According to one of the 46 NFL Hall of Fame voters, the debate over Brett Favre’s candidacy last Saturday took six seconds.
“The longest discussion of the HOF meeting was Eddie DeBartolo Jr. at 50 minutes, 33 seconds. The shortest? Brett Favre at six seconds,” tweeted columnist Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning-News.
The message is clear: when it comes to Favre, there is nothing to debate.
Why is that?
Favre threw the most interceptions in NFL history – by far – 336. In second place, well behind, is former Oakland Raider signal-caller George Blanda with 277.
Look, Favre belongs in the Hall of Fame. He was a special player. But when a quarterback throws 336 interceptions, perhaps the committee should’ve held a discussion about his candidacy longer than six seconds.
The turnover ratio in the NFL might be the most important stat. Coaches have a pathological dislike for turnovers.
Shortly before Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells resigned in Dallas, he told Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo: “You can’t turn over the ball. You just can’t do it.”
A big reason the Carolina Panthers lost Super Bowl 50 was four turnovers.
Favre turned the ball over too much during his career, and this likely contributed to him winning just one Super Bowl in 20 years. Minnesota Vikings fans will never forget his costly interception to close out regulation in the 2009 NFC Championship Game. Often Favre’s picks were dismissed because of his reputation as a “gunslinger.” He was often praised for his proclivity to be a “riverboat gambler,” a quarterback who took a lot of chances.
“We don’t want to make those explosive plays at the expense of making poor decisions that are going to turn into turnovers and interceptions,” said Nick Saban, who has coached Alabama to four national championships. “Taking care of the ball and managing the game are more important than that.”
Bottom line: interceptions are unacceptable, no matter who throws them.
Parcells also said, “Interceptions are bad plays. Throwing the ball away is a good play.”
Favre did some amazing things in his career, including throwing 508 touchdowns, only surpassed by Peyton Manning. But when you throw the most interceptions in NFL history, the Hall of Fame committee needs to spend some time discussing this. It’s a very bad statistic.
And some of those same NFL writers on the committee (some are friends of mine) who seemed to gloss over Favre’s myriad picks perhaps shouldn’t be as critical of current quarterbacks for their interceptions. You know darn well some of these same scribes have blasted the Tony Romos and Ryan Fitzpatricks of the world for their picks. There should be no double standard.
All interceptions are bad, whether you are a gunslinger or not.