FanDuel - WFBC

December 13, 2010

Favre's streak ends at 297: Brett Favre's record consecutive starts streak ended at 297 on Monday when he did not suit up for the Minnesota Vikings' game against the New York Giants

posted by dviking to football at 06:27 PM - 29 comments

His current streak of 297 consecutive starts is ending . . . it'll be a week before he starts the next one . . .

posted by geekyguy at 06:56 PM on December 13

Note: 297 consecutive regular season starts. 321 overall.

posted by boredom_08 at 07:11 PM on December 13

Love him or hate him - that is incredible.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:17 PM on December 13

You know, I feel like he tarnished his career a little since leaving Green Bay, but that was genuinely an amazing achievement. I doubt we'll see the like again anytime soon.

What's the next closest streak? Or should I have RTFA?

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:25 PM on December 13

And, whatever your feelings about Brent, I'll give him credit for not taking the 'ceremonial' start.

This'll also make the one game suspension for the Jen Sterger ordeal seem like less of a story.

posted by geekyguy at 07:32 PM on December 13

Mind you, he should've probably taken a break earlier in the season and his performance cost the Vikings, but lets not let a little selfishness get in the way of a big number (and yes, I feel the same way about Cal Ripken).

posted by kokaku at 08:01 PM on December 13

That's a lot of games.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:01 PM on December 13

These longevity streaks almost always go on a bit too long, but watching what the Vikes had to play with tonight, it's obvious to me why the coaches were more than happy to have it go on.

Vikes have more than their stadium to rebuild.

posted by dviking at 11:04 PM on December 13

I remember an article about Ripken and Favre, which basically said that while the longevity streaks are awesome, they are inherently products of selfishness-there are a few times that the team would be better served with a healthier, fresher player, and that keeping the streak became a goal in itself, beyond winning.

I would argue that if you aren't going to win anyway (and during most of Cal Ripken's career, the Orioles weren't; nor were the Vikings recently), keeping the streak going is the only interesting thing about your team, and why not support it?

On edit:

For Joey, per this article, Peyton Manning is your current leader at 205 consecutive starts, needing only 6 years of starting to break the record. Which to be honest, doesn't seem like that much, but I wouldn't expect it to happen.

Especially if Bob Lamey has his way.

posted by Bonkers at 12:32 AM on December 14

In a sport where you have to be tough and play with pain, Favre's ability to take a beating and still come back week after week is unbelievable. Leaving aside all the attention whoring (and actual whoring) he does, he's one of the greatest players ever. I don't know why this streak isn't given as much attention as Ripken's. Football is a much tougher sport for longevity than baseball.

posted by rcade at 06:42 AM on December 14

I don't know why this streak isn't given as much attention as Ripken's. Football is a much tougher sport for longevity than baseball.

Because they only play once a week, and 16 times a season (and get one two-week break in the middle).

Ripken had to play 5-to-7 times a week, and 162 times a season (and while most players get a 3-day break in the middle, Ripken never did).

While there aren't guys chasing him down to sack him, Ripken's body isn't given as much of a chance to recover between games from things like repetitive stress damage on his elbows, knees and back.

posted by grum@work at 08:23 AM on December 14

I don't buy that rationale, given the fact that baseball players -- unlike their counterparts -- do not leave their sport as broken shells of men. Repetitive stress damage is not comparable to a 350-pound defensive tackle trying to separate your head from your spine every snap of the ball.

posted by rcade at 08:45 AM on December 14

Ripken did it all for one team, and remained a stand-up guy, a class act for his whole career. I believe Favre's streak would have more attention right now if our Favre attention wasn't divided between his streak, his sexting, and his selfish behavior. I think the comparison between sports is a wash, the numbers of games played and the different kinds of injuries and ailments that can keep a player out of the lineup or on the bench may be vastly different but players in both sports tend to sit out a game or two here and there. Those nasty baserunning injuries won't kill you before your 56th birthday (is it somehow more noble to play a sport you know is killing you?), but they do stop consecutive start streaks.

That leaves the players public persona; during The Streak, Cal was a model to his teammates and fans, he stayed with the same team, and he didn't make headlines for being a cad. Farve has tarnished his legacy with his off-field words and actions. I think that's why this streak isn't being treated like The Streak.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:26 AM on December 14

You generally don't get a person with more class than Ripken. And the grind of a long, drawn out baseball season, with its endless travel and playing from spring training, through (often) bad weather in spring, extreme heat of summer, and into October, is tough, especially as a man gets older. The unbelievable thing regarding Ripken's streak is that he never opted for a day off, as practically all players do sometime during the long MLB season.

I'm not taking anything away from Favre, because playing that many NFL games without missing a start is impressive. But he is coming across more and more in recent years as a jackass. He has his streak, now he can vanish, and commence with sexually harassing swamp chicks back home.

posted by dyams at 09:43 AM on December 14

I have always tried to separate the person from the athlete. Brett Favre's career speaks for itself. Whatever he is as a person takes nothing away from his accomplishments on the field. When it comes to football, Favre has done everything humanly possible on the field. He gave every season, every game every snap everything he had. Say what you want but 321 consecutive starts in the NFL would be remarkable for a punter or kicker let alone a QB. Also remember that although recently in the league they have created many rules to help protect quarterbacks, Favre's streak began way before most of those rules went into effect.

