Brett Favre Photo Gallery

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During my career as a photojournalist, I have been blessed to have covered many of the top athletes of our time. Over the past 20 plus years, I have taken pictures of Jerry Rice, John Elway, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Mark McGwire and Rickey Henderson just to name a few. I even had the honor of covering Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning in their collegiate and professional careers. Of all the athletes I have covered, the one I'm most proud of is Brett Favre.

I first covered Brett when he was in high school at Hancock North Central. I took his photo for the yearly high school football section and as a baseball player. When Brett got a scholarship to the University of Southern Mississippi, there wasn't much fanfare. Southern Miss was the only college interested in Favre and they wanted him to play defensive back.

In covering the USM game on Sept. 19, 1987, Brett came off the bench to spark an anemic Golden Eagle offense. He had scratched his way from seventh string to starting quarterback by the third game of his freshman year. From that day on, Brett Favre was the quarterback for USM. During those four years, Brett created a legend that reminded me of my childhood hero, Archie Manning. During Archie's day, songs were written about his exploits at Ole Miss.

I can't remember any songs about Brett but he did create an exciting atmosphere at USM football games. Not since Reggie Collier, was there a quarterback at USM that provided so much excitement. On July 14, 1990, Favre was in a car accident that eventually required doctors to remove 30 inches of intestines. On Sept. 8, 1990, a still weak Favre engineered a come-from-behind victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama coach, Gene Stalling said, "You can call it a miracle or a legend or whatever you want to. I just know that on that day, Brett Favre was larger than life."

During his career at USM, Brett orchestrated victories over Florida State, Alabama, Georgia and many more. In 1991, I was at the Favre household while the whole family waited for Brett to be drafted into the NFL. He was the 33rd player chosen when the Atlanta Falcons drafted him and I was there taking pictures. I shot Brett at one Falcons preseason game in which he didn't play. During the national anthem, Brett leaned out of the line of Falcons to wave at me. He was still just a boy from south Mississippi.

In 1992, I was thrilled when Brett was traded to the Green Bay Packers. I drove up to Wisconsin to cover one of Brett's preseason games. I wanted to continue my documentation of Brett's career. By 1994, I was standing on the legendary Lambeau Field, covering Brett in a playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons. It was my first experience on the "frozen tundra" of Lambeau Field.

The following year, I was back at Lambeau covering Brett and the Packers winning the NFC title game against the Carolina Panthers. Two weeks later, I was covering Brett in Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans. The boy from south Mississippi had reached the pinnacle of NFL success in four seasons. During his NFL career, Brett won three consecutive NFL MVP awards and has become one of the all time great NFL quarterbacks.

As he reaches the end of his career, I'm happy for Brett, his family and all his fans. It has truly been a joy to watch him play all these years. Five years after he retires, I hope I'm in Canton, Ohio covering Brett's induction into the NFL Hall of Fame. It would be a fitting end to my coverage of this lengendary talent.

Tim Isbell
February 2006

Last Modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 10:52 PM
E-mail: timisbell@cableone.net