Old questions resurface with Favre’s induction into the Packers Hall of Fame
It was truly heartwarming to witness the reunion of the Green Bay organization and Brett Favre last Saturday, as the former star quarterback was honored with his induction into the Packers Hall of Fame in front of a crowd of 67,000 at Lambeau Field.
Having shared the field with Favre during my three seasons in Green Bay, it was disheartening to witness the painful split between the quarterback and the organization in 2008.
Green Bay was the vehicle that forged Favre into a legendary quarterback, and his exceptional play, leadership, and unwavering confidence were instrumental in resurrecting the Packers after a decade of lackluster seasons.
We’re all familiar with the narrative: with Favre at the helm from 1992 to 2007, the Packers clinched a Super Bowl victory and consistently contended for more.
He earned 11 Pro Bowl selections, secured three MVP titles, shattered records, and restored the Green Bay organization to prominence.
While the separation in 2008 undoubtedly brought its share of pain for both the Packers and Favre, in hindsight, it seems that parting ways was the right decision.
This pivotal moment paved the way for the emergence of what many regard as the NFL’s finest quarterback today—Aaron Rodgers.
Given my three seasons as Favre’s teammate and six seasons alongside Rodgers, the question I’m often asked about these two quarterbacks is, who is the best?
It’s an inquiry that often leads to some discomfort. Truth be told, there’s no definitive answer to that question.
A compelling case can be built for either; by any measure, they both belong among the all-time greats.
The determination of superiority hinges on how one defines greatness—whether by statistics, championship victories, MVP accolades, and so forth.
The chosen yardstick will dictate whether Favre or Rodgers comes out on top.
In statistics, Rodgers enjoys a distinct advantage, particularly when you factor in his career passer rating of 106 compared to Favre’s 86.
From my perspective, relying solely on statistics and championships doesn’t paint the whole picture.
It’s pretty straightforward for me. I believe Aaron Rodgers is operating at a quarterbacking level that surpasses any in NFL history, including that of Brett Favre.
However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that we’re in an exceptionally favorable era for quarterbacks. So, perhaps asking “Who’s better?” isn’t the most relevant question.
I can confidently say that without Brett Favre, we wouldn’t have the Aaron Rodgers we know today.
I delve deeper into their competitive dynamic in my book “The True Spirit of Competition.”
One of the paramount catalysts in Rodgers’ rise was none other than Favre.
Serving as Favre’s understudy for three years, Rodgers had an unparalleled vantage point on the requisites of being an exceptional quarterback.
He astutely mimicked Favre’s mannerisms, down to his throwing technique.
When you recall Rodgers straight out of college, he held the ball high above his shoulder with an over-the-top motion, which inherently slowed down his release.
In his inaugural season, Rodgers confronted the challenge of altering his ball-holding position to enhance the speed of his release.
Remarkably, he developed an almost identical starting point in his throwing motion to Favre (as seen in the above photo). It’s a rarity to find a quarterback today with a release as swift as Rodgers’.
While Rodgers might be operating at a level that arguably surpasses any quarterback in NFL history, is it reasonable to assert that he outshines his mentor—an iconic quarterback in his own right, who imparted to Rodgers the essence of greatness?
It’s worth noting that Favre didn’t sit behind an all-time great in the first three years of his career.
Nor did he navigate through the quarterback-centric NFL landscape of today, where offenses enjoy certain advantages.
From my perspective, Favre stands as the original, the prototype that Rodgers used as a foundation for his stellar game.
Rodgers then propelled quarterbacking to a historic level, standing on the shoulders of Favre.
It’s a narrative that defies simplicity in the question of “who’s better?”