Brett Favre, who is expected to retire after this season, will never reach baseball great Cal Ripken’s record of 2,632 straight starts. He is inactive for tonight’s Vikings-Giants game, ending his record consecutive starts streak at 297. Counting playoff games, the streak was 322 games. He injured his shoulder last week when he was tackled by Buffalo Bills linebacker Arthur Moats.
The streak began against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 27, 1992. George H.W. Bush was president. Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” was atop the Billboard charts. Children born that week are now high school seniors.
Between then and now, two Bushes and a Clinton run the White House, and a fourth president would also make his home there. The compact disc would supplant the cassette tape, and would be eclipsed in turn by the mp3. Favre would even become a grandfather, the only known active NFL player to achieve that honor. The federal budget would climb from less than $1.4 trillion to over $3.5 trillion.
The times, they have changed. Brett Favre playing on Sundays was about the only thing that stayed the same.
There was some hope that Favre would be starting tonight and keep constancy alive; mother nature did all she could to buy Brett some extra time to heal. Winter weather stranded the Giants in Kansas City on Saturday night, delaying the game for a day. Then the Metrodome’s inflatable roof collapsed, covering the indoor stadium’s field in snow. The game was moved to Detroit’s Ford Field, which has the advantage of an intact roof.
But it wasn’t enough. Brett Favre will be there when his Vikings try to beat the New York Giants tonight on an unfamiliar field in Detroit. But he won’t be starting, and he won’t be playing, which is at least as unfamiliar sight to the sports world.