How Favre Became the Guy Who Wouldn't Go Away

The future-Hall of Famer retired again on Wednesday, but the country's love affair with the charismatic QB has been growing colder since the mid-90s.

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The last time Brett Favre retired from pro football he melted into a puddle of tears. This time, he used email. Favre's agent sent a letter to ESPN's Ed Werder that said, "Mike and Woody, as well as the entire organization, have been nothing short of outstanding."
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Favre established himself as a turnover-prone, come-from-behind gunslinger early. On Sept. 20, 1992, he went in for an injured Don Majkowksi and lost three fumbles, but still managed to overcome a 13 –point deficit. The following week he began a streak of 257 consecutive starts, a record for an NFL quarterback.
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In 1997 Favre led the Pack to their first championship in 30 years, crushing the overmatched Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. Thereafter, it seemed a requirement for every announcer covering a Packers game to note that Favre was "plays like a kid just having fun out there."
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The following season Green Bay had an opportunity to defend their title, facing the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII. But a repeat was not be, and Favre would never return to the Super Bowl.
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The two Super Bowl visits were part of a three-year stretch during which Favre won an unprecedented three consecutive MVP Awards and helped to popularize the Lambeau Leap.
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It was during this time in the mid-90s that Favre confessed to an addiction to Vicodin, one that came about after her had been popping pills to dull the pain of injuries.
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Nonetheless, Favre's popularity during his MVP streak was so great that he was even cast as Cameron Diaz's long-lost love in 'There's Something About Mary,' which made sport of the incongruence between the pronunciation and spelling of his name.
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In December of 2001 Favre's father died in a car accident. A grieving Favre decided to play the next day in a Monday night match-up with the Oakland Raiders, who paid dearly. Favre threw for four TDs in the first half, and racked up a total of 399 yards in a 41-7 win.
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Following the final game of the 2001 regular season against the Giants, Favre came under criticism for appearing to take a dive that allowed his friend Giants DE Michael Strahan to rack up a record-breaking 22.5 sacks for the season.
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In what many assumed would be his swan song, Favre led the Pack to a surprising 13-3 record and 2008's NFC Championship game. But, with Green Bay just a win away from the Super Bowl, Favre ran into a Team of Destiny in the New York Giants. Favre threw an overtime interception that set up New York's game-winning field goal.
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Favre came out of retirement to join the Jets in 2008, and for a while he turned a good team great. In November, the Jets smothered the then-undefeated Titans, and there was talk of the Jets going to the Super Bowl.
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But his tenure with the Jets ended ingloriously. After an 8-3 start, the Jets suffered four losses in their last five games, missing out on the playoffs. In the final game, Favre's passer rating was an anemic 45.1, while Chad Pennington, the young QB he replaced, earned his team a postseason spot.
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