On Robinson's right biceps is tattooed MATTHEW 28:20. That scripture appropriately captures Favre's relationship with Robinson and the rest of his teammates: "[Teach] them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
THE PEOPLE of Green Bay have been girding themselves for the very end of the age. Ask folks for their favorite Favre memory, and you'll get countless anecdotes but rarely any hesitation. So many elite athletes captivate with their otherworldly physical gifts, but the common theme among the Favre highlights is the human element.
Jennifer Walentowski, Anna's mother: "In the Super Bowl against the Patriots, Brett threw a beautiful touchdown in the very beginning of the game, and he was so excited, he started running around the field. He had taken off his helmet, and he had both arms in the air, and there was such genuine joy on his face, such realness. Gosh, I'm tearing up right now just thinking about it."
Doug Phillips, whose daughter, Carley, participates in the Miracle League: "He hurt his ankle pretty bad against the Vikings [in 1995]. No one knew if he would play the next game [against Chicago]. He was on crutches all week, doubtful right up to kickoff. When he ran out of the tunnel at Lambeau, that was the loudest explosion I have ever heard in my life. And of course Brett threw five touchdowns that day."
Pete D'Amico, cofounder of the Door County Gulf Coast Relief Fund: "I lost my father a month before Brett's dad died. That Monday-night game against Oakland, the day after Big Irv died, I was crying that whole game. Just bawling. I know a lot of other people were too, for their own reasons."
Ask Favre for his own favorite memory, and he is quiet for a moment. "I've got so many plays running through my mind," he says, finally. "The funny thing is, it's not only about the touchdowns and the big victories. If I were to make a list, I would include the interceptions, the sacks, the really painful losses. Those times when I've been down, when I've been kicked around, I hold on to those. In a way those are the best times I've ever had, because that's when I've found out who I am. And what I want to be."