Brett Favre has played 13 years in the NFL, and along the way he has won a Super Bowl and three MVP awards. As the owner of several passing records, as well as the all-time leader in consecutive starts by a quarterback, it would be understandable if the fire for the game didn't burn quite as hot as it once did for the Packers' signal-caller.
Favre said Wednesday the game means as much to him as it always has, and it shows in how he feels before a game.
"I get nervous," Favre explained. "I think that is a good sign. In my opinion, if you don't get nervous or have some sort of excitement within, it probably doesn't mean as much to you. I am more at ease with my career, with this offense and the NFL in general, but it's still a game."
It's a game that few have played more passionately than the Packers' all-time passing leader.
"The nervousness that I feel now is in some ways similar to years past, but the only difference is that in your first couple years playing, you weren't sure of the offense you were running or your place on the team," Favre said.
"There are no guarantees, regardless of how good you feel you are, or your team is. That uncertainty always gets the butterflies going."
Perhaps the most refreshing characteristic Favre possesses is a humility in which he doesn't take anything for granted. You get the feeling that Favre wants to prove himself not only on every play, but during every game.
"You are unsure in some ways with your ability," Favre explained. "It's different in college and it's different in high school. You may have been 'the man' in high school, you may have been 'the man' in college, but you have to earn that within the ranks in the NFL. I am more at ease with that now, but you still have to go out and play."
According to Favre, the injuries take a bigger toll on his body every season.
"It takes a little bit longer to recover, not just from a big hit but a lot of times from things you don't see," Favre said. "It's normal aches and pains. You wake up and you don't feel right.
"You sit around with the buddies and then you say, 'Man, we're getting old.' Then when you throw in football, putting on your equipment, running around, doing things that really go against what your body is supposed to do, it works against you. I expect to wake up and be fine. Now, three or four days later I'm still waking up and expecting to be fine."
After playing the game for 13 years, Favre admits that the hits can sometimes get the best of him, but he's learned to live with all the aches and pains if it means playing at a high level.
"It's stuff that you tolerate," Favre explained. "We all have things that nag us, but you just say, 'The hell with it.' When I get hit, it may not feel very good, but I try my best not to let the opposing team know that.
"I may get up and laugh and slap the guy on the back. The guy may think I'm tough, but inside I may be thinking, 'How many more of those can I take?'"
It's not just the physical toughness that separates Favre from the rest of the league. Favre believes it's his mental makeup that not only makes him one of the league's best quarterbacks, but also one of it's toughest players.
"The mental toughness it takes to play this game - not just to play one game - but to play for a long period of time at a high level takes mental toughness more than anything," he said.
"It's being able to overcome the good days, the bad days, the meetings and the practices. There just is so much that goes into being a great player, and not just for a season, but for a long time. I think you just learn at some point how to deal with it."
The good news for Packers fans is that Favre feels as good as ever.
"My arm feels great," Favre said. "We started practice yesterday and my arm felt sore, but at the end of practice, I felt like I was knocking guys down. I feel like I am throwing the ball right now as good as I have thrown it in quite some time. I say that every year, but that's a good thing."
An even better thing for Packers fans is being able to look forward to another year of the unrivaled, passionate play of one of the NFL's all-time greats.