Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Favre beaned

This post is my way of giving a bloggy high five to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. Finally, somebody in the Media gets it! Brett Favre is overrated!

In a recent column for ESPN.com, Paolantonio had this to say:
We interrupt the continued deification of Brett Favre -- a first-ballot Hall of Famer and the most durable player in NFL history -- with the following reality check.

Yes, Favre played long enough to throw the most touchdown passes and collect the most wins by an NFL quarterback. But let's examine the second half of No. 4's career. The truth is, Favre did little over the past decade to earn the gushing praise heaped upon him by our fawning brethren in the media.

Sal even goes on to point out something I have already said: Favre is NOT even the best Packers quarterback of all-time. That honor belongs to Bart Starr.
Oh, you say Starr was surrounded by a Hall of Fame roster with a legendary coach. But Starr still is the NFL record holder with a 104.8 career playoff passer rating, nearly 20 points higher than Favre's. That wasn't Vince Lombardi or Ray Nitschke throwing those passes for Starr, whose career postseason passer rating, by the way, is 38 points higher than Johnny Unitas'.

Favre's career playoff record was 12-10. Starr's was 9-1 -- without the benefit of wild-card games. Favre threw 28 interceptions in 22 playoff games. Starr threw three in 10. Think about that -- just three picks in 213 postseason attempts.

But Bart Starr gets the Ringo Starr treatment -- underappreciated and overlooked. Favre gets put on a pedestal. Yes, he had a Pro Bowl season in 2007 with the youngest roster in the NFL. But his final moment on Lambeau Field was a wildly errant pass that turned into the NFC title for the Giants.

By the way, how do you think Favre would have done playing for Vince Lombardi? Frankly, Lombardi would have benched Favre a long time ago for throwing too many interceptions. Gunslingers don't make great quarterbacks, because they don't win championships.

If you look at Favre's career numbers, you will see that after Mike Holmgren left the Packers, Favre's interceptions went up each year, and his touchdowns went down. Holmgren made Favre play within his own limitations. After Holmgren, Favre became the gunslinger, throwing way too many passes he shouldn't because none of the succeeding Packers coaches could control him. Favre became larger than life, and woe be to the coach who might criticize the almighty Favre.

Of course, the Packer fans didn't help the situation by deifying Favre, thereby making it harder on the Packer coaching staffs to try and control Favre's interceptions, which were fueled by Favre's out-of-control ego.

But that brings us back to Sal Paolantionio, who got his start as a sports reporter in Philadelphia. Try to picture what would have happened to Favre if he had been a quarterback in Philadelphia instead of Green Bay? The Eagles fans would have run Favre out of town years ago, with all those playoff interceptions.

Kudos to Sal for giving Favre the Philly treatment. Favre has been playing Santa Claus for too many Packer opponents for too long, and we all know what the Philly fans did to Santa.

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