Pete Rose was the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and outs (10,328). It's a strange world – because he admitted gambling on baseball games other than his own team’s, Pete Rose will wait to be inducted into The Hall via seance.
Brett Favre, like Rose, holds several equally astounding NFL records, amongst which are most yards (north of 70,000 – that’s over 12 miles of successful forward passing, with large men chasing you around); most touchdowns (north of 500 – do the math by dividing this number by 16 games played each season, and prepare to be astounded); most interceptions (you don’t win unless you try, and a winner he was, with winning records in nearly every year of his amazing career); but perhaps most incredibly, nearly 300 consecutive starts as a front-line, marquee NFL Quarterback. Folks, that is what makes Brett a freak.
Regarding Brett Favre, the Pete Rose of Football, and what his legacy means to professional sport, and the lessons we can take from the amazing career this man put together, I humbly submit the following:
One thing's for certain - we shall never again see a freak of nature like Brett Favre. And that’s an important thing to remember about the bright, shining diamond that Brett was - he was a freak, (just like Ray Lewis, with his 17 years as a front-line NFL star, or Muhammad Ali, with all his wins, and his repeat World Championships through three decades of boxing)…these men all played in very high contact positions. These men are our Gladiators.
No Quarterback - not Peyton Manning after, not Dan Marino before - no one will ever start 297 consecutive games as a Quarterback.
No Quarterback will ever again throw over 500 touchdowns. nor will anyone throw for over 70,000 yards.
No Quarterback will throw as many interceptions. And no one will delight, and amaze, and inspire, and let down as many, so exquisitely well, ever again, in professional football.
Folks, you will tell your grandchildren about seeing, with your own eyes, Brett Favre play football. John Madden knew this – you could hear it in his voice.