Posts Tagged ‘learning about football’

Learning About Football: Why History Matters

September 1, 2008

 Learning about the legends, about the history of the game, is a big part of learning about football.  And it’s not just so you can talk the talk.  There’s nothing wrong with community theatre.  But to truly understand the craft of acting, it helps to have watched actors like Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. 


Of course, you’re not likely to see Brett Favre on Turner Classic Movies.  But knowing something about history – be it of movies or nations or football – really is necessary to understanding . . . well, whatever it is you’re trying to understand.


For example, if you only understand the present . . . let’s go with nations here, since the example is a pretty clear one: to know that George Bush is what a president is is not to know what George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy or Richard Nixon were as presidents.


That is, to only know about Dubya is not really to know a whole lot about what it means to be President of the United States.


History provides perspective.


What does it mean to be good?  To be great?  To be mediocre?  To be awful?


You need a frame of reference.  Only an understanding of history can give you that.


The same holds true for quarterbacks.


Of course, Brett, to be fair to the old guy, is only recent history.  Still, he’s a legend in his own time.  So he’s made enough history already to be relevant to our discussion.


Okay then.  Getting back to movie icons, Brett Favre, who was born in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is of French and Choctaw Indian descent, has the square-jawed, aw shucks good looks of a Gary Cooper.


Which has nothing to do with his being an NFL legend.  Just thought it might give you a little incentive to pay attention to the game.


So what does make Brett Favre an NFL legend?  Well, now: where do we begin?


How about nine trips to the Pro Bowl?  That’s the football version of the All-Star Game.   Which is to say, Pro Bowlers are the best players in the National Football League.  And All-Pro is the best of the best.  Brett was selected for that seven times.  He was also the NFL’s Most Valuable Player three times, which is the most in NFL history.  And he led the Packers to the ultimate championship in the world of NFL football by winning Super Bowl XXXI.


He has so many ‘mosts’ in his career that you’ll think we made this up.  Most career NFL touchdown passes (442), most career NFL passing yards (61,655), most career pass completions (5,377), most career victories as a starting quarterback (160).  And the guy is still playing!!!


No wonder Jets fans are juiced!!!


By the way, since Brett Favre is almost synonymous with the Green Bay Packers, many people (perhaps even your resident expert) think he was a Packer from the start of his NFL career.  Not so.


Consider this a factoid that could put you one-up on the know-it-alls in your living room.  Favre actually began his NFL career in 1991 with the Atlanta Falcons.  It was not until the following year that he was traded to Green Bay, where he became the starting quarterback in the fourth game of the 1992 NFL season.  And he remained Green Bay’s starting quarterback for every game over the course of the next sixteen years.


But besides his status as legend, what makes his trade to the Jets so exciting is that the last (and only) time the Jets made it to the Super Bowl was back in 1969.  Now, that game is an all-time Super Bowl classic for a couple of reasons.  Reasons you really should know about if you’re gonna be able to talk the talk.  So in our next post, we’ll tell you all about it.



Can Brett Favre Improve Your Relationship?

August 24, 2008

The idea of football in general – and Brett Favre in particular – actually improving your relationship may sound . . . well, a bit silly.  At least at first glance.


But remember that old song: “How do you keep the music playing?  How do you think of new things to say?”


Well, now.  Can you see where we’re going with this?


Maybe learning a little more about football – and about Brett Favre – isn’t such a bad idea after all.


So here it is: all you ever wanted to know about Brett Favre.  Heck, we’ve even got Brett Favre authentic NFL jerseys for you to wear while you toss around your new-found brilliance.  Just make sure you save the talking for the commercials, okay?


Oh, and it’s pronounced Far-v, by the way.


So.  Brett Favre is one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time, a shoe-in for the Football Hall of Fame.


But perhaps we’re getting ahead of ourselves.  Since some of you are still new to the game (and/or haven’t read our book), we should explain first that the quarterback is the leader of his team.  He’s the guy who gets the ball at the start of each play, so the team’s fate is, to a very large extent, in the quarterback’s hands.  Which is why when a quarterback is as talented as Brett, he achieves the status of superstar.


Now.  What’s all the excitement about?  Well, as we said, after playing for the Green Bay Packers for the past sixteen years, and becoming an icon in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Brett has signed with the New York Jets.  And however Brett makes out in a Jet uniform, one thing’s for sure: he’ll fill the stadium seats wherever the Jets play.  The man really is a legend.


Which is part of the scenario here.  It takes time to become a legend, which means Brett Favre has been around for a while.  He’ll be thirty-nine on his next birthday, which falls on October 10.  Of course, that’s hardly considered old in the larger world, but in the sports community, especially in a role as demanding as NFL quarterback, it’s positively ancient.


Which is what led to the parting of the ways between Brett and the Packers.  He told them (and not for the first time) that, this year for sure, he was retiring.  But a few months into his retirement, Brett realized that he just couldn’t stay away.  Only by the time he got around to changing his mind, the Packers had already made up theirs: they were set to go with (gasp!) somebody else!


Frankly, in Green Bay, we think this may be a mortal sin, and heaven only knows what will become of the Packers without Brett at the helm.  That’s also a story we should be paying attention to, so look for a subsequent post on that subject.


For now, though, we’ll stick with Brett.  Which Green Bay may wish they had.   We shall see.


In our next post, we’ll tell you just how great the guy really is!!!