Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sports Illustrated: December 4, 2006

The 30th and final (as of this point) appearance of the Green Bay Packers on the cover of Sports Illustrated came in December 2006 in their “Football America” issue. On the cover, quarterback Brett Favre is depicted with the headline “For the Love of the Game: Brett Favre Now.”

On the inside, the article is listed as “The Veteran: Huck Finn’s Last Ride... for 15 years Brett Favre has been the NFL’s answer to Mark Twain’s barefoot scamp — forever young and reckless. But nothing lasts forever, and the chattering heads think it’s time for him to retire. Pray that they’re wrong.”

“To interview Brett Favre in the basement at Lambeau is to sit awhile face-to-face with the phenomenon of American celebrity. There is the private person, of course, and there is the public persona. Often enough these two are utter opposites, even when each can fit the other like a second skin. Favre is, though, as he appears.”

“ ‘Is this the beginning of the end?,’ Favre says, ‘I hear that all the time. When you’ve played 16 years you know that it’s just a matter of time before arm strength, or your legs, give out. You’re always wondering... I come into camp now, my mind’s still telling me I can make that throw. But will my body tell me that? My game’s always been about throwing from awkward positions and making throws that other people wouldn’t make.’ He pauses. ‘And if I can’t do that, I can’t play.’ ”

“There will come a time when Brett Favre can no longer play. This is not that time. But at the end of this season — or the next or the next or the next — he will step away at last, having earned the peace of an endless off-season.”

Whether or not 2007 is Favre’s last season remains to be seen.

But as always, win or lose, it’ll be priceless to watch him play.


Anonymous said...

I put together this list of Green Bay Packers who have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. I'm happy to share it here.

1. 9/25/61: Bart Starr
2. 12/18/61: Dan Currie
3. 9/10/62: Jim Taylor (also shown: Forrest Gregg)
4. 5/20/63: Paul Hornung
5. 11/26/63: two unidentified defensive players (primary subject: Willie Galimore)
6. 1/10/66: Jim Taylor (also shown: unidentified lineman)
7. 8/22/66: Jim Taylor, Paul Hornung (inside fold: Donny Anderson, Jim Grabowski)
8. 10/31/66: Bart Starr (also shown: Bill Curry)
9. 1/9/67: Bart Starr (also shown: Forrest Gregg)
10. 1/23/67: Max McGee
11. 12/18/67: Willie Davis
12. 1/8/68: Chuck Mercein (also shown: Gale Gillingham)
13. 1/22/68: Vince Lombardi, Jerry Kramer (also shown: Forrest Gregg)
14. 7/15/68: Ray Nitschke
15. 10/28/68: Bob Brown, Forrest Gregg (also shown: Claudis James (?), unidentified player)
16. 12/16/68: Donny Anderson
17. 8/31/70: Ken Ellis (primary subject: Les Shy)
18. 9/21/70: Gale Gillingham (primary subject: Dick Butkus)
19. 11/2/70: long-distance photograph of Green Bay vs. San Diego (primary subject: Pro Football’s Monday Night Hex)
20. 10/8/73: Mike McCoy (primary subject: Fran Tarkenton)
21. 8/25/75: Bart Starr (also shown: Bert Askson (?), Willard Harrell, Barry Smith)
22. 9/28/92: Tony Mandarich
23. 12/7/92: James Campen (primary subject: NFL injuries)
24. 1/15/96: Brett Favre (also shown: Frank Winters)
25. 1/22/96: unidentified defender (primary subject: Emmitt Smith)
26. 9/2/96: Brett Favre, Reggie White, Robert Brooks (some editions had these three on the inside fold, with Trent Green, Neil Smith, and Marcus Allen on the cover)
27. 12/16/96: Brett Favre
28. 1/20/97: Antonio Freeman (also shown: Mark Chmura)
29. 1/27/97: Brett Favre, Mike Holmgren
30. 2/3/97: Desmond Howard
31. 1/19/98: Antonio Freeman
32. 8/17/98: Brett Favre
33. 9/27/99: Mark Chmura
34. 12/23/02: Brett Favre
35. 2/2/04: Willie Davis, Bob Skoronski (primary subject: Tales of the Super Bowl)
36. 8/8/05: Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport, unidentified #38 (primary subject: Training Camp Kickoff)
37. 7/26/06: Reggie White
38. 12/4/06: Brett Favre
39. 12/10/07: Brett Favre
40. 1/21/08: Brett Favre
41. 3/17/08: Brett Favre

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