Bradley: Favre is the most overrated athlete of our time

Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has fighting words for Packer fans:

Which is this: Brett Favre is the most overrated athlete of our time.

Favre isn’t the greatest quarterback ever. He’s not even in the top 10. He’s 20th all-time in passer rating, 17th in completion percentage. Yes, he’s No. 1 in yardage and touchdown passes, but he’s also No. 1 by some distance in interceptions. Put it this way: If you added Peyton Manning’s and Joe Montana’s INTs together, you still wouldn’t match Favre’s massive total.

To Favre’s legion of admirers, he wasn’t just a quarterback but The Embodiment Of Football Itself. He was tough and he was daring and he got really excited and he played on the frozen tundra for the old-school Packers and … OK already! But he wasn’t the best quarterback Green Bay had seen — Bart Starr was better — and to me he wasn’t as good as the guy who nearly won a championship with the Arizona Cardinals.

That’s right. Kurt Warner. Who has won just as many titles as Favre, who has been to more Super Bowls, who has a better career completion percentage and a higher passer rating and a lower interception percentage but who had the misfortune of playing most of his career for the wrong Midwestern team in an unfrozen dome.

Unlike down-home Favre, Warner has never been seen as a real man’s man — no Wrangler ads — and hasn’t inspired the breathless adoration that John Madden and Peter King and every voice on ESPN lavished on Favre. Warner is considered a really good quarterback who throws a pretty ball and seems serious about his religion and has a talkative wife. Favre, as we know, is viewed as an icon.

I fail to see what commercials have to do with this argument, but I think Bradley was trying to drive his point home by playing to Warner’s good-guy persona.

What’s overrated in sports these days is the overrated statement itself. It’s not enough to sit back and enjoy a guy’s career, we have to pick it apart and compare it to every other player’s career in the history of the game. Favre didn’t play in Starr’s era, so you can’t compare the two. Peyton Manning has had the opportunity to play in the same offensive system since he was a rookie and Montana had Bill Walsh to learn from. If we’re going to compare things, you have to account for all variables – not just the ones that make your argument (i.e. stats).

Brett Favre might be overrated in the fact that his numbers don’t compare to other quarterbacks who aren’t viewed as a God. But to generally say he was an overrated player is a massive reach.

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