The Green Bay Packers put Brett Favre’s name where it belongs on Sunday – up on the Lambeau Field façade with their numerous other Hall of Famers. Their record-setting quarterback helped the Packers to back-to-back Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s and their first championship in 28 years, supplying plenty of memories and breaking records over his lengthy career.
As an NFL beat writer for USA Today for much of that time, I got to know Favre fairly well. The player and person I knew (and apparently the one I didn’t know as well) are all captured in Jeff Pearlman’s intriguing “Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre,” which officially publishes on Oct. 25 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) but is currently being excerpted in several publications.
Favre could be charming and thoughtful, or petulant and cruel. His locker room pranks were legendary, he nearly ruined his marriage with his partying ways and he certainly didn’t go out of his way to mentor younger players (the segment in the book about Aaron Rodgers’ first meeting with Favre is fascinating in how it poisoned their relationship from the start).
Through it all, Favre played and played and played. He started 297 consecutive games, a record for any position. He played through ankle sprains, a broken thumb and the usual aches and pains that sideline others. He was there, every Sunday, firing the football in his one particular style.
Pearlman’s extensive interviews present this multi-faceted man in the many ways in which we knew him – one who retired several times but couldn’t stay away from the game, one who rebuilt his life after a bout with an addiction to pain-killers, one who supplied football fans with endless entertainment for 20 years.
As we head toward the middle of a middling NFL season, let yourself glory again in the rebuilding of the Packers and Titletown, the stardom of Favre and the fun that all was. Let Pearlman be your guide.
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman