The League

Michael Kun
Author

Michael Kun

Co-author of The Football Uncyclopedia. He is also the author of six other books and is a practicing attorney.

Winning trumps the streak

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Brett Favre's "streak" has always meant more to him than it has to us.

It's not like Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, which was legendary in baseball precisely because baseball and its fans are so fixated on numbers.

Numbers are meaningful in baseball because its fans choose to give them meaning. Throw out the following numbers to a baseball fan, and he or she should immediately tell you what that number represents.

60. (Home runs hit in 1927 by Babe Ruth.)
61. (Home runs hit in 1961 by Roger Maris.)
73. (Home runs hit in 2001 by Barry Bonds.)
.400. (A batting average last achieved by Ted Williams in 1941.)
511. (Career wins by Cy Young.)
1.12. (Bob Gibson's earned run average in 1968.)
0. (Hits given up by Don Larsen in his perfect game during the 1956 World Series. Or world championships won by the Texas Rangers.)

That's baseball. Football fans aren't as obsessed by these kinds of statistics.

The record for most passing yards in a season? You'd have to look that up.

Most interceptions in a season? You'd have to look that one, up too.

Most touchdowns in a career? It's probably Jerry Rice, buy the actual number of touchdowns he scored? You'd have to look that up.

Most rushing yards in a season? It used to be 2,003 when O.J. Simpson held the record, but now? You'd have to look it up.

And the record for most consecutive starts by a quarterback? If they weren't talking about it so much lately, we wouldn't know. And, more importantly, we wouldn't care.

Vikings fans don't care about how many games in a row Favre has started.

They care about winning games and going to the Super Bowl.

And right now, virtually every Vikings fan should be thinking the same thing about Brett Favre's streak in light of Sunday night's game and the announcement that Favre has two fractures in his ankle: take a couple weeks off to heal and help us get into the playoffs, rather than hobble around just to keep your streak going. Come back healthy. Come back rested. (And read the playbook again while you're on the couch.)

Is backup Tavaris Jackson a better starting quarterback than Brett Favre?

Of course not. Even Jackson doesn't think that.

But is Tavaris Jackson a better starting quarterback than Brett Favre this week, when Favre has two ankle fractures?

Absolutely.

And maybe next week, too.

Not only is there no need for a wincing Brett Favre to limp onto the playing field this Sunday, clutching his arm at the same time, but it would not be in the team's best interests to allow him to do that.

This whole Brett-Favre-is-a-warrior act got old long ago. Playing with aches and pains is one thing. All players do that. But playing with significant injuries that affect your performance and affect the team's chances are something else. The Jets caved in to pressure from Favre two years ago, sending him out when he should have been rehabbing an injury, and they paid dearly for it, missing out on the playoffs after a red-hot start. While the Vikings made it to the NFC championship game last year with a battered and bruised Favre reminding us how battered and bruised he was, they might have made it further had he been willing to take a seat and rest his injuries.

No one ever seems to stand up to Brett Favre.

No one except Jenn Sterger and the cast of Saturday Night Live. (Saturday's Wrangler jeans spoof, with a faux Favre hawking "open-fly" jeans, will be replayed for years.)

It's time now for Brad Childress to stand up to Favre and tell him that, streak or no streak, he won't be getting on the playing field this weekend.

And it wouldn't hurt if the same three teammates who hopped a plane to Mississippi this summer to, ahem, convince Favre to return this season for $20 million would sit down with him now and explain that it's in the best interests of the team to have a seat.

The streak needs to end.

And only one person will care when it does.

The problem is that he cares so much about the streak that he may just take his ball and go home when Childress and his teammates deliver that message to him.

By Michael Kun  |  October 26, 2010; 12:45 AM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Michael Kun , Minnesota Vikings , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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Well said and on-point. Favre should take a page out of Kurt Warner's retirement pamphlet.

Here we have a guy who has won as many superbowls as Favre and who as gone to as many more.

After his glory years in St. Louis, he goes to the Giants as a back up to a rookie and then goes on to back up another rookie in Arizona. He shows up to training camp, competes and wins the starting job, then leads his team to a superbowl.

Yet at 38 during a short and emotional news conf. he retires. No drama. No anger. Just simple retirement.

Now thats class.

Favre would has shown himself to have very little.

Posted by: PC14 | October 26, 2010 6:05 PM

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