It is fitting that a big gamble jump-started the career of the NFL’s biggest gambler, who will join the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Brett Favre was going nowhere at lightning speed in Atlanta in 1991. He threw just four passes and was intercepted twice in his rookie year.
Then Ron Wolf, himself a Hall of Famer, joined the Green Bay Packers as general manager. He traded a first-round pick to get Favre in February 1992, then disregarded the advice of doctors who said Favre had a potentially career-ending injury.
That long shot certainly paid off.
As flawed a human as Favre has proven to be, as petulant as he was in the breakup with the Packers, there is no denying Favre’s greatness on the playing field.
He, too, loved a long shot, throwing into coverage off his back foot, for example, and fans loved that gun-slinging style. Favre said he “could not believe they were paying me to do what I was doing.”
He played the game accordingly and restored the greatness of the Packers along with the way.
“He wasn’t afraid to fail,” Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway told pro football writer Arnie Stapleton of The Associated Press. “He wasn’t afraid to make a mistake, and that’s why he made so many great plays. He also made some bad ones like playmakers all do, but he made a hell of a lot more great plays than he made bad ones.”
The gunslinger soon became a larger-than-life cultural icon, with a cameo in the movie “There’s Something About Mary” and a larger role in John Irving’s “The Fourth Hand.” He was all over TV pitching Wrangler Jeans, Chevrolets and Sen. Thad Cochran — and everything in between.
Saturday, he’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, after an introduction by his wife, Deanna. And South Mississippi, where he grew up in the Kiln and played for Hancock High and USM, will be in the spotlight.
We welcome the attention and we congratulate Favre on an excellent career.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.