GREEN BAY, Wis. – Pete Dougherty did all the requisite due diligence, just to be safe.
Tasked with presenting quarterback Brett Favre’s case for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, the longtime Green Bay Press-Gazette NFL writer and columnist booked his trip to California fairly certain he could walk into the meeting, stand up in front of his 45 fellow selectors, utter three words – “He’s. Brett. Favre.” – and sit back down.
“It probably won’t be much longer than that,” Dougherty joked before leaving for Santa Clara, California, and Friday’s Hall of Fame committee gathering.
Unlike recent candidates who required lengthy discussion – former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who wasn’t chosen in 2009 after his candidacy was debated in the room for an hour, and legendary coach Bill Parcells, who was also discussed for an hour before being voted into the Hall in 2011 – Favre’s Hall of Fame case is open and shut. In fact, the Pro Football Hall of Fame began advertising its ticket presale program to Green Bay Packers fans months ago on ESPN radio affiliates in Madison and Milwaukee.
“Yes, I’ll be shocked if he’s not unanimous,” veteran selector Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News said.
Among the bullet points on Dougherty’s presentation checklist: That the Packers’ 160-93 record during Favre’s 16 seasons (1992 through 2007) in Green Bay was the NFL’s best over that period; he became the first player in NFL history to win three consecutive MVP awards (1995, ’96, ’97); he started an NFL-record 297 consecutive games (321, including playoffs); and he was the first player in league history to throw 500 touchdown passes.
Dougherty also spoke with those who know the 46-year-old Favre’s career the best – including retired Packers general manager Ron Wolf and former Packers coach Mike Holmgren – and said it was Wolf’s belief that Favre deserves more credit than anyone for turning around the once-proud franchise, which wandered in the wilderness throughout the 1970s and ‘80s before Favre arrived in 1992 and led the club to the Super Bowl XXXI title in 1996.
"A lot of us want to take credit, but Brett Favre did it,” Wolf told ESPN.com in November. “No one deserves it more than he does. He took this franchise and turned it around."