IMO anybody that tries to compare the effects of baseball on the body compared to football just doesn't know what they are talking about.

I just saw a little ESPN snippet that reflected on Brett Favre's career from his first start to now and frankly his career is nothing short of remarkable. Is he the greatest QB ever, I don't think so, but he has got to be in the top ten of all time. Look at the stats, the wins, the come from behind heroics, a championship, everything he has done, like him or not you just have to be amazed at what he has done.

Is he a jerk? I don't know as I have never met him but from what I have seen, he seems honest, willing to accept responsibility for his actions, and really has no excuses for what he has or has not done on the field. To me he seems like the kind of player and teammate any organization would want. In a world of athletes that have done a lot of stupid things. We find a way to forgive a guys who tortured and killed animals, killed pedestrians while driving drunk, been involved with weapons etc., Brett Favre's crime is what, he loved playing football so much he found it hard to stop. Considering that with the exception of this year (his last year) he played at the top level of the game. Not even Joe Montana second to last season was at the level of Favre's. For the entertainment Brett Favre has provided on the field for 20 years, I can forgive a little selfish behavior. Sure he should have retired after last season, near the top, but based on the Vikings performance without him last night, I guess he was their best opportunity to win.

He played the game like it should be played, he had fun and played with passion. You may be able to ask more of a man but I don't think any reasonable person can ask more of a football player.

HughJanus - I find it funny you give credit to Cal Ripkin for staying with the same team as if that is a choice players make. The Packers did not want Favre but is seems that the Jets and then the Vikings did, and frankly he made a big difference in both those teams. Do you hold it against Joe Montana for finishing his career at Kansas City or should he have just retired when the Niners pushed him out the door for a younger (no pun intended player)? In this day and age of free agency how can you fault a player for wanting to continue to work when they are capable and their team no longer wants them?

posted by Atheist at 10:58 AM on December 14

I believe Favre's streak would have more attention right now if our Favre attention wasn't divided between his streak, his sexting, and his selfish behavior.

True, but Favre's streak is two years longer than Ripken's. Has it gotten even 1/1000th as much attention as a record? Perhaps it's just not the nature of football to revere records as much as baseball, but I think Favre has done something for the ages here.

posted by rcade at 11:03 AM on December 14

In seven seasons, Payton Manning should pass Favre. If/When he does, there will be a lot more attention to it because Manning is more like Ripken and not a drama queen like Favre.

posted by dbt302 at 12:12 PM on December 14

I don't buy that rationale, given the fact that baseball players -- unlike their counterparts -- do not leave their sport as broken shells of men. Repetitive stress damage is not comparable to a 350-pound defensive tackle trying to separate your head from your spine every snap of the ball.

True, but in terms of maintaining a streak, it doesn't matter how gruesome the injury is, but the fact that you can avoid it.

I will also point out that Favre's streak is only 11.3% the length of Ripken's. At some point, raw numbers have to be acknowledged.

posted by grum@work at 12:17 PM on December 14

I will also point out that Favre's streak is only 11.3% the length of Ripken's.

By game. By year, Favre's is two longer. Does anyone here really think a 162-game baseball season is more physically arduous than a 16-game football season?

posted by rcade at 12:34 PM on December 14

dbt302 - Peyton Manning will probably end his career as the greatest QB ever, for sheer field generalship, and passing ability. But making a statement that infers in ONLY seven more years (football years) he may pass Brett Favre's consecutive game streak, no offense intended, is sort of demonstrating a lack of understanding just how difficult it is. Sort of like saying Carson Palmer only needs 46 more 300 passing yard games to tie Brett Favre's total of 62. Gee seems easy but considering Joe Montana only had 39 in his entire career, maybe 46 is not that easy.

posted by Atheist at 01:20 PM on December 14

I don't know why this streak isn't given as much attention as Ripken's.

This is what I responded to. I am talking about fan attention and media opinion, not my own.

I think Favre has done something for the ages here.

I agree.

Something you learn playing in an orchestra is that the audience only cares how you start and finish. If someone misses a cue at the start of a piece, or if the final notes are sloppy, the audience will think the whole thing sucked. If the beginning and end are tight, the middle just doesn't matter. I'm talking about public perception here, and it's really unfortunate to see such a consistently excellent performance as Favre's end so sloppily.

I find it funny you give credit to Cal Ripkin for staying with the same team as if that is a choice players make.

Like I said, I was responding to rcade's bemusement at the lack of press attention. Right or wrong, people like a guy who does it for one team better than one who moves around, even if they aren't fans of any of the teams involved. I agree that it's unfair, but I'm talking about media perception, not my own.

Do you hold it against Joe Montana for finishing his career at Kansas City or should he have just retired when the Niners pushed him out the door for a younger (no pun intended player)?

No, I don't.

In this day and age of free agency how can you fault a player for wanting to continue to work when they are capable and their team no longer wants them?

