At age 38, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre is defying the odds and still playing at a high level.
GREEN BAY, WIS.
The Packers quarterbacks meeting ended at about 3 p.m. Thursday when a small tour group was making its way through the bowels of Lambeau Field.
Suddenly, a certain 38-year-old quarterback rounded the corner in a T-shirt, a pair of shorts and a full head of mostly gray hair. The tourists, in what appeared to be an exercise in synchronized photography, raised their camera phones and clicked away.
Seeing Brett Favre move through Lambeau is kind of like watching a pterodactyl come to life in the science museum. He's famous. He's historic. The only difference is this old buzzard is having a career season in Year 17.
"Look at him," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, nodding toward Favre. "He keeps himself in great shape. He's having fun. He loves the game. It's 3 o'clock, and he's leaving here to go deer hunting."
Life is good when you're 7-1 and on pace to throw for a career-high 4,812 yards and 26 touchdowns.
"He's got a lot left," McCarthy said. "He can still throw the ball with the best of them. Still moves good."
McCarthy was an assistant coach in Kansas City when a 38-year-old Joe Montana wrapped up his career in 1994. Montana threw 16 touchdowns and completed 60.6 percent of his passes that season. Favre's completion percentage is 66.6 this season.
"Joe had a hamstring pull and missed a couple of games in '94," McCarthy said. "But Joe could have played longer. His legs were kind of going on him, however. This guy, Brett, he still has his legs left."
So now probably wouldn't be a good time to mention the "R" word (retirement), huh?
"We don't even talk about retirement with him," McCarthy said. "He sees the game so clearly. He's getting better."
Indeed. Despite uncertainty at the guard positions and virtually no running attack, Favre has been unaffected in the pocket. He's thrown for 300 yards or more in five of his past six games, including 344 against the Vikings, whom he faces for the 31st time on Sunday at Lambeau Field.
"The guy doesn't look old to me," said Packers receiver Greg Jennings, 24. "Except sometimes he'll mention a name or two from back in the day, and the rest of us won't know who he's talking about."
McCarthy said the generation gap between Favre and many of his teammates surfaced during a team meeting the other day.
"I used a clip from the movie 'Billy Jack,' you know, from back in ," McCarthy said. "I got done talking and I said, 'Does anybody recognize what movie that clip was from?' And right away, Brett raises his hand and says, 'Yeah, Billy Jack.' Most of these guys were born in the '80s. They all started laughing at him."
Most Hall of Fame quarterbacks were either out of football or just hanging on to the tail end of their careers by the time they reached 38. Joe Namath and Troy Aikman went out at 34. Terry Bradshaw and Bob Griese left at 35. Roger Staubach and Dan Fouts said goodbye at 37. And Dan Marino left at 38 with a career-low passer rating of 67.4.
As for Favre, well, his streak of consecutive regular-season starts will reach 246 on Sunday. He'll need 25 more to move from second place past former Viking Jim Marshall (270).
Don't laugh. The way things look now, it's going to happen in Week 2 of the 2009 season.
|NY Mets - LP: J. Hefner||2||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - WP: S. Feldman||8|
|Seattle - LP: O. Perez||4||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: C. Perez||5|
|Toronto - LP: B. Morrow||2||FINAL|
|NY Yankees - WP: D. Phelps||7|
|Cincinnati - WP: B. Arroyo||10||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick||0|
|Chicago WSox - LP: N. Jones||9||FINAL|
|LA Angels - WP: R. Coello||12|
|Tampa Bay - WP: A. Torres||10||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: J. Johnson||6|
|Houston||2||Top 9th Inning|
|Los Angeles - LP: K. Jansen||1||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: C. Gearrin||3|
|Boston||7||Bottom 6th Inning|
|Arizona - WP: B. McCarthy||1||FINAL|
|Miami - LP: T. Koehler||0|
|Milwaukee||4||Bottom 8th Inning|
|Detroit||2||Top 6th Inning|
|San Francisco||1||Top 7th Inning|
|Washington||1||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Kansas City||1||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|New York||81||4th Qtr|
|Los Angeles||1||2nd Prd|
|New England||1||2nd Half 25:00|
|FC Dallas||9:30 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|