Brett Favre elected to Hall of Fame

Pete Dougherty
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SAN FRANCISCO – Brett Favre now is officially among the best of the best in NFL history.

Former Packers quarterback Brett Favre has been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee Saturday elected the former Green Bay Packers quarterback among the eight members of the Hall’s class of 2016.

Favre becomes the 24th member of the Packers organization voted into the hall, and the fifth who made it in his first year of eligibility. Overall, he’s the 74th first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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Favre is the headliner of this year’s class, whose other members are former Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene (a standout linebacker/defensive end for the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and 49ers), quarterback Ken Stabler, receiver Marvin Harrison, tackle Orlando Pace, guard Dick Stanfel, coach Tony Dungy and owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr.

Favre made to the Hall of the strength of a resume that includes great team and individual accomplishments and his indispensable role in reviving the Packers’ franchise in the 1990s.

“As a kid all I ever dreamed of was to play pro football, to be Archie Manning or Roger Staubach, that’s all I ever dreamed of,” Favre said after he and the other seven members of this year’s class were introduced on the NFL Honors Show. “I hated Terry Bradshaw, which I told him that. He’s OK now. But that’s all I ever dreamed of. I never dreamed of all the other stuff. It’s been way more than I ever could imagine, so I’m extremely thankful for that.”

Maybe Favre’s greatest feat was his durability while playing the game’s most important position. He holds the NFL record for most consecutive starts at 297 games, a record that might not be broken for decades if ever. He also won three straight NFL most-valuable player awards, which is second most in NFL history, behind only Peyton Manning’s five.

“We were very fortunate to have someone like Brett Favre come along,” said Bob Harlan, the Packers’ chairman emeritus, in a statement released by the team. “And it was a controversial move when Ron Wolf sent a first-round draft choice to Atlanta for a third-string quarterback. But it turned out to be the best trade in Packers history and maybe one of the top trades in the history of the National Football League.

“What I am most thankful for is Brett gave us 16 wonderful years of exciting, winning football, and of all the records he set, I think the most amazing was the 253 consecutive starts at quarterback (with the Packers). He was playing the most difficult position in the toughest sport and every Sunday he was ready to give everything he had for this franchise. That turned out to be two trips to the Super Bowl and three MVPs, and it was really a remarkable career.”

Among Favre’s other most noteworthy achievements are his career record as a starting quarterback of 186-112 (.624 winning percentage). His 199 wins including playoffs is tied with Manning for most by a quarterback in NFL history. He made it to two Super Bowls and won one.

He also has the league’s most pass attempts (10,169) and completions (6,300), and second-most touchdown passes (508) and passing yards (71,838).

He was named first-team All-Pro three times and to the Pro Bowl 11 times in his 20-year NFL career.

“When I traded for Brett Favre I thought he would be sensational,” said former Packers general  manager Ron Wolf, who was inducted into the Hall last year. “He became incomparable. They say that old Yankee Stadium was the house that Ruth built. Well, the Lambeau Field reconstruction is the house that Favre built.”

Favre, 46, played for the Packers in 16 seasons and made the playoffs in 11. Besides the two Super Bowls, he also appeared in three other NFC championship games, two with the Packers and one with the Minnesota Vikings.

The Packers’ other first-ballot Hall of Famers are Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg, Ray Nitschke and Reggie White.

Favre and the rest of the Class of 2016 will be formally enshrined on Saturday, Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio. The Packers are expected to play in the Hall of Fame exhibition game the next day against an opponent to be determined.

The honor caps an eventful year for Favre in which he also became the sixth member of the Packers organization to have his number retired. His No. 4 was officially retired during a banquet last summer in which he also was inducted into the team’s hall of fame. On Thanksgiving night last November, the Packers unveiled his name and number on the north façade of Lambeau Field alongside the team’s five other retired numbers: Don Hutson (14), Tony Canadeo (3), Starr (15), Nitschke (66) and White (92).

Greene, who ranks No. 3 on the NFL’s all-time sacks list, was the Packers’ linebackers coach from 2009-13.

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1963: Curly Lambeau, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, Johnny “Blood” McNally

1964:  Clarke Hinkle, Mike Michalske

1966:  Arnie Herber

1971:  Vince Lombardi

1974:  Tony Canadeo

1976:  Jim Taylor

1977:  Forrest Gregg, Bart Starr

1978:  Ray Nitschke

1980:  Herb Adderley

1981:  Willie Davis, Jim Ringo

1986:  Paul Hornung

1989:  Willie Wood

1995:  Henry Jordan

2003:  James Lofton

2006:  Reggie White

2013:  Dave Robinson

2015:  Ron Wolf

2016:  Brett Favre

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