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Gridiron Breakdown: Brett Favre vs. Adam Sandler


In honor of the new film Grown Ups 2, we decided to put together a Gridiron Breakdown comparing the career of Hollywood's most sought after funny man Brett Favre and Adam Sandler. We kid.

After a bit of research, we realize Brett Favre's career arc surpringly matches up with that of Adam Sandler.  Both have a degree of longevity no one expected. Our job is to figure who's had the better career. Time to take it to the grid!

And without further ado ...

Better Career
Brett Favre
Adam Sandler
Give it to ...
Born: 10/10/1969 9/9/1966 Sandler: Simply for being three years older and some how managing to look 10 years younger than Favre.
The Beginnings: Favre's career in the NFL would begin in 1991, but he wouldn't become a true starter until 1992 with the Green Bay Packers. The same calendar year that Favre was drafted Sandler makes his start on Saturday Night Live as a writer. Favre: He made a greater leap. He went from being the quarterback at a small school to the league. Sandler had  been doing stand up and had seen some success as an actor on the Cosby show. On top of that,  Sandler's path to SNL was quite normal, where as rolling the dice on a small unheard of quarterback doesn't always work out.
Breakout moment:

Favre's breakout moment came in the 1994 season when he led the Packers to their second straight playoff appearence solidifying himself as one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks.

Sandler's break out performance came when he was cast as the lead in Billy Madison. The film went on to gross $25.5 million dollars to date and it helped to cement Sandler as being a house hold name.

Favre: He came from obscurity (so obscure that the Green Bay announcers famously couldn't pronounce his name) and in just three short years became a Super Bowl champion and a league MVP.
Highest Point: Without a doubt, the highest point in Favre's career was in 1997, when he was able to win the MVP award and win the Super Bowl in the same season. (This was most recently accomplished in the 2000 season by Marshall Faulk) Sandler's best year came in 1998 and 1999 when he released both Waterboy and Big Daddy. The two films have grossed $160 million dollars each. Favre: Sandler would never repeat this  mark of success in his career. Favre's achievement of winning two of the three most coveted awards in one season puts Sandler's money making ability to shame.
Go to statistic: Take your pick of which Favre stat you want gawk over. The fact that he surpassed Marino on the all-time passing list by 10,000 yards, the 297 consecutive starts or the 503 career touchdowns he passed for. Over the course of Sandler's career he has grossed $2 billion dollars. Favre: You can't buy heart and Favre takes this one due to the fact that he was fighting through injuries week in and week out in his start streak that lasted just under 20 consecutive seasons.
Networth: $100 million $300 million Sandler: Money talks.
Best Five Years: For Favre the beginning of his best five year period started in 1994 and ran until 1999. Over this span, Favre won three MVP awards, a Super Bowl and managed to pass for over 3,800 yards every year over the course of the five years. Sandler's best five year period came from 2002 until 2007. During this time period, Sandler's films grossed $771 million dollars. He released "Mr. Deeds", "Click", "Longest Yard", and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry". Sandler: Despite amassing three MVP awards, Favre loses this one to Sandler because Sandler grossed almost a billion dollars and became a guaranteed $100 million dollar movie making machine.
Best Acting Preformance:

"There's Something About Mary"

"Punch Drunk Love"

Favre: he hasn't made a cameo like this since. "There's Something About" Mary recieved better reviews than "Punch Drunk Love".
Best on field moment: December 22, 2003. In honor of his late father, Favre throws for 399 yards and four touchdowns. In Sandler's first game in the film "The Waterboy", he racks up two tackles, five sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one forced interception. Favre: It would be a disgrace to football to not take Favre in this category.
Retirement: Briefly retired in 2008 before returning to play for the Jets and then the Vikings. Sandler unofficially retired from comedy in 2011. Do you consider "Grown Ups" and "Jack and Jill" comedies? Is there really a winner of this category?


The final verdict? Though Adam Sandler has made an astounding amount of money over the course of his career, many would say that he has sold out in a manner similar to the way that (as my Packers friend says), "Brett Favre sold out". Perhaps Favre elected to play one season too long, but you can't argue what he has meant to the game of football. The same can not be said about Sandler and some of the roles he's played. For that very reason Favre is the clear cut career winner here. 

Our intern Zach Schwartz filled in for Adam Rank to write this edition of the Gridiron Breakdown. You can follow him on Twitter @zachiszach. Adam will be back to write more Gridiron Breakdowns soon, but if you can't wait that long check him out on the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program". You can also follow Adam on Twitter. He's taking us to lunch if he gets 25 more Twitter followers today. So do it.

  • By Zach Schwartz
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