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Favre's streak not the best

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George Ofman

I know my stuff. 36 years in broadcasting. Sox Cubs Bears Bulls Hawks. You ask, I'll answer

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What a streak. What a magnificent streak. 297 consecutive games played. Talk about an ironman!

Come to think of it, I will.

And Brett Favre's gaudy streak ranks fourth on my list. It ranks behind the other three major sports.

And for me, there is no comparison. None whatsoever!

I'm amazed if not downright amused at those who believe it's the greatest consecutive streak of all time. Greater than Cal Ripken's? Greater than A.C. Green's? Greater than Doug Jarvis's?

No, no and...no again!

I'm not here to diminish what Favre accomplished. His streak stands on its own. It's certainly one of the most noteworthy streaks in sports history. But let's examine it a little closer.

While Favre fashioned his streak over 19 years, it was done during a 16 game schedule with games generally played once a week. Yes, Favre took his share of beatings and had to wake up the next morning wondering if he got the license plate of the linebacker that hit him. But he also had time to recuperate. Sometimes it was two weeks when you factor in the bye week.

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Let's compare that to say, Green's NBA streak of 1,192 consecutive games? Green's remarkable run was accomplished over nearly 15 seasons and during the league's rough and grinding 82 game schedule. Think Green wasn't playing hurt some of the time? And how often did Green get a chance to recuperate? NBA teams can play four games in five nights and in different cities.

The travel alone is a grind. Green didn't get hit by linebackers but try going for a rebound and taking an elbow to the chin or perhaps, a shove to the back. And then there's the constant running up and down a hardwood floor. My knees are hurting just thinking about.

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And then there's Doug Jarvis. He played in 964 straight NHL games, an extremely impressive feat when you consider the rigors and violent nature of hockey. I'm going to guess Jarvis got hit more in one season than Favre did in his entire career.

The physical demands of pro hockey are similar to that of basketball in endurance, games played and travel. Steve Larmer got hit plenty of times. He played in 884 straight games with the Blackhawks. And he was very diplomatic when discussing the streaks.

"It's hard to compare the streaks though it's amazing what Favre did" he told me from his Canadian home. "There is a lot of luck involved. But it's like trying to compare one era of players to another." Larmer said he played hurt at times. All players do. Imagine what a hockey player must feel like after being crashed into the boards several times a game.

Let's compare that to Favre, or any quarterback. A play could last anywhere from 4 to 10 seconds. And unless you're Jay Cutler, you're not going be sacked to the turf or tackled very often. You're seldom going to throw a block.

A hockey player takes a shift for 30 to 45 seconds, sits for a few minutes, then returns. Top players might log as much as 30 minutes of ice time a game. A basketball player gets plenty of stop time due to fouls, turnovers and timeouts.Top players in the NBA might play 40 or more minutes a night.

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And you can argue Cal Ripken just played baseball even though he played it for 2,632 straight games over 16 seasons of a 162 game schedule. Ripken played with his share of injuries, too and while the physical demands of baseball pale in comparison to that of the other sports, are you going to tell me playing day in and night out with some rare days off over 6 months and then doing it for 16 straight years is less impressive than Favre's streak?

On the contrary; I think it's more impressive. And so is that of Green and Jarvis. I suggest their bodies (not Ripken's) took more of a beating than Favre's.

Oh. Did I mention Glenn Hall played 502 consecutive games in goal and without a mask? Now that's a streak that belongs among the pantheon of great streaks.

Sorry. When it comes to the greatest consecutive game streaks in sports, Brett Favre finishes behind the rest.

George Ofman is a sports reporter for WBBM Newsradio 780. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @georgeofman

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3 Comments

rjy said:

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No. You are wrong. The Favre streak is by far the best ever. "NO COMPARISON"

Tab said:

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To me, Glen Hall's record is BY FAR the most impressive. For all the talk about how Favre has had 11 guys lining up to try to kill him on a weekly basis, having a frozen piece of rubber coming at your face dozens of times per night at 80-100 mph without a mask wins the prize. Everyone else, including Jarvis and Steve Larmer, took line changes and may have skated 17-20 minutes per game. Hall was on the ice for ALL 60 MINUTES per game. No question it was both the most physically demanding and the most likely to result in injury

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