With the Saints and Vikings meeting in the postseason for the first time since the 2009 NFC title game (and despite the fact that only three players remain from the 106 on the teams’ active rosters), there will be plenty of talk about the bruising and battering absorbed by former Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre by Saints players who had a financial incentive (beyond the enhanced playoff share, the Super Bowl ring, and the fame that can be leveraged for marketing purposes) to apply (mostly) clean, legal hits in a way that would keep him from continuing.
Ultimately, nothing kept him from continuing, despite his lower legs being hit so many times that they turned the color of his helmet.
Favre now says that, in addition to the various low blows he took, Favre also suffered a concussion in the game.
“A concussion doesn’t necessarily have to be knocked out cold and removed from a game, although the new protocol is in place to remove you from a game even if you’re not walking sideways or your arm goes stiff or whatever,” Favre explained on KFAN radio (via ESPN.com). “You may even be able to function as if you didn’t have a concussion, but if you have head ringing or fireworks or any kind of fogginess, protocol says you should be removed from the game. In that game, there was some head ringing, there was some fogginess. There were two times in which I was hit by [former Saints safety] Darren Sharper late. He lunged at my head and both of them were pretty devastating hits, but I stayed in the game. One they threw a flag, one they didn’t. Why they didn’t throw the other, I have no idea. If head ringing or fireworks is a concussion, yeah, I did have that.”
There were a few missed roughing-the-pass fouls in that game. To Favre’s credit, he kept going.
Then again, that’s what he did throughout his career. So it’s hard to imagine just how many times he actually was concussed, since the bulk of his career was played before the NFL had its concussion epiphany in October 2009.
But Favre said he never took a beating worse than he did during the 2009 NFC title game. While that’s not directly relevant to this year’s game, there will be plenty of fans of both teams that will be thinking of it when the Saints and Vikings get together on Sunday.