Posted: 4:20 p.m.
How can the retirement of Brett Favre not be celebrated without mention of someone named Kittrick Taylor and the laser touchdown pass he caught from 35 yards out as the clock ticked under 15 seconds left against the Bengals that began the Favre legend on what began as a nondescript Sept. 20, 1992 at Lambeau Field?
Bengals president Mike Brown summed it up best Tuesday.
"We gave him his first opportunity to shine, of course," Brown said in a press release. "We were leading the Packers and made the mistake of knocking Don Majkowski out of the game with an injury. Favre came off the bench and threw a couple TD passes in the fourth quarter and beat us (24-23). He started for them the next week and stayed there until now."
After one of the Bengals' own legends, nose tackle Tim Krumrie, mangled Majkowski's ankle, Favre came off the bench to throw touchdown passes to Sterling Sharpe and Taylor in a 21-point fourth quarter.
Since that day, the Bengals have had 11 different starting quarterbacks while Favre has hung in there to set all-time records for everything from touchdowns to interceptions.
"I've seen NFL quarterbacks for over 50 years now, and Brett Favre would be in my top handful," Brown said. "He was a great passer—strong arm, quick release, accurate—and he matched that ability with a competitive personality that made him even better."
That 11th Bengals quarterback, Carson Palmer, faced Favre just once and beat him, 21-14, at Paul Brown Stadium on Oct. 30, 2005. The Bengals picked him off five times, but he gunned it up 39 times for 26 completions and 279 yards and was driving the Packers to a tying touchdown when a fan ran on the field and swiped the ball from Favre in the last minute and blunted whatever momentum he had.
Palmer threw only one pick that day to go with three touchdowns and 237 yards.
"As a fellow player, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Brett. He's one of the quarterbacks I watched a lot and really looked up to as a young teenager and through college," said Palmer in the same release.
"As great a passer as he was, the thing I really admired was his toughness. His record for most consecutive starts will never be broken. It's one of the most amazing records in sports. I guarantee you, he gets an immense amount of respect from every quarterback in the NFL for that record."