Bill Belichick doesn’t offer a lot of public praise to his opponents. (Though he must communicate their prowess to his players before each game.) So when Belichick praises, people are interested. What did the Patriots coach have to say about Peyton Manning breaking Brett Favre’s all-time touchdown record? “It’s a phenomenal accomplishment. Like I said, he’s certainly thrown plenty of them against me,” Belichick said. Now that’s a way of praising Manning while also reminding everyone that he–Bill Belichick–has been around and in the big games. For a long time, too. (In fact it reminds us that Belichick won a lot of those big games, doesn’t it?)
Brett Favre didn’t need to remind anybody of his place in all this. Favre’s name was in every article about Manning’s accomplishment, naturally. Here’s Favre on Manning: “I’m not surprised–his work ethic, his determination. My skills had diminished… I’d like to think I was at the top of my game. There’s no doubt that’s where he is.” It’s a record. It’s in the books. What more is there to say?