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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Favre Set To Claim Top Spot

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin -- Now, it's Brett Favre's turn. With Joe Montana in retirement and Steve Young nearing it, and Troy Aikman playing on a team in decline, this is Favre's time.


For the next two weeks, he'll be the most examined, the most psycho-analyzed, the most critiqued athlete on earth.


There'll be stories about his addiction to painkillers, about his family and about a wild streak that has so often frustrated coaches and teammates.


Reggie White said he intends to use the stage of Super Bowl XXXI for his ministry. Favre will use it, too: to show the world that he has arrived as the NFL's premier performer. After back-to-back most-valuable-player trophies, Favre has just one gap on his resume: a Super Bowl trophy.


He can achieve that goal when the Green Bay Packers play the New England Patriots on Jan. 26 in Super Bowl XXXI. After a solid 30-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday's NFC championship game, the Packers rank as 14-point favorites.


This is just as Favre promised six months ago, proclaiming "Super Bowl or bust" after having spent 46 days at a rehab center to kick his addiction to painkillers.


Favre shook off a jittery start against the Panthers. He made the routine plays in leading the Packers on grinding scoring drives of 73, 71, 74 and 74 yards. He also made the spectacular, especially in the third quarter when he scrambled from pressure and -- with two defenders holding up -- shoveled a first-down completion to running back Dorsey Levens.


That pass was exactly the kind of play that once got him in trouble. He's got a Randy Johnson fastball and a Michael Jordan ego, and sometimes he's caught attempting to fire passes through defenders instead of over and around them.


Yet in recent years, after dozens of battles with Coach Mike Holmgren, Favre has become the ultimate performer.


"Today, more than in the past, I'm a little more patient," Favre said. "The fumble just slipped out of my hand. The interception, I saw the blitz coming, they were just a little better and a little quicker than me on that play."


Early in the game, Panthers' linebacker Lamar Lathon helped Favre up and whispered: "It's going to be a long day."


Later in the day, after the desperation completion to Levens, Carolina linebacker Kevin Greene whispered something else to Favre. "He looked at me and said, 'Wow,'" Favre said.


Favre said the days before the game had been miserable.


"I never in my career felt like I did the last couple of games," he said. "I was just anxious, wondering what the outcome of the game was going to be like. ... Me and my wife were going back and forth on who was going to throw up first ... I had an inkling we'd be okay, but we'd waited so long to play."