When it comes to “The Streak” the name that comes most to mind in the NFL is Brett Favre. Throughout most of our lifetimes however “The Streak” in any sport is most associated with Cal Ripken. This blog entry is not a debate on who’s is more impressive (seriously, that’s like arguing over Shakespeare Sonnets), but rather how Brett Favre should take a look at how Cal Ripken’s consecutive game streak ended.
I remember being a freshman in college eating in the corner of the dining hall when a friend said to the rest of the table “Whoa… ‘The Streak’ is over”. We all paid our attention to the TV to notice that Cal Ripken approached manager Ray Miller and requested that he be removed from the lineup. The day was September 20th, 1998 and Cal “The Iron Man” Ripken had played 2,632 consecutive games since May 30th, 1982. Ripken said that he was planning on taking the last day of the season off, but it was going to end sooner rather than later and it was best to do it on his own terms while struggling through an 0-12 slump. He was quoted as saying after the game, “The emphasis should be on the team. There have been times during the streak when the emphasis was on the streak. I was never comfortable with that. It was time to move the focus back to the team.”
Former head coach Brad Childress said that Favre likes round numbers and it doesn’t take much brainpower to realize that Favre only needs 3 more starts to become the first QB ever to start 300 in a row. Checking other numbers, Tarvaris Jackson posted a passer rating of 85 this past weekend. Looking at Favre’s game log, only 4 times in his 13 starts this season has his rating been greater than Jackson versus Buffalo. While Buffalo is one of the leagues worst teams, the New York Giants possess one of the strongest defensive lines in all of football. Who truly gives us the best chance to win? And would we really like to see Favre come in, hand off to Adrian Peterson twice and try one measly pass with a bum shoulder to then remove himself? You don’t think that instance would come up in conversation if Favre does indeed make it to 300? But if come Sunday it’s the more mobile Tarvaris Jackson that gives us the best chance at a W, then everyone including Favre should be onboard. And if Favre is feeling better next weekend then I’m certain Leslie Frazier would let him finish his career with even more dignity. After all, it was the classy Cal Ripken who said that September day “I don’t feel a sense of relief. I don’t feel much different. Now that I know what it feels like, I don’t want to sit and watch a game anymore.”
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig