The National Football League's regular season has ended and with it apparently so has the career of quarterback Brett Favre, a near-certain future Hall of Famer. The Minnesota Vikings signal-caller ended his 20-season career watching from the sidelines, still suffering from the effects of a concussion received in a game two weeks ago against the Chicago Bears.
Favre, 41, was declared inactive for Minnesota's season-ending loss against the host Detroit Lions because of the injury he suffered on December 20. Known as the NFL's "Iron Man," Favre's record of 297 consecutive starts ended the previous week when he was not able to play against the New York Giants due to a shoulder injury.
This was one of the worst seasons of Favre's career, as he threw for only 11 touchdowns and had 19 interceptions, while compiling his lowest quarterback rating, 69.9.
"One game, one season does not define me," he said. "You know there will be people who say, 'You know, it is a shame he went out that way' or this and that. I am truly grateful for the opportunity."
This is not the first time Favre has announced he was ending his football career. He also retired in 2008 when he played for the Green Bay Packers and again in 2009, after one season with the New York Jets. But he changed his mind both times and came back. Though Favre has repeatedly said this season is his last, he knows there will be some skeptics.
"It is time. I mean, I know it is time. And that is OK. It is. You know, again, it was ... I hold no regrets. And I can not think of too many players, offhand, who can walk away and say that," he added.
Favre played his first NFL season with the Atlanta Falcons in 1991, then spent 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers and won the Super Bowl with them in 1997. But after starting his second season in Minnesota with Super Bowl aspirations, the Vikings finished last in the NFC North Division.
Farve was also involved in a reputation-tarnishing scandal this season after it was reported he sent lewd photos and messages to a game-day hostess when they were both with the Jets in 2008. He was fined $50,000 by the NFL for failing to cooperate with the league's investigation.
"This year did not work out the way we would have hoped, but that is football.," said Favre. "And I do not regret coming back. I enjoyed my experience here and again, I enjoyed my teammates."
If this was his final season, Brett Favre finishes as the career NFL leader in yards passing (71,838), touchdown passes (508), attempts (10,169), completions (6,300) and interceptions (336).