Everyone in America knows who Brett Favre is. Some people know Brett Favre a bit too well, no I’m not talking about Jenn Sterger. I’m talking about myself. Brett Favre is a destroyer of childhoods.
Football is life to me, and it has always been that way. As soon as I understood the rudiments of Football, I was in love. Cartoons on Saturday were now just what was on before College Football. Sundays was about finding hoping the Bears were on TV, or listening on Radio if it wasn’t televised.
1994 is before NFL Sunday Ticket existed and you were pretty much stuck watching whatever the local game was. When your team played Monday Night it was a big deal if you lived out of market, as was the case with young A-Train.
This was the last year of my childhood that St. Louis did not have an NFL team, The Rams showed up next year, the Bears were on TV even less after that.
When I saw that the Bears were playing the Green Bay Packers, I could barely contain my excitement. The plan was to hit the block hard before the game started, to get back in time for kickoff with a massive haul of candy. I would gorge on said candy, while I watched my favorite team lay the smack down. Or so I thought…
Getting the candy was easy, I don’t even remember my costume that year. One year I went as a deranged Cubs fan. This could have been that year. All I know for sure is that A-Train held up his end of the bargain. I was home with Candy at kickoff.
I was just a kid during this game but I was already generally aware of Brett Favre. Most of my short life Chicago had owned the Green Bay Packers. In fact I had always looked at Tampa Bay and Green Bay as the division scrubs, while I thought Minnesota and Detroit were the teams to beat. Barry Sanders frightened the shit out of me, he was a Bears killer. That all changed when Mike Holmgren got to Green Bay. By 1994 he had been there for a couple years and Holmgen was really turning it around. His young QB Favre was instrumental in the turn around.
This is back when each conference had only 3 divisions, the Tampa Bay Bucs were in the Bears division.
Favre wasn’t a Rookie, he had been around a few years, beaten the Bears already, but I had not really seen him play. I had not sat down and watched an entire Brett Favre Game. What I saw was the beginning of the end. In a torrential downpour Brett Favre orchestrated several drives down the field using his arm and his legs to get the job done. The Bears on the other hand seemed to be stuck in the mud. The Bears would no longer dominate the Packers, they would be the ones getting dominated. I had a bad feeling that this Favre guy was going to be a thorn in my side for a while. It sucks to be right sometimes.
Favre wasn’t just good he was great, and worst of all he broke your spirit. It was his gunslinger play style that really it. You would think you had Favre dead to rights and he would just fling a perfect pass to a covered WR. Sometimes he would throw an INT but somehow vs the Bears it always worked out for him.
That 1994 season was an odd one. The Bears, Vikings, Lions and Packers all made the playoffs. This was back when we had 3 division winners, and 3 wild card teams make the playoffs. This would never happen again, and the NFL realigned in 2002 making 3 wild card teams a thing of the past.
I’m glad Favre is gone, but somehow Green Bay walked right into Aaron Rodgers so my nightmare continues.