Green Bay heartbreak: Favre calls it a career

But what a career it has been for Brett Favre! America’s favorite Cheesehead departs the NFL as one of the best quarterbacks it ever had, and arguably the best. Not bad for a Louisiana Mississippi boy playing in the snow:

After flirting with retirement for the last few years, Favre will finally go out on the heels of one of the best seasons of his career.

He led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game after passing for a stunning 4,155 yards, looking very much at times like a younger version of himself. In addition he threw 28 TDs — including an overtime Hail Mary pass to beat Denver in front of a national audience — and had a 95.7 quarterback rating. He was also voted into the Pro Bowl following the 2007 season but declined to go.

Favre leaves the game as the all-time record holder in several categories including wins, passing yards, touchdowns and consecutive games started. A three-time MVP, The southern swashbuckler won fans over with his carefree style that epitomized the “gunslinger” moniker and made fans out of everyone from the guy next door to those already enshrined in Canton.

Fox reports this from anonymous sources, so Green Bay can continue holding its breath. Favre has vacillated about retirement over the last two seasons, so the will-he-or-won’t-he game is nothing new for Pack fans. Even Jay Glazer seems to be hedging his bets in reporting the rumor.

Retirement makes some sense, though, especially given the season Favre had. Unlike the dreadful 2006 season, Favre appeared to recover his game in 2007. He threw more TDs and much fewer interceptions, and he led Green Bay to an unexpected division championship. He had them within one throw of a Super Bowl, but what may be the last pass of his career went right to the Giants and defeat.

I’ve never been a big Green Bay fan, but I loved watching Brett Favre play. No one ever played the position with such wild abandon, trying to make something happen on the field, and usually succeeding. Even his failures seemed larger than life. The Packers may find another quarterback with Favre’s talent or endurance, although it seems very unlikely that they’ll find one with both — but they will never find one who played with such obvious joy.

UPDATE: Mississippi boy, not a Louisiana boy.  He came from Kiln, and attended Southern Mississippi.  The legend started there; he almost got killed in a car accident, had 30 inches of his small intestine removed — six weeks later, he led his team to an upset victory over Alabama.  The Tide’s coach called him “larger than life” that day, and that description fit his entire career.