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BRETT FAVRE: SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
ALAN SHIPNUCK
December 10, 2007
The Packers' iron man is, at 38, enjoying one of his finest NFL seasons. His passing is more precise, his leadership more evident than ever, but his greatest attribute is the devotion he inspires in those he touches—and his dedication to making their lives better
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December 10, 2007

Brett Favre: Sportsman Of The Year

The Packers' iron man is, at 38, enjoying one of his finest NFL seasons. His passing is more precise, his leadership more evident than ever, but his greatest attribute is the devotion he inspires in those he touches—and his dedication to making their lives better

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Doug Phillips, whose daughter, Carley, participates in the Miracle League: "He hurt his ankle pretty bad against theVikings [in 1995]. No one knew if he would play the next game [against Chicago]. He was on crutches all week, doubtful right up to kickoff. When he ran out of the tunnel at Lambeau, that was the loudest explosion I have ever heard in my life. And of course Brett threw five touchdowns that day."

Pete D'Amico, cofounder of the Door County Gulf Coast Relief Fund: "I lost my father a month before Brett's dad died. That Monday-night game against Oakland, the day after Big Irv died? I was crying that whole game. Just bawling. I know a lot of other people were too for their own reasons."

Donald Driver: "My favorite moment is from that Monday night against the Raiders, but it didn't happen on the field. Before the game I went to talk to Brett in his hotel room. He was hurting, obviously, but said he was going to play because we were his family too. It was pure love, pure brotherhood."

Sue LeTourneau of the Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation: "On his 30th birthday, I held up a sign in the stands here at Lambeau. When he ran onto the field, he looked at me and gave a thumbs-up. Oh, my God, I thought I was going to die right then and there!"

Mark Tauscher, Packers tackle: "My rookie year [2000] we were at Minnesota late in the year. Big game. At some point in the second half we were facing third down, and [center] Frank Winters misses a linebacker coming on a blitz. Brett gets sacked, but instead of jogging off the field he turns and chucks the ball at Frankie. And Frankie says, 'Well, get rid of the damn ball faster next time!' The whole team was laughing. It kind of loosened us up, and we went on to win."

Mike McCarthy: "In '99, when I was quarterbacks coach, three of the first four games were comebacks in the final couple of minutes. The one that stands out was against Tampa Bay. There's about a minute left, and we call this play where if the rush comes, Brett's supposed to check down to the back. Of course, Tampa comes with everything they've got, but Brett just stands in there and throws a strike to Antonio Freeman for the winning touchdown, just as John Lynch and half the defense hits him in the jaw. On the sideline Brett's a little woozy; he's on oxygen; and I go up to him and say, 'What happened to the check down?' He says, 'Dammit, I forgot all about that. But, hey, I made the throw.' That's Brett Favre in a nutshell—he'll take the beating, but he'll always make the throw."

Ask Favre for his own favorite memory, and he is quiet for a moment. "I've got so many plays running through my mind," he says, finally. "The funny thing is, it's not only about the touchdowns and the big victories. If I were to make a list, I would include the interceptions, the sacks, the really painful losses. Those times when I've been down, when I've been kicked around, I hold on to those. In a way those are the best times I've ever had, because that's when I've found out who I am. And what I want to be."

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