Savor Favre's greatness while it lasts

If this is indeed the QB's final season, enjoy the final games,'s Steve Lawrence says while noting the pitiful quarterback play that's plagued teams like Chicago and Detroit.

At some point on Sunday at St. Louis, Brett Favre will break Dan Marino's record for career passing yards. With that mark tucked away, Favre will own every key record for quarterbacks.

Think about that for a minute, and think about how lucky you are to be a Packers fan. Definitely think about it if you are of that generation that does not remember the Packers without Favre as quarterback.

Look around the NFC North, and consider how long it's been since any of those teams have had a legitimate NFL quarterback, much less one who's been really good for a long period.

The Bears famously have had 23 starting quarterbacks since Favre became the Packers' starter in 1992. The Lions have had just two Pro Bowl quarterbacks in franchise history: Bobby Layne three times in the 1950s and Greg Landry in 1972. The Vikings have had a few good quarterbacks, but other than Daunte Culpepper, they haven't drafted and developed a long-term player at that position since Tommy Kramer more than a quarter-century ago.

And so it goes in the NFL. The Carolina Panthers have the ingredients to be a contender but are stuck at the sport's most important position with Vinny Testaverde, who broke into the NFL during the Jurassic period. Who knows when the Atlanta Falcons will recover from the Michael Vick debacle. The Kansas City Chiefs are wasting the best years of Larry Johnson's career because they don't have a passer. The Miami Dolphins are a good bet to finish 0-16 because they've invested millions in over-the-hill, brittle quarterbacks like Trent Green and Culpepper, and are now stuck with a quarterback whose first name is synonymous with bad astrology (Cleo Lemon).

I was about to write how Packers fans have been spoiled by Favre's brilliance, panache and durability. But, that's not entirely accurate. Packers fans aren't spoiled. At least not in the sense of a rich kid who's always had the latest and best toys and gadgets.

Unlike that bratty kid, Packers fans appreciate what Favre has meant to this franchise. To say he's worshipped like a God isn't that far over the top, and that love affair probably is a reason Favre came back to play the last couple of years.

With Favre owning all of the top passing records, does that make him the best quarterback in NFL history? An argument could be made that it's Dan Marino or Joe Montana. Or maybe John Elway or Johnny Unitas. But it's inarguable that Favre is the most entertaining superstar quarterback in NFL history. Here's a 38-year-old man who celebrates every touchdown pass like it's his first, every big play like it's the biggest play in a playoff game. With him playing this well, anything seems possible.

With the Packers churning out wins in assembly-line-like fashion, there's been little talk about whether Favre plans to return for the 2008 season. Obviously, how this season ends will play a role in that decision. But there's a chance that Favre, having proven his doubters from the last couple of years wrong and having brought the franchise back from the depths, will decide this sublime 2007 season is a good way to exit.

So, with that said, sit back and savor Favre for these final four, five or six games of this season, just in case there isn't a next season. Good quarterbacks are rare. Great quarterbacks come to a team once in a generation, if they're lucky. A quarterback like Favre, however, will never be seen again.

Steve Lawrence is a regular contributor to E-mail him at

Packer Report Top Stories