It's Favre against Einstein

Brett Favre is a great quarterback. According to the Discovery Channel, he's a great American, too.

The Discovery Channel's four-part, seven-hour series titled "Greatest American" debuts Sunday, June 5. Favre is among the 100 finalists — joining the likes of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison, Dr. Phil and Oprah — with the winner being crowned in a vote by the viewers.

"When you think of the ‘Greatest American,' what person — living or dead — comes to mind?" the network asks in its promotional material. "Someone who seized opportunities, saw things in a different way or stood out in a crowd? Someone who demonstrated determination, vision and hard work?

"This person could be an inventor, explorer, entertainer, entrepreneur or athlete. He or she may have changed the way we think, work or live. He or she may have challenged us, delighted us or outraged us, and ultimately may have helped use define what it takes to be an American."

Favre was among the luminaries who emerged from a nationwide nomination process that received more than a half-million votes. The only other football player to make the list of 100 is Pat Tillman, the defensive back who left the Arizona Cardinals in order to join the Marines. He died last year in Afghanistan.

Along with his jaw-dropping stats and being the league's only three-time MVP, Favre's selection in large part was based on being the small-town player who led the small-town team to the world championship.

"When quarterback Brett Favre led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory in 1997, it represented a victory for small-town values," Favre's "Greatest American" biography reads. "Not only is Green Bay the least populous city in any American professional sport — and the only town that owns its own team — but the Green Bay Packers' leader was a small-town boy from Mississippi bayou country.

"Favre became America's newest football hero despite an ‘ah-shucks' attitude toward fame and a reputation as a boozer and brawler. Although his press history included several bar fights and a much-publicized addiction to painkillers, Favre overcame his personal problems to become the NFL's most valuable player in 1995, 1996, and 1997 and its most popular quarterback since Joe Montana in the 1980s."

The biography also highlights Favre's toughness, telling the story of the car accident that nearly cost him his life — and did cost him 30 inches of intestine — before leading his Southern Mississippi team to a huge upset of national powerhouse Alabama just a month later.

Favre's wild life is documented, as is his wild style of play.

"Favre loves to improvise, delighting fans with his across-the-body, wrong-handed flips, shovel passes, or desperate goal-line dives. The outlandish plays drive the fans wild and his coaches crazy," the biography reads.

For fans who think Favre is a greater American than, say, Thomas Jefferson or Neil Armstrong, viewers ultimately will decide the winner.

The biographies of those who finished in 26th through 100th place will air during the series' Sunday, June 5, debut. In the following weeks, through the Sunday, June 26, live finale, viewers will learn more about the candidates and be able to cast votes online, through a toll-free phone number or via text messaging to eventually pick a winner.

For more information, visit dsc.discovery.com/convergence/greatestamerican/greatestamerican.html. Biographies of the 100 hopefuls are listed at tv.channel.aol.com/greatestamerican


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