Vive La France!
Happy coincidence:Hoops shot that misses everything
AIRBALLDesperation gridiron pass
HAILMARY [considering the theme, “Ave Maria” might have been the clue]
Each of the four French terms contains the letter V, as does Brett FAVRE (French origin] --- no other V’s appear and they are infrequent in Xwords. Fading star
HAS BEEN [his star already faded]
Three grins = Excellent: Loved it; Two grins = Good: Enjoyed it; One grin = Satisfactory: A bit bland for my taste; One teardrop = Unsatisfying: No fun