Brett Favre is glorified for his achievements even though his career was filled with prescription drug abuse, sexual harassment, and many other shortcomings. Now, I am not here to judge anyone, but many players have done far less and are not treated the same. Why is this? Take a player like former Saints and Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, who is constantly made fun of because of his love for marijuana. So, why is Favre put on a pedestal? A few possibilities follow.
• Race. Hopefully this is not the reason, but if you have lived in this country for any length of time, you know this is a possibility. Don’t get me wrong: The race issue can go both ways – Try to get respect as a white running back in the NFL. But in the case of Brett Favre, I think if Favre was a black man and did the things he did, he would have been mercilessly destroyed by the media.
As an example, take a look at a player like Cam Newton. Newton infamously walked out of a Super Bowl post-game press conference, for which he was jumped on and attacked by the media immediately. Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski tweeted, “You will never last in the NFL with that attitude. The world doesn’t revolve around you, boy!” Remember Romanowski was a player that once spit in a black player’s face during a game and was generally known as one of the biggest thugs in football. (Yes, a white guy can be a thug, too).
Look at Colin Kaepernick. He would not stand for the National Anthem and he became the most unpopular player in the NFL. Is that worse than the things Favre has done? If Colin had snapped a picture of his junk and sent it to a female reporter, do you think he would have been punished? Hell yes he would have! If he would have had a wife that fought and beat breast cancer and then he cheated on that wife, do you think the media would have gone after him? No doubt.
• Where Favre played. Let’s face it: Favre played in Green Bay, where the fans seem to idolize their players no matter what the faults of that player are. Packers fans are maybe the most delusional fan base in all of sports. They seem to think because they won six championships during the Great Depression, were once coached by Vince Lombardi, and don’t have an “evil owner”, they are somehow more special than anyone else.
I hate hearing how Lombardi is the most important man in NFL history. The Lombardi Trophy is cited as proof of this, when the fact is the trophy was named after Lombardi after he tragically passed away from a fight with cancer. The trophy should have been named after George Halas if they were naming it after the most influential man in NFL history.
• The media. John Madden was truly in love with the old “Gunslinger” and gushed over him constantly. In fact, it seemed like everybody in the media was in love with Brett. Watch any footage of Favre and you’ll hear every announcer declare that “nobody has more fun than Brett Favre.”
• He was tough. I hate to break it to everybody, but most, if not all, NFL players are tough. Plus, are you really that tough if you get addicted to prescription painkillers to play?
Reasons why Brett Favre should *not* be glorified
• Lack of playoff success. Favre made it to two Super Bowls early in his career, winning one. He played well in the one Super Bowl he won, though special-teams player Desmond Howard was the MVP of that game. To get to that Super Bowl, the Packers had the good fortune to play the 49ers without Steve Young in the Divisional Round and didn’t have to play Dallas in the NFC Championship Game. Instead, they hosted Kerry Collins and the Carolina Panthers.
The following year in Super Bowl XXXII, Favre had the ball with a chance to drive and tie the game against the Broncos and what did he do? Well, the legendary “Gunslinger” went four and out after driving the same Packers to midfield.
And this under-performance doesn’t even make the list of Favre’s top six failures in the playoffs. Those would be:
1. The Ugly End: 2007 NFC Championship
Score: Giants 23, Packers 20
On one of the coldest nights in Green Bay Packers history and with a Super Bowl berth on the line, Favre played badly in the second half of the NFC Championship game. He ended his Green Bay Packer career with an ugly overtime interception to Corey Webster that the Giants converted into the game-winning field goal. Favre said goodbye to Green Bay with an ill-advised pass that left him looking like an old man.
2. QB Match-up Meltdown: 2002 NFC Divisional Playoffs
Score: Rams 45, Packers 17
The hype for the “Brett Favre vs. Kurt Warner” showdown in the NFC playoffs was historically huge, and Favre did what Favre does in these situations. He delivered one of the worst postseason quarterback performances in history, tossing an unbelievable six interceptions, with three returned for touchdowns.
3. Humiliated by the Vikings: 2004 NFC Wild Card game
Score: Vikings 31, Packers 17
To say Minnesota was an underdog would be a huge understatement, as the Vikings entered the game with a less-than-stellar 8-8 record. The Packers were division champs on a late season roll. Favre responded by throwing four interceptions. The “Gunslinger” had struck again!
4. Outplayed by Michael Vick: 2002 NFC Wild Card game
Score: Falcons 27, Packers 7
As NFC North champs, the Packers were a big favorite going into this Wild Card match-up. Green Bay never got on track offensively, especially Favre, who could never seem to find his rhythm. Atlanta jumped out to a big lead, and Favre killed any second half comeback attempt with his usual poor postseason play – Favre lost a fumble and an interception in Green Bay’s first home playoff loss in history.
