After 20 seasons, 41-year old Brett Favre is retiring from professional football. Assuming this is the end (he has retired two other times, only to come back the next season), Favre departs as the National Football League career leader in victories (186), yards passing (71,838), touchdown passes (508), attempts (10,169), completions (6,300) and interceptions (336).
While those records are undoubtedly impressive, I am most impressed with Favre’s NFL-best streak of 297 straight starts. From September 1992 to December 2010, he never missed a start. He showed up to play quarterback every week for 18+ years.
That got me to thinking…
Who has the more impressive streak? Brett Favre or Cal Ripken Jr?
Cal Ripken Jr has the Major League Baseball record for most consecutive games played. From from May 30, 1982 to September 20, 1998, Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive games. Everyday for 17+ seasons, he played shortstop or third base for the Baltimore Orioles.
Both streaks are extremely impressive. Both took guts. Both required a ton of toughness. Both took consistently showing up.
If I had to choose, I would go have to go with Cal Ripken Jr’s streak.
I understand how violent NFL football can be. Anybody who ever turns on their TV on a Sunday can see that. I know how Favre played through multiple injuries and personal tragedies. In no way am I disrespecting or downplaying his amazing streak.
Personally, it all comes down to the incredible daily grind of baseball. MLB teams play a 162 game schedule. NFL teams play a 16 game schedule. MLB teams also play much more often. For example, in May 2011 the New York Yankees are scheduled to play 29 games in 31 days with only 2 off days. NFL teams play once a week often having 7 days between games. There have been many times where Brett Favre has missed a full week of practice due to injury only to play in that week’s game. Cal Ripken Jr never had that luxury.
What about you? What do you think?
What is the more impressive streak – Brett Favre’s 297 straight NFL starts or Cal Ripken Jr’s 2,632 MLB consecutive games played?