For additional NFL preview, read "John Madden's Opening-night Predictions" and "Big Name QBs Under Fire".
Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers
Green Bay's Brett Favre is poised to rewrite the NFL record books, but whether or not he'll close the book on his career is, once again, a question. "In '96, I remember before the Super Bowl he had said that if they won that game, that he might consider retirement," Fox analyst Troy Aikman says. "So we've literally been talking about Brett's retirement for 10 years."
With the Packers in rebuilding mode and the 37-year-old quarterback questioning his own commitment, that talk has intensified in the last two years. Favre says his decision to continue past this season will be "based upon injuries, how I'm playing and how the team's playing."
Green Bay is "not a playoff team by any stretch," according to CBS' Boomer Esiason, but "any Packer fan you talk to thinks that that guy walks on water, and I can understand why, because he gives them the chance to win every game."
And he's been doing it for 237 straight regular-season games, dating back to 1992. "It's absolutely in my mind equivalent to Cal Ripken," says CBS' Phil Simms.
That longevity has Favre gunning for history. He's two games shy of breaking John Elway's NFL mark for wins by a quarterback and is also chasing Dan Marino's passing records for touchdowns (420) and yardage (61,361). "If he stays healthy, I think he'll get the touchdown record in September," says Marino, now an analyst for CBS' The NFL Today. Alas, Favre is only five interceptions away from picking off George Blanda's record of 277. "Well," Marino says, chuckling, "he'll probably get that, too."
But stats aren't what's on Favre's mind. "I'd much rather win," he says. "Records don't mean a whole lot to me. If anything, it means I'm still playing, and I'm probably more thankful for that than anything."
Whenever retirement does come, the game will miss Favre at least as much as he will miss it. Football, he says, "is the only thing I've ever done my whole life, and it's meant so much to me and my family, there's no way I could go without missing it. But you know, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it."
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