See his For the Record (1997) and Favre (2004), both with C. Havel.
Brett Lorenzo Favre (born October 10, 1969) is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League. He was the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers from 1992 to 2007. Favre started at the quarterback position for The University of Southern Mississippi for four years before being selected in the second round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons (33rd overall). After one season with the Falcons, Favre was traded to the Green Bay Packers on February 10, 1992 for the 19th pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. He became the Packers' starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 NFL season, starting every game from then on until his retirement in 2008. In 2008, Favre came out of retirement and was traded to the New York Jets.
Favre is the only three–time AP MVP (1995–97) in NFL history and led the Packers to seven division championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2007), four NFC Championship Games (1995, 1996, 1997, and 2007), two NFC Championships (1996 and 1997), and one Super Bowl championship (XXXI). His NFL records include: most career touchdown passes (454), most career passing yards (62,590), most career pass completions (5,464), most career pass attempts (8,882), most career interceptions thrown (292), most consecutive starts among NFL quarterbacks (257; 279 total starts including playoffs), and most career victories as a starting quarterback (162).
Irvin Favre said he knew his son had a great arm but also knew that the school was blessed with good running backs. As a result, in the three years Brett was on the team, his father ran a run-oriented offense called the wishbone. Favre rarely threw more than five passes in a game.
In his junior season, Favre led the Golden Eagles to an upset of Florida State (then ranked sixth in the nation) on September 2, 1989. Favre capped a six-and-a-half-minute drive with the game–winning touchdown pass with 23 seconds remaining.
On July 14, 1990, before the start of Favre's senior year of college, he was involved in a near-fatal car accident. When going around a bend a few tenths of a mile from his parents' house, Favre lost control of his car, which flipped three times and came to rest against a tree. It was only after one of his brothers smashed a car window with a golf club that Favre could be evacuated to the hospital. In the ambulance, his mother was sitting with him. "All I kept asking [her] was 'Will I be able to play football again?'" Favre recalled later. Doctors would later remove of Favre's small intestine. Six weeks after this incident, on September 8, Favre led Southern Miss to a comeback victory over Alabama. Alabama coach Gene Stallings said, "You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life."
Favre continues to hold various Southern Miss football records. As of the end of the 2007 season, he holds the career individual record in the following categories: most plays, most total yards gained, most passing yards gained, most completions made, and most passing attempts made. He had held the record for the most touchdowns scored (52), but it was later tied by quarterback Lee Roberts, who played for the school from 1995–98. Favre had 15 games over his career where he compiled more than 200 passing yards, making him the fourth all–time school leader in that category. Of those 15 games, 5 were 300–yard games, the most compiled by any of the school's quarterbacks. Additionally, he was the seasonal leader in total passing and total offense in all four of his seasons at Southern Miss.
Favre earned a teaching degree with an emphasis in special education from The University of Southern Mississippi.
The Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf traded a first–round pick (19th overall, RB Tony Smith, Southern Miss) for Favre during the following offseason. Wolf, while an assistant to the general manager of the New York Jets, had intended to take Favre in the 1991 NFL draft, but Favre was taken by the Falcons on the previous pick. The Packers would eventually trade Favre to the Jets in 2008.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and other sources, during the physical after the trade, Favre was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, the same degenerative hip condition that ended Bo Jackson's career, and doctors recommended he be failed. Wolf overruled them.
In the third game of the 1992 season, Majkowski injured a ligament in his ankle against the Cincinnati Bengals, an injury severe enough that he would be out for four weeks. Favre replaced Majkowski for the remainder of the contest. Favre fumbled four times during the course of the game, a performance poor enough that the crowd chanted for Favre to be removed in favor of another Packers backup quarterback at the time, Ty Detmer. However, down 23–17 with 1:07 left in the game, the Packers started an offensive series on their own 8 yard line. Still at the quarterback position, Favre completed a 42 yard pass to Sterling Sharpe. Three plays later, Favre threw the game–winning touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds remaining.
