTIAN, STEVE CHRISTOFF, JIM CRAIG, JOHN HARRINGTON, STEVE JANASZAK, MARK JOHNSON, ROB MCCLANAHAN, KEN MORROW, JACK O'CALLAHAN, MARK PAVELICH, MIKE RAMSEY, BUZZ SCHNEIDER, DAVE SILK, ERIC STROBEL, BOB SUTER, PHIL VERCHOTA, MARK WELLS.
** BOB BOURNE (PRO HOCKEY); KIP KEINO (TRACK); JUDI BROWN KING (TRACK); DALE MURPHY (BASEBALL); CHIP RIVES (COLLEGE FOOTBALL); PATTY SHEEHAN (GOLF); RORY SPARROW (PRO BASKETBALL); REGGIE WILLIAMS (PRO FOOTBALL).
*TONY DICICCO (COACH), MICHELLE AKERS, BRANDI CHASTAIN, TRACY DUCAR, LORRIE FAIR, JOY FAWCETT, DANIELLE FOTOPOULOS, JULIE FOUDY (TEAM CAPTAIN), MIA HAMM, KRISTINE LILLY, SHANNON MACMILLAN, TIFFENY MILBRETT, CARLA OVERBECK (TEAM CAPTAIN), CINDY PARLOW, CHRISTIE PEARCE, TIFFANY ROBERTS, BRIANA SCURRY, KATE SOBRERO, TISHA VENTURI, SASKIA WEBBER, SARA WHALEN.*