Recently, the Daily Journal’s sports writers were reflecting on the best athletes they ever saw in person – regardless of the level of competition or location. For the next few Sundays, we’ll publish some of those reflections.
John Whitcomb is the answer to the trivia question.
Brett Favre survived a life-threatening car wreck in mid-July of 1990, only to return on Sept. 8 and lead Southern Mississippi to a 27-24 upset of No. 13 Alabama at Birmingham’s Legion Field.
So who quarterbacked the Golden Eagles in their season opener on Sept. 1? It was Whitcomb, a redshirt freshman who led a 12-0 win over Division II Delta State.
So now, as we discuss the best we’ve ever seen, the answer is not Whitcomb, but Favre.
In 360 college football games covered, I’ve seen quarterbacks who have excelled and quarterbacks who have struggled.
I’ve seen quarterbacks flourish when they fit the offense.
Favre didn’t fit the offense. He was the offense.
He stretched the field with his arm, or he improvised, sliding a few steps to his right to flip the ball to a running back or an offensive lineman or anyone else with a chance for forward progress.
Eli Manning was a technician and could dice up a defense with his accuracy which was aided by reading the field a half second before.
Favre was physical.
Sometimes that works out for quarterbacks, sometimes not, but the ones who are physical don’t care, it’s what they are.
For Favre it worked more times than not. He got it done, and won games.