What could have been (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday March 4, 2008 2:25PM; Updated: Friday March 7, 2008 3:19PM
Holmgren knew how to handle greatness. He had worked with Montana, who could get into streaks of almost surreal accuracy, plus he had outstanding athletic ability to fall back on. But Favre had the gun Montana never had ... plus the gunslinger's mentality. Play it safe? Coaches' talk. Throw a pick? Well, let's go out and get seven back, then we're even, right?
The surprising thing was that Favre's ratings stayed high, despite his occasional looseness with the ball. That was how hot he could get. Remember the night in Oakland, when it was iffy whether he'd play, following his father's death? Four TD passes and 399 yards in the air was the legacy he left out there. But there were downers, too, and it only hurt Favre that the knights of the TV screen always were ready to make excuses for him.
His fourth quarter and overtime meltdown against the Giants last season, which put a sad end to a remarkably classy season? Never mind ... the redemption of the Giants' field-goal kicker was the angle. The goofy, looping interception that cost the Pack the Eagles' game in OT in the divisionals in 2004? Oh, let's put it on the defense for allowing McNabb his fourth-and-26 completion in regulation.
Always ready to make excuses, always braying about "what a good time he's having," that was the continual barrage from TV. Maybe a few frowns, a stern reprimand or two, might have toned down the wild maverick a little, but gosh, he sure is having fun out there. And that's what the game is all about, isn't it? Fun, boys acting like men and so forth.
This past season was a strange one. It seemed Mike McCarthy's continual harping about how Favre had to protect the ball finally kicked in because his completion-to-interception ratio was close to the highest of his 17-year career, and his percentage of passes completed was the highest. And the team was winning. It fell apart in the last two periods of the Giants game, but what the hell, it had been a hell of a ride.
How will history evaluate him? Capable of almost anything on the field. Heroic. Indestructible. Maddening at times, but great to root for. With only this low key aftermath.
Could have been greater.
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