5. Gift Pick for the Eagles: 2003 Divisional Playoffs
Score: Eagles 20, Packers 17
Favre led Green Bay to a first-quarter advantage in this NFC playoff contest, then was terrible for the rest of the game. Favre was handed a chance to win in overtime, and what else would he throw? Of course, he threw an ill-advised pass into the hands of the Eagles’ Brian Dawkins. The Eagles converted the pick into the game-winning field goal. Once again, the “Gunslinger” had come up short again.
6. Never throw back to the middle of the field: 2009 NFC Championship game
Score: Saints 31, Minnesota 28 (OT)
Favre’s crowning moment! On third down from the Saints’ 38, Favre attempted a difficult, ill-advised across-the-body throw to receiver Sidney Rice, which Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, of course, intercepted to force overtime. The Saints won the coin toss and subsequently the game.
Favre’s last pass for the Packers cost them the NFC Championship game. His last pass for the Jets cost them a shot at the playoffs. And the last pass he threw for the Vikings in the post-season cost them the NFC Championship. Does that sound like an all-time great to you?
Personal Off-Field issues
Favre had these, too. Lots of them, including stuff like:
The first harassment suit we can mention was filed by Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole and it claims Favre sought to have group sex with Scavo and an unnamed third therapist. He allegedly texted: “Brett here you and Crissy want to get together I’m all alone.” And a second message related to the lawsuit said, “Kinda lonely tonight, I guess I have bad intentions.”
According to Scavo, Favre “eyed her like a hanging slab of beef”, and after telling her husband about the texts, he had a confrontation with Favre on the phone and demanded an apology. Favre, the suit claims, being the upstanding individual he is, refused. Scavo and O’Toole say that, because of the incidents, they “were never again called to provide massage therapy for the Jets” and that a Jets employee told O’Toole: “Crissy and you will never work for the Jets again” and “Keep your mouth shut.”
Next up is the most famous incident for Favre; it also started when he was with the Jets. The Jets had hired a new sideline reporter named Jenn Sterger as its game day host.
The dream job with the Jets went awry early on, as a Jets employee approached Sterger early in the 2008 season and told her that the 38-year-old “Gunslinger” would like her phone number. Sterger wasn’t interested. Favre was too old, too married, and she didn’t want to risk her job, so of course, Favre left her alone, right? Wrong!
Sterger then started getting creepy voicemails and lewd text messages — including pictures of the “Gunslingers” junk. As we all know, guys like Josh Gordon have been crushed by Roger Goodell because of marijuana use, so how long did they suspend Favre? They didn’t. He was fined $50,000 dollars, but not for the incident in question. No, they fined him because he was not cooperative with the investigation! What do you think would have happened to Michael Vick if he would have been the QB sending the pictures? It seems when it comes to Favre there has always been a double standard.
Remember that through all of this, Brett was and still is married to Deanna Favre, who in 2004 fought and beat breast cancer! How low can a man go? It seems the “Old Gunslinger” was hell-bent on showing us!
I will let Brett Favre’s own words explain his opioid addiction. Favre said, “I tell people all the time that I took 15 Vicodin ES at one time. And they’re like, ‘It didn’t knock you out?’ It did totally the opposite — I was up. And that’s kind of the way with addictions, too. What it’s supposed to do, it doesn’t,” Favre said. “So when you take two pain pills, you’re knocked out and you don’t feel pain and you wake up, what, four, five, six hours later. I would be up just talking, I didn’t want to sleep. Until about 10 o’clock the next morning, when we were in offensive meetings, was about the only time I wanted to sleep. Not a good time to sleep! And I would doze off, leaning back into a coat rack in our quarterback’s meeting room.
“This went on for a long time. It wasn’t just ‘96. That’s when people knew about it because of the announcement. I don’t know, it started three years before? I was taking pain pills before that but maybe not abusing them.”
So Favre admits the opioid addiction, says that they, more likely than not, got him up, which I take as they were a performance enhancer. And what did the NFL do to punish him? NOTHING!
Brett Favre was a great regular-season QB that owns most good NFL records for quarterbacks, but he also owns most of the bad records. Favre was sub-par during the playoffs and usually came up far short of expectations. As a man like anyone else, he had shortcomings, but to me, his shortcomings stem from a self-entitled man who never grew up. His drug use, sexual harassment, and cheating on his wife tell the tale of a sad man who believes being a football player allows him to do whatever he pleases. As a player, the teams he played for, the NFL, and the media were nothing more than enablers.
Just think what would have happened if Michael Vick or Cam Newton would have done what Favre did? You think they would be in the Hall of Fame…?