The next week's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers began the longest consecutive starts streak for a quarterback in NFL history. The game ended in a 17–3 victory and his passer rating was 144.6. During the season, Favre helped put together a six-game winning streak for the Packers, the longest winning streak for the club since 1965. They ended 9–7 that season, missing the playoffs on their last game. Favre finished his first season as a Packer with 3,227 yards and a quarterback rating of 85.3, helping him to his first Pro Bowl.
The following season Favre helped the Packers to their first playoff berth since 1982 and was named to his second pro bowl. After the season Favre became a free agent. General manager Ron Wolf negotiated Favre into a five-year, $19 million contract. The Packers finished the 1994 season 9–7, advancing them to the playoffs in back to back years, a feat the they had not accomplished since the Vince Lombardi era.
While being treated for various injuries, Brett Favre developed an addiction to vicodin, which became publicly known when he suffered a seizure during a hospital visit. Amid an NFL investigation, he went public to avoid any rumors about his condition. In May 1996 he went into treatment and remained in rehabilitation for 46 days. Had he chosen not to go, the NFL would have imposed a $900,000 fine. Favre led the Packers to their best season in 30–years in the 1996 season, winning his second consecutive MVP award in the process. The Packers led the NFL in points scored as well as fewest points scored against. Green Bay tied the Denver Broncos for the NFL's best regular season record, 13–3, defeated the San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs. The Packers advanced to Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome, a short drive from Favre's hometown.
In Super Bowl XXXI, Favre completed 14 of 27 passes for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the second play of the game, Favre threw a 54–yard touchdown pass to receiver Andre Rison. Favre also completed an 81–yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman in the second quarter (then a Super Bowl record). Favre rushed for 12 yards and another touchdown, as the Packers won Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots, 35–21. In their 19 games of the season, the Packers had a turnover ratio of plus 24, and outscored their opponents 100–48 in the playoffs.
Favre and the Packers continued their dominance of the NFC during the next season. Favre was named AP co-MVP of the league along with Detroit Lions' running back Barry Sanders, his third straight award. Also, Green Bay advanced to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. After being heavily favored, the Packers lost to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII by the score of 31-24 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Favre completed 25 of 42 passes for 256 yards and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception in the losing effort.
Favre and the Packers continued posting positive results through the next few seasons. Through the 2004 season, the Packers had the longest streak of non-losing seasons (13) in the NFL, despite an 8–8 record under coach Ray Rhodes, a 9–7 season under coach Mike Sherman, and no playoff berths in either 1999 or 2000. The streak ended in 2005, with the Packers finishing 4-12 overall.
Favre and the Packers have not had much success in the postseason prior to the Packers' appearance in the 2007 NFC Championship Game versus the New York Giants; they are 3–5 in the playoffs since the 1998 season. On March 1, 2001, Favre signed a "lifetime" contract extension, which technically was a 10–year contract extension worth around $100 million dollars.
In the regular season finale of 2001, Favre was the target of minor controversy when, in a game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium, he was sacked by the Giants defensive end Michael Strahan. It was Strahan's lone sack of the game and gave him the NFL's single–season sack record of 22.5, which topped Mark Gastineau's record of 22 set in 1984. Some analysts, such as Mike Freeman of The New York Times, expressed opinion that Favre allowed himself to be sacked in order to allow Strahan to set the record.
Favre elected to play the day after his father's death, and passed for four touchdowns in the first half and 399 total yards in a 41–7 victory over the Raiders on international television (even receiving applause from "Raider Nation"). Afterwards, Favre said, "I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play. I love him so much and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn't expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight." He was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. He then went to his father's funeral in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Favre won an ESPY Award for his Monday Night Football performance.
After the death of his father, a series of events related to Favre's family were reported in the media. In October, 2004, ten months after the death of Favre's father, his brother-in-law, Casey Tynes, was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Favre's Mississippi property.
Soon after in 2004, Favre's wife, Deanna Favre, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following aggressive treatment through 2004, she recovered. She created The Deanna Favre Hope Foundation which supports breast cancer education and women's breast imaging and diagnosis services for all women, including those who are medically underserved.
