What can you possibly say about Brett Favre? No matter how you choose your words, it's very difficult to describe what he has meant to the Green Bay Packers and the NFL for the last 13 seasons.
"Tough," "legendary" and "winner" appear at the top of the list and surely every player would love to be remembered by any one of those terms. But when you talk about Brett Favre, the owner of a Super Bowl ring, three MVP awards and records too numerous to list, one word just may fit better than all the rest.
No matter what Favre does the rest of his career, he will forever be known in NFL history as one of the all-time greats. The fact that he keeps adding to his legacy is what makes him even more special.
Monday night marked the 200th consecutive regular season start for Favre, but for a man who has played in so many games, he may be playing as well now as he ever has in the past. Three touchdowns and a 45-17 triumph over the St. Louis Rams hardly suggest that ol' number 4 is slowing down.
If you can find an element in Favre's game that has dropped off since he threw his first touchdown pass to Sterling Sharpe as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 22-year old kid in 1992, you might be alone. Simply put, very few teams have found ways to stop him.
The fact that Favre gets the job done today just as well as he did as a youngster speaks volumes of his passion for the game as well as his work ethic.
"I think consistency is something that gets overlooked a lot," tackle Mark Tauscher said. "With Brett, it's just being consistently great. I don't know if you'll ever see another quarterback break this record."
"To shatter the record and continue to play at this high of a level as he had for 200 weeks-some guys you can just throw out there to fill a number. But he's been the key to this team for 200 weeks and that's impressive."
The next closest player on the consecutive starts list for a quarterback is Ron Jaworski with 116. However, there's no reason to believe that Favre couldn't distance himself even more from Jaworski and Peyton Manning who is next in line with 107 starts.
Donald Driver is confident that Favre will always be in a category by himself when it comes to the starting streak.
"It's unbelievable," said Driver. "I just take my hat off to him because I don't think anyone else in the National Football League will be able to do it."
Favre is undoubtedly the key cog to the Packers operation. As he's gone, so have the Packers in the last 13 seasons and because of this, his presence hasn't been lost on the fans, either.
Gov. Jim Doyle proclaimed Monday "Brett Favre Day" throughout Wisconsin and it was only fitting that Favre was at his best in the victory that kept the Packers in a first place tie with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. While many players might have struggled in such circumstances, Favre was dominant as usual-not that there wasn't any added pressure.
"After the introduction - which I was not aware of all the hoopla leading up to it - there was a lot of pressure to perform," Favre said. "I really looked at this game as just another game and an important one obviously. It was one we needed to win. I didn't need all that attention and pressure though. It was difficult enough as it is."
Favre hasn't played a game in total health for such a long time that he may not know what it's like to be at full strength anymore. Although the injuries have sometimes been very significant, Favre still considers himself very lucky to be able to play in the NFL.
"James Campen, who was my center my first year, and I were talking last night," Favre said. He said, 'You know the first time I ever got to put on the NFL uniform, anything after that was a bonus.' Just to suit up one time was a dream come true and I feel the same way. I am living a dream everyday.
"I am embarrassed sometimes by the attention, but that's the way it is I guess. I would have never talked about it had it not been for you guys (the media). I enjoy doing what I do. I don't look at it as anything out of the ordinary."
GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman knows that Favre wouldn't have paid much attention to this game if the Packers didn't come out on top.
"I'm just so happy for him to have his 200th start be his 132nd victory," Sherman said. "I know that makes it a heck of a lot sweeter. I don't think he would think as fondly of this day if he hadn't won. I think by winning it puts a little exclamation point and a little asterisk by it for him. When he goes back someday and looks back at his career, he'll remember this ballgame."
Another player that won't forget this game or any other one in which he has been beside Brett Favre is starting guard Marco Rivera.
"I remember when Cal Ripken started his streak and he broke the record," Rivera said. "I watched him on TV and thought, 'Wow, that's a pretty amazing individual.' That was a pretty special moment for him.
"At that time I never knew I was going to play for the Packers but here I am playing with Brett Favre in his 200th consecutive game as an NFL quarterback. That's pretty amazing when you think about everything he's been through. Hey he's done it all, and he's probably the toughest man I've ever met."
Not to mention one of the greatest of all-time.