I can't, I don't, and I never said I did. I was addressing the bewilderment at how the media could justify its downplaying of Favre's streak. I understand your confusion, though.

My personal opinion is up there in what I said about the orchestra. Start well, end well, and people will think you were great throughout. Even if you play everything else perfectly, a poor finish leaves an unsatisfied audience. Brett Favre has always been one of my favorite players to watch; it's too bad he screwed up the finale.

If I had to, I'd say the difference is that Cal Ripken didn't.

posted by Hugh Janus at 01:27 PM on December 14

I like to point out that longevity just for longevity sake is not really what is remarkable. Sure anybody that can survive 321 straight NFL games at a position that basically touches the ball on every offensive play is remarkable. But to consider that Brett Favre has had played at the top level for an entire 20 year career, seems much more unbelievable. He is not some guy who played back up for the last years of his career or just hung around for the sake of it in a support role. From the time he fist took the field in an NFL game until his streak ended, he played at the level of the best QBs in the league.

posted by Atheist at 01:27 PM on December 14

Hugh thanks for the clarification as I did misconstrue your point.

Yes I think it is very difficult to quit on top and certainly Favre's career ending is anti-climactic but most careers are like that. Had he quit last year it would have been much more fitting the rest of his career. I will say that I believe most of what happened in the last game last year and most of this year is that the Vikings as a team were not good enough. Blaming Favre for the end of last season is not fair as the team did little to protect him and fumbled the game away. This year, he had no protection, a poorly coached team, his star receiver out for most of the season. IMO it was not Brett Favre that ended his career badly but the Minnesota Vikings who were a complete dissapointment. They trade Chester Taylor, can't play good defense, don't protect the QB well, and even with the NFL's premier rusher can't control a game on the ground. Sure it's Favre's fault. I remember when everybody thought the Vikes were so good that all Favre had to do was hand off to AP and the were in the playoffs. Nothing is as easy as it seems and there a lot of players on the Vikings that can take blame for this season. Favre did not play well but if the Vikings played better he should not have had to.

posted by Atheist at 01:39 PM on December 14

I'm talking about public perception here, and it's really unfortunate to see such a consistently excellent performance as Favre's end so sloppily.

Hugh, while I totally get your analogy and what you were trying to say, I think this sloppy ending will be forgotten in five years a few years when he's first eligible for Canton.

posted by NerfballPro at 02:18 PM on December 14

Does anybody even remember that Johnny Unitas finished his career in San Diego?

posted by Atheist at 03:38 PM on December 14

NerfballPro, I think you're right about that. The public eye is only fickle in the now; we remember greatness.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:34 PM on December 14

From my very biased perspective, the nonsense of the off-field crap will be forgotten quickly, it's fading pretty fast as it is. Favre's on-field accomplishments will be remembered, and when the HOF calls that will be all that matters.

As to the Ripken-Favre issue, the media does love a wholesome, feel-good story, and Ripken fit that bill more than Favre did. Baseball, with so many games, in so many different cities was able to milk the story for all it was worth, driving ticket sales every day that it went on. Football is different, with fewer games, most of which are sold out on their own, no need to drum up the story to drive sales. If Manning does break the record, it will get more press...one, because of the wholesome story line, and two, because it will be breaking a more currently set record.

posted by dviking at 06:19 PM on December 14

True, but Favre's streak is two years longer than Ripken's. Has it gotten even 1/1000th as much attention as a record?

I think part of it might be that Ripken first had to break the record of one of his sports most hallowed players, and not many people had thought that that record could ever be broken. After Ripken broke the record, I don't think people really cared any more. I sure didn't.

Favre's already had the record for over 10 years, and the record he broke (117 games) was long, but not insurmountable.

posted by LionIndex at 10:49 PM on December 14

I think comparing Ripken with Favre is apples and oranges. Favre's streak is, of course, impressive, and if pressed, I'd say more amazing than Ripken's. But Ripken's is amazing to me also.

Just look at the past Red Sox season, where players went down left and right. Rib injuries, wrist injuries, foot injuries. Playing every day, hard. All it takes is a muscle pull and you're not playing shortstop.

I think fans, instead of choosing Favre's streak as most impressive, tend to trivialize Ripken's. And I think that's a mistake.

I don't know why this streak isn't given as much attention as Ripken's.

1. 2,632 sounds much more impressive. 2. He passed a legend. 3. Fans relate to baseball players more than football players. 4. Baseball is more blue collar. Players play almost every day, just like average joe goes to work every day. Again, more relatable. 5. Football players are expected to play every game. Baseball players are expected to get a rest, or not hit against a tough left hander, etc. Plenty of football players play ever game in a season. Baseball players aren't even expected to play 162, nor is it considered smart.

I don't buy that rationale, given the fact that baseball players -- unlike their counterparts -- do not leave their sport as broken shells of men. Repetitive stress damage is not comparable to a 350-pound defensive tackle trying to separate your head from your spine every snap of the ball.

Bit of a red herring I think. Plenty of football players, at least until recently, have had concussions that affect them in later life, but didn't keep them out the next week. A player can have have a simple hamstring pull, and in no way be able to take the field.

posted by justgary at 07:17 PM on December 16

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