Brett Favre said goodbye -- again -- to the National Football League after watching his team lose to end a season that started with Super Bowl hopes.
Favre, who holds most of the NFL’s career quarterback records, was on the inactive list with the aftereffects of a concussion as the Minnesota Vikings lost to the Detroit Lions 20-13 yesterday in Detroit.
The Vikings finished the season 6-10, far from a spot in the NFL playoffs. A year ago with Favre at the helm, they lost the National Football Conference championship game in overtime to the New Orleans Saints, who went on to win their first NFL title.
“It’s been a wonderful ride for me,” the 41-year-old Favre said at a postgame news conference. “I hope people admired the way I played, my passion for it, because I hold no regrets.”
A three-time league Most Valuable Player and a Super Bowl champion after the 1996 season, Favre has said repeatedly that this was his final campaign. He retired after the 2007 season, then came back in 2008 after a trade to the New York Jets from the Green Bay Packers. He retired again after one year in New York, only to sign as a free agent in 2009 with Minnesota. Favre’s return this season didn’t come until late August, when three teammates flew to his Mississippi home to bring him back.
The season deteriorated for the Vikings and Favre, who feuded with coach Brad Childress until Childress was fired in November. Favre then injured his shoulder, bringing an end to his NFL-record streak of 297 straight starts by a position player. He suffered a concussion in a 40-14 loss to the Chicago Bears on Dec. 20 and didn’t return to action.
“I don’t regret coming back,” Favre said. “I enjoyed my experience here and enjoyed my teammates. It goes without saying the fans have been absolutely wonderful.”
Besides consecutive starts, Favre holds NFL career records for touchdown passes (508), passing yards (71,838) and sacks (525), among others.
Favre was fined $50,000 last week by the NFL for failing to cooperate in the league’s investigation of whether he sent suggestive messages and photographs to Jenn Sterger, who was a sideline television reporter for the Jets when Favre played for the team.