In late August 2005, Favre's family suffered another setback: Hurricane Katrina blew through Mississippi, destroying his family's home there; however, none of his family members were injured. Brett and Deanna's property in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was also extensively damaged by the storm. Favre elected to continue to play in the 2005 season.
For the 2005 Green Bay Packers season, despite throwing for over 3,000 yards for a record 14th consecutive time, Favre had a below average season with only 20 touchdown passes and a league-leading 29 interceptions. The loss of guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle to free agency along with key injuries to Javon Walker, Ahman Green, Bubba Franks, among others, hampered Favre and the team. His passer rating was 70.9, 31st in the NFL and the worst single season rating of his career. After the disappointing season, many speculated that Favre would retire. However, on April 26, 2006, Favre announced that he would remain with the team for the 2006 season. Despite earlier comments that the 2006 season would be his last, Favre announced in a press conference on May 6, 2006 that he had not ruled out the possibility of returning beyond the 2006 season.
For the 2006 Green Bay Packers season, Favre suffered his first career shutout against the Chicago Bears. Later in the season, the New England Patriots shut out the Packers in a game where he was injured before half time and could not complete the game. On September 24, 2006, he became just the second quarterback in NFL history to record 400 touchdown passes (Dan Marino being the first). He connected with rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings on a 5–yard pass that Jennings turned into a 75–yard touchdown play during a win against the Detroit Lions. He also became the first player ever to complete 5,000 passes in his career. On December 31, 2006 the Packers played their last game of the season, winning 26–7 against the Chicago Bears. It was his 22nd career win versus the Bears, moving him to an all-time record of 22–8.
Favre began the Packers 2007 season trailing in a number of career NFL passing records. On September 16, 2007 Favre and the Packers defeated the New York Giants to give Favre his record setting 149th win, passing John Elway. On September 30, Favre threw a 16 yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings in a game against the Vikings. This was his 421st NFL touchdown pass, and set a new all time record, surpassing Dan Marino's 420. Breaking this record received high praise from around the NFL, with congratulations coming from people such as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former Packers head coach Mike Holmgren, and colleague quarterbacks Steve Young and Joe Montana.
On November 4, 2007, after the Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 33–22, Favre became only the 3rd quarterback to have defeated all thirty-one other current NFL teams. He joined Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to do this, just the week after the two of them achieved the accomplishment. On Thanksgiving, 2007, Favre led the Packers to a 37-26 win over the Lions, and brought Packers to a 10-1 record. He won the Galloping Gobbler award, given by the broadcasters at Fox to the game MVP. Favre threw three touchdown passes for his 63rd career game with at least three TDs, surpassing Marino's former record of 62.
Favre led the Packers to a 13–3 regular season record, the NFC North championship, and the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Prior to the Packers' playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks, Favre stated his desire to continue playing football for another season. In the Divisional Playoffs, Favre threw three touchdowns as the Packers cruised to a 42–20 victory over the Seahawks at a snowy Lambeau Field. The Packers' season ended the following week when they suffered a 23–20 overtime loss in the NFC Championship Game to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Negotiating subzero temperatures, Favre amassed 236 passing yards and two touchdowns, but also threw an interception in overtime that setup the Giants' game-winning field goal. Favre's 90–yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver in the second quarter was the longest pass in Packers playoff history, and it extended Favre's NFL record for consecutive postseason games with a touchdown pass to 18. Favre stated after the game that he would make a decision more quickly than he has in the past regarding whether he would return for another season.
Favre's milestone 2007 season culminated with his selection to the 2008 Pro Bowl as the starting quarterback for the NFC, but an ankle injury forced him to withdraw.
On July 2, 2008, it was reported that Favre was in contact with the Packers about a possible return to the team. On July 11, 2008, Favre sent a letter to the Packers asking for his unconditional release to allow him to play for another NFL team. Packers general manager Ted Thompson announced he would not grant Favre an unconditional release and reaffirmed the organization's commitment to Aaron Rodgers as its new quarterback. Complicating matters is Favre's unique contract giving him the leverage to void any potential trade by not reporting to the camp of the team he might be traded to if the Packers elect to go that route.
