One of the NFL’s true superstars, Brett Favre broke records left, right and center during his two decades in the game. But alongside all the highs, there have also been various lows. Here are 20 things that the former quarterback probably wouldn’t want you to know.
20. He only received a single football scholarship offer
No doubt the majority of America’s college football systems were left kicking themselves when Favre began to assert himself in the NFL. You see, only one institution recognized his potential early on. Southern Mississippi was the college that had the foresight to offer the quarterback a scholarship.
19. He played his first college game with a hangover
Yet Favre didn’t exactly start his college career in the most auspicious way. Having partied the night before, he started his first ever game for Southern Mississippi in 1987 with a hangover. And despite vomiting in the warm-up, Favre still managed to help steer the Golden Eagles to a comeback victory against Tulane with two touchdown passes.
18. He was caught up in a near-fatal car accident
Favre endured a horrific car accident at the start of his senior year. While driving around a bend, he lost control of his vehicle, which then repeatedly flipped before coming to a halt against a tree. Doctors subsequently took out 30 inches of Favre’s small intestine. Yet, incredibly, just six weeks later he was back playing football.
17. An early hip injury nearly derailed his career
Favre was then diagnosed with a degenerative hip condition which had ended the career of another footballer, Bo Jackson. Favre learned that he had avascular necrosis during a physical with the Green Bay Packers, who’d just signed him from the Atlanta Falcons. And although doctors wanted to fail him, coach Ron Wolf overruled their decision.
16. He only managed five pass attempts in his rookie season
Favre’s rookie NFL season didn’t particularly earmark him as a future superstar. During his first and only year with the Atlanta Falcons, the quarterback managed just five pass attempts. Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville also wasn’t a fan, initially claiming that only a plane crash would have made him select Favre for the team.
15. He used to wish injury on his teammates
Favre wasn’t exactly a team player in his early days. Before his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction in 2016, the star admitted that he used to wish injury on his teammates when he was a backup quarterback. “I wanted to play,” he said. “However I got in the game, so be it.”
14. He was once booed by his own fans
Favre wasn’t always a hit with Green Bay Packers fans. During one particularly terrible performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in 1992, the crowd starting chanting for his removal from the field. But Favre played on and, in the final minute of play, subsequently threw a game-winning touchdown pass.
13. He didn’t understand basic football terms at first
Favre pretty much bluffed his way through his early days in the NFL. The star recently admitted that even up to his third season he had little clue as to what “nickel defense” meant. He was also left bamboozled by terms such as “dime,” “over under front” and “3-4.”
12. He developed a Vicodin addiction
Favre shocked his fans in 1996 when he admitted to an addiction to Vicodin. The star began abusing the drug while being treated for various injuries and was forced to go public when it sparked a seizure. Favre escaped a $900,000 fine from the NFL by agreeing to a 46-day stint in rehab.
11. He suffers from memory loss
Favre’s health continued to be impacted throughout his career owing to numerous concussions. He later told NBC that had newly imposed regulations on concussion come into practice earlier, he would have been forced to sit out a lot of games. He now suffers from memory loss as a result of his various knocks.
10. He was third choice for his There’s Something About Mary role
In 1996 Favre starred alongside MC Hammer in a forgettable sports drama called Reggie’s Prayer. Then two years later he briefly showed up as Cameron Diaz’s ex-boyfriend in There’s Something About Mary. However, he only got the role after both Steve Young and Drew Bledsoe had already snubbed the Farrelly brothers.
9. He missed the first six years of his first daughter’s life
Favre practically missed out on the first six years of his eldest daughter’s life owing to his NFL career. Partner Deanna was forced to raise Brittany on her own before eventually following her husband to Green Bay. The pair wed in 1996 and had a second child, Breleigh, three years later.
8. His wife once described him as hateful
In a 2010 interview, Deanna Favre revealed that her and Brett’s early relationship was highly fraught. In fact, she described the star as being “loud, rough and often hateful” as he rose to NFL fame. Deanna admitted that she would have left him but worried that his Vicodin addiction would get worse.
7. His brother was sentenced to 13 years in prison
Favre’s older brother was sentenced to a year’s house arrest following a tragic car crash. Scott Favre’s best friend, Mark Haverty, died when a passing train struck the vehicle that the elder Favre was driving after he had stopped on a train track. Scott was later given 13 years for driving with a suspended license, although he only served two months.
6. His younger sister was charged following a drugs bust
Scott isn’t the only member of the Favre family to have gotten in trouble with the law. In 2011 Brett’s younger sister Brandi was hit with charges of making methamphetamine following a drugs bust by Mississippi police. However, a grand jury opted not to indict her a year later owing to a lack of evidence.
5. His childhood home was devastated by Hurricane Katrina
Favre’s personal life took another turn for the worse in 2005 when his parents’ house was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. His boyhood residence in Kiln, Mississippi, was blown apart by the storm, but thankfully no one was injured. Despite the misfortune, however, Favre continued to play football throughout the season.
4. He was involved in a sexting scandal
Favre made headlines in 2010 when he was accused of sexting the New York Jets’ Gameday host. Jenn Sterger had allegedly received inappropriate messages from the star two years earlier, leading to an NFL investigation. And although forensic analysis failed to provide any concrete evidence, Favre was still fined $50,000 for not cooperating with the investigation.
3. He was once accused of giving inside info to the Detroit Lions
In 2008 Favre was said to have passed on inside information to the Detroit Lions. Favre, who’d just gone through a bitter split with the Green Bay Packers, was alleged to have spilled secrets to friend and now ex-Detroit president Matt Millen. However, the star insists that he didn’t pass on any game planning.
2. He announced his retirement three times
Favre essentially became football’s answer to Jay-Z thanks to the number of times that he announced, and then came out of, retirement. The quarterback called time on his career on three occasions towards its tail end. He eventually filed his NFL retirement papers officially in 2011.
1. He behaved bizarrely at the ESPY Awards
Favre raised eyebrows in 2015 following a bizarre appearance at the ESPY Awards. The ex-pro almost got taken out by his own chair while presenting a trophy to Aaron Rodgers. He then caught flak for his unenthusiastic response to Caitlyn Jenner’s acceptance of the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.