Favre ponders the streak

Brett Favre is about to add another NFL record to his collection. On Sunday, he will break Jim Marshall's streak for consecutive games started. Favre talked about the record and reflected on what it means.

As if Brett Favre didn't have enough entries in the NFL record books, when he takes his first snap Sunday against the Lions, he will own arguably the most impressive record of them all – consecutive games started. As it stands, he is tied with Vikings great Jim Marshall, who has held the record of 270 games for 30 years.

Much in the same way that many thought Lou Gehrig's ironman streak in baseball would never be touched before Cal Ripken shattered the streak, the same sentiment was held for Marshall's record.

At his weekly press conference, Favre discussed the record. The only time he had received much in the way of publicity about a consecutive games streak was when he broke the record for quarterbacks – a number he has more than doubled. He said that when he found out Sunday would break the league record, he had to take a moment to reflect on how difficult a record it was to break.

"I was talking to my wife on Sunday night when I got home and I said, ‘That is a lot of games,'" Favre said "So I don't know when the light went off that I played in a lot of games. I can remember then the record, I can't remember who we played, it might have been in Chicago, but I broke (Eagles quarterback) Ron Jaworski's record. I think it was 118 games or something. They stopped the game and I was like, ‘It's not that big of a deal.' It is, but it isn't. I feel like stopping the game every time now. I think I always knew how difficult it was to play. It's the game of football you can get doing anything, but the game of football is physical. I don't get hit every play like running backs and lineman. I think about 16, 17 straight years; that is a long time."

Favre has played through injury, including a broken thumb on his throwing hand, but said the consecutive games streak was never something that really mattered to him – aside from wanting to play every game. He added that, while it has significance to fans, the media and historians, it isn't something he's dwelled on too often or made a point to play just to prolong the streak.

"It's not important to play just to keep the streak alive," Favre said. "That has never been my intention. I've played in games that were maybe rolling the dice (because of injury). For example, coming back from a broken thumb, actually playing here at the Metrodome, I didn't know what to expect. I felt like I could play. Like I tell the guys all the time, there is a difference in playing hurt and playing with an injury. If you are playing with a broken leg, that is pretty risky. I was willing to try it (playing with a broken thumb). I didn't know how productive I would be. Had I not tried I would have never known. I think a lot of the injuries I played with you won't know unless you tried. If it just hurts so bad that you can't be as effective as you think you can then you can't play. It's important because I know how hard it is to do. It's not as important to play just to play." Favre acknowledged that his longevity in a league as violent as the NFL and never missing a game is a monumental achievement, but added that he feels humbled to be in the same class as an all-time great like Marshall.

"I think the fact that anyone can do it is amazing," Favre said. "There are a lot of guys that have played a lot of games. I think just playing in the NFL period is an honor and something that is very hard to do. What Jim did, and you can talk about the game was smaller then and it wasn't as fast and the seasons were shorter, it's still football. You still have to play in every one of those games. And in his case be physical and hit or be hit. I have said this all along, to even be mentioned with some of the greatest players to play this game regardless of position, no matter how long I've played or the honors I've received, I'm honored more than anything then to be mentioned in the same breath with guys like that."

THURSDAY NOTES

  • The first injury reports for Week 2 are out and the Vikings only have four players listed. Erin Henderson (calf) did not participate, Heath Farwell (hamstring) and Anthony Herrera (back) were listed as having limited participation, and Jim Kleinsasser (hand) fully participated in practice.

  • Two Lions didn't participate in their Wednesday practice – DE Cliff Avril (hamstring) and third quarterback Drew Stanton (knee). Four others had limited participation – DTs Andre Fluellen (knee) and Grady Jackson (knee) and cornerbacks William James (foot) and Eric King (shoulder). Kicker Jason Hanson, who had a surgical procedure on his knee this summer, fully participated, at least as much as kickers fully participate in a Wednesday practice.

  • Favre's comments last week about the Jets knowing about his biceps tendon injury, yet never placing him on the injury report, came back to bite both the Jets and former head coach Eric Mangini Wednesday. The league fined the Jets organization $75,000 and hit both Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and Mangini for $25,000 for their role in the coverup.

  • Adrian Peterson's 180 yards rushing not only led the NFL, but he was the only star NFL running back to top the century mark in Week 1. Only five running backs topped 100 yards in the season's first week – Peterson, journeyman Mike Bell of the Saints, Julius Jones of the Seahawks, Ray Rice of the Ravens and Thomas Jones of the Jets. While there were only five 100-yard rushers, there were eight players with 100 or more yards receiving.

  • How messed up is the quarterback rating system? Drew Brees of the Saints torched the Lions by completing 26 of 34 passes (76.5 percent) for 358 yards and six touchdowns. Dallas QB Tony Romo completed 16 of 27 passes for 353 yards and three touchdowns. But, apparently because Brees had one interception, Romo finished with a passer rating of 140.6, while Brees had a rating of 137.0.

  • There used to be a time in the NFL that if a quarterback threw for 300 yards or more, his team more than likely lost. In Week 1, six QBs threw for more than 300 yards – and all six of them won.

  • While Brees didn't win the passer rating contest in Week 1, his six-touchdown performance eclipsed Peterson for NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

  • Although the league didn't sanction sales of Favre jerseys until after he signed with the Vikings, from April until the end of the preseason this year, his was the top-selling player jersey in the NFL with only eight days of sales in that period. There's something to be said about big-name player in a new city, which makes sense since Packers fans who already owned a Favre jersey likely didn't feel the need to buy two or three. Jay Cutler, who went from Denver to Chicago in the offseason, was No. 2 and Michael Vick, who went from jail to the Eagles, was No. 3.

  • Tripping Icarus, the band in which Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plays the bass guitar, will be performing Friday from 11 p.m. to midnight at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis. Doors open at 9 p.m. with other bands also playing. In addition to Kluwe, other band members include Andrew Reiner on guitar, Matthew Marshall on drums and Jesse Damien Revel on vocals and guitar. Kluwe sent a couple of songs to Viking Update during training camp and Tripping Icarus has a very solid hard rock sound. The band will also play at The Entry at First Avenue on Oct. 23.

  • Former Viking Hank Baskett went unclaimed on the waiver wire and is now a free agent able to sign with any team that wants him.

  • Bobby Wade is getting a lot of work in the Chiefs offense, as he tries to absorb the Todd Haley-run offense. What may be the best news for Wade is the type of offense Haley, the former offensive coordinator in Arizona, has installed in Kansas City. Under his coaching, third receiver Steve Breaston of the Cardinals had more than 1,000 yards receiving last year. He has also been getting some work as a punt returner.

  • Former Vikings running back Kahlil Bell was signed to the Bears practice squad Wednesday.

  • Apparently free-agent linebacker Derrick Brooks won't sign with the Bears after all. On Wednesday, ESPN announced that Brooks has signed with the network as an NFL analyst on the "First Take" program on ESPN2 – yet another former NFL player in the ESPN stable of analysts.

  • The turf at Soldier Field is in the process of be re-sodded prior to Sunday's game between the Bears and Steelers. Why? The band U2 had a concert at the stadium last weekend and several spots on the field were severely damaged.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this hot topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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