Favre spoke publicly for the first time about his potential comeback in a July 14, 2008 interview with Greta Van Susteren on the Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. In the interview, Favre said he was "guilty of retiring early," that he was "never fully committed" to retirement, and that he was pressured by the Packers to make a decision before the NFL Draft and the start of the free agent signing period. Favre disputed the notion that he doesn't want to play for Green Bay and said that while he understands the organization has decided to move on, they should now allow him to do the same. He made clear that he would not return to the Packers as a backup and reiterated his desire to be released rather than traded, which would allow him the freedom to play for a competitive team. Favre also accused the Packers of being dishonest, wishing the team would have been straightforward with him and the public.
In the second part of the interview, which aired on July 15, Favre expressed his frustration with Packer management, spoke of his sympathy for successor Aaron Rodgers' predicament, and affirmed he is 100 percent committed to playing football in 2008.
FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer reported on July 16, 2008, that the Packers filed tampering charges against the Minnesota Vikings with the league office, alleging improper communication between Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Favre, although one source suggested that Favre may have been in contact with Vikings head coach Brad Childress. After an investigation, Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled there had been no violation of tampering rules.
Favre formally filed for reinstatement with the NFL on July 29, 2008, and his petition was granted by Commissioner Goodell, effective August 4, 2008. Favre then flew to Green Bay to report to Packers training camp. After a lengthy meeting with head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson, however, both sides agreed it was time for Favre and the organization to part ways. McCarthy sensed Favre wasn't in "the right mind-set" to resume playing for the Packers, while Favre felt that his relationship with Packer management had deteriorated to the point that a return to the team would be untenable.
After negotiations with both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets, the Packers traded Favre to the Jets on August 7, 2008 in exchange for a conditional fourth round pick in the 2009 draft that could escalate into a third round pick if Favre takes 60% of the snaps, a second round pick if Favre takes 70% of the snaps and the Jets make the playoffs, or a first round pick if Favre takes 80% of the snaps and the Jets reach the Super Bowl. Also, if the Jets trade Favre to any NFC North team at any point in the season, the Packers will receive the Jets' next three first-round picks.
With the Jets, Favre plays for a coach (Eric Mangini) who is fifteen months younger than he. Favre won his regular season debut with his new team, beating the Miami Dolphins 20–14 on September 7. In week 4 of the 2008 season, Favre threw 6 touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals, a personal best and 1 fewer than the NFL record.
In the playoffs, Favre stands behind only Joe Montana in pass completions, passing touchdowns, passing yards and passing attempts.
In addition, Favre owns a number of team records, having printed his name into almost every passing category in the annals of Green Bay Packers history, most recently setting the team record for consecutive completions with 20 on November 22, 2007, against the Detroit Lions. With 38 "come-from-behind" 4th quarter wins & 2 more overtime victories, Brett Favre is the Green Bay Packers record holder and second only to John Elway's 47 4th quarter or OT "come-back wins", in NFL history.
His streak ranks behind only Jim Marshall for starts at any position, who started 270 straight games as a defensive end. Favre's streak is third longest for consecutive games played, behind punter Jeff Feagles, who has played 321 consecutive games and Jim Marshall, whose consecutive games played streak was 282.
His parents, Bonita & Irvin Favre, helped manage his holdings in agriculture and real estate, handled his endorsements and appearances and oversaw his charity work. Brett and Bonita Favre released a book in 2004 titled Favre (ISBN 978-1590710364) which discusses their personal family and Green Bay Packers family, including the Monday Night Football game that followed the death of Brett's father Irvin Favre.
He established the 'Brett Favre Fourward Foundation’ in 1996; in conjunction with his annual golf tournament, celebrity softball game and fundraising dinners, the foundation has donated more than $2 million to charities in his home state of Mississippi as well as to those in his adopted state of Wisconsin.