Brett Favre has a storied history in the NFL, becoming one of its biggest stars in between the 1990s and the early 2000s. Playing first for the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay, WI, then going on to play for the New York Jets before finally settling in with the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons, Favre became known for having one of the strongest throwing arms in the game, even able to get the ball in between two defenders and to his receiver. He was also well loved by both fans and Packers staff alike. It did not matter to Favre if you were a millionaire football coach or player, or if you were a janitor or ball boy, Favre would treat you and laugh with you all the same.
However, with all of this good came deep, stinging pain, both physically and emotionally. From becoming addicted to painkillers to missing out on his home life with his family and young daughter, all the way to his not being taken back by the Green Bay Packers, Brett Favre’s journey has not been without pain and sacrifice. While he may have become an inductee into the National Football League Hall of Fame, his sacrifices, records, and legacy still live on as one of the most influential sports professionals in the 1990s and early 2000s. Here is his incredible, motivational story.
Brett Favre: before he had kids
One of the greatest football players of all time, Brett Favre has had a rocky road to stardom and to relaxing retirement. From pill addiction to raising two daughters to the death of his father, this hall of famer has seen it and been through it all.
However, one thing that he has never lost is his sense of self respect and his respect for others. This is the story of how a small boy from rural Mississippi came to become one of the greatest sports legends of all time.
Before the scandal: just a small town boy
Brett Favre’s story starts out in the small town of Kiln, MS. A tiny hamlet of only approximately 2,000 people, Favre very quickly became the star of his hometown, with signs and even Green Bay Packer’s colors painted everywhere to prove it.
Located close to the Gulf Coast, Kiln is about an hour away driving from New Orleans approximately a half hour’s drive away from Gulf Coast and Biloxi, MS.
A welcoming family
The Favre Family settled in Kiln and built themselves a nice big house. They made sure to include a whole lot of land so that they could hunt and fish as they pleased. They also had a huge deck so that they could entertain.
As Brett’s father says, they wanted to have a party house not only so people could come and enjoy themselves, but also so that they would not have to go anywhere.
First game ever
Brett did not start out as a quarterback. In his first ever football game in the fifth grade during his school’s “Fifth Grade Jamboree,” Favre scored three running touchdowns.
And believe it or not, when he got into the end zone for the touchdown, another kid came up to him and pulled his pants down. However, he knew that his arm was a cannon even before the fifth grade – he just was not put in the quarterback position.
Favre eventually joined his high school football team as the lead offensive blocker. His father, who happened to be his high school’s football coach, was always hard on him, always pushing him to do better and to be stronger.
However, this was not a case of nepotistic favoritism, as even members of his own team admit that the coach was always a lot harder on Brett than on any of the other players.
Taking the field of University of Southern Mississippi as a freshman, Favre saved the game with a 31-24 comeback victory, setting the stage for a huge college career. However, his football career was nearly derailed when he got into a car accident one weekend before his senior year.
They took out 30 inches of intestine, but he went on to play quarterback in the second game of the season against University of Alabama, winning 27-24.
Flying with the Falcons
Favre ended his college days on a high note, and would eventually get drafted to the Atlanta Falcons in the 1991 NFL draft as the 33rd overall pick. However, his skills were not put to very good use.
He was made fun of by the coach for being from Mississippi, and was essentially used to settle bets. The Falcons coach would bet other coaches that Favre could throw into the third deck of a stadium – which he would consistently do.
The beginning of addiction
Brett always wanted to be one of those players who could be depended on – depended on by his teammates, by his coaches, and most importantly, by his fans. However, due to him trying to impress everyone and be there for everyone, he was not there for himself.
He started taking prescription pain medicine in order to push on through, but he wound up getting into a habit whereby he would use the medication recreationally.
Long lasting love
Brett and his wife Deanna have been by each other’s side almost since day one. The couple have been together since they were 14 years old. They dated all through college, and even had a child together in 1989 named Brittany.
Times were tough, as both of their parents come from not so well off families in southern Mississippi, as well as the fact that both of them were in college.
Brett’s daughter: before she began embarrassing him
Before becoming famous for all the wrong reasons and embarrassing her dad, Brittany, Favre’s first daughter was a cute little child. She was born in 1989, which means that her parents (Brett and his wife Deanna) were not married when she was born.
As the oldest child, Brittany had to deal with a lot of pressure and when her dad’s texting scandal hit the headlines, she was already a young woman. This and other events would eventually make her get loose (but we’ll come back to that).
After three years where Brett was living on the other side of the country, the marriage began to show signs of struggle. Despite the fact that Deanna and Brittany were so close to their families in Mississippi, Deanna decided that her daughter needed to grow up with a father.
Therefore, the two moved up to live with Brett in Wisconsin. But when Deanna got up to Wisconsin, she realized that something was not right with Brett.
The texting scandal
Brett Favre, just like any one of a plethora of professional athletes, has been embroiled in a lewd text message scandal not once but three times.
One was with a New York Jets hostess named Jenn Sterger, who claimed that while she did not get any pictures, she did get a lot of messages from Favre.
The other two were massage therapists named Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole who worked for the Jet and were fired after complaining to their boss about Favre. They claimed that he sent them racy messages, one of them allegedly said: “I guess I have bad intentions.”
According to their claims, Scavo’s husband asked Favre to apologize. Favre didn’t, and according to Scavo and O’Toole eventually made sure they lost their jobs.
The racy text scandal came to its legal end when Favre’s lawyer David Jaroslawicz declared that both sides came to an agreement. He didn’t agree to disclose any details of the settlement and his only official comment about this was: “resolved and discontinued”.
Favre was also fined by the NFL and had to pay $50,000. This because according to them he wasn’t honest during his investigation.
Jenn Sterger’s first reaction: “It was humiliating”
Jenn Sterger, the first woman who accused Favre in sending her racy text messages and voicemails, finally broke her silence in an exclusive interview in “Good Morning America”. Sterger spoke openly about this sordid saga. She said: “I’m not a gold-digger…I haven’t made a dime off anything in this whole situation.
Not from the pictures. Not from Favre. I never wanted to sue anyone. That was never an intention of mine.” She added: “It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. All I wanted to do was go to work. Do my job. That’s all I wanted.”
Brett Favre rarely commented about the issue, and communicated mostly through his lawyers. His only official statement to the press was: “No. Man I’m not gettin’ into that… I’ve got my hands full with the Jets and trying to get some timing down with our guys. So that’s all I’m gonna discuss”.
While Favre kept his silence, NFL did post an official statement about the investigation, their conclusion was: “On the basis of the evidence currently available to him, Commissioner Goodell could not conclude that Favre violated league policies relating to workplace conduct.”
Favre’s wife reaction
Brett Favre’s wife, Deanna Favre, broke her silence two years after the texts-scandal. In her interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” she said: “I’m a woman of faith… faith has gotten me through many difficult struggles. It will get me through this one.”
She added: “You have to not let this struggle define you. You have to define your struggle and use it in a good way.”
In a tough press conference, Brett Favre admitted that he had a problem and stated that he was voluntarily going to a treatment center to get off of the pain medication. At this point, Deanna, who was still technically Brett’s girlfriend, was sure that they were going to break up.
However, after a year in rehab, Brett asked Deanna to marry him, and they got officially hitched. Brittany was so excited that she asked where all three of them were going for the honeymoon.
Net worth: $110 million
After all that success, it’s not very surprising that Favre’s net worth is enviously high. How high? It’s currently at $110 million.
Favre made his fortune mainly from his record breaking contract of $100 million with the Jets and approximately $9 million he earns per year from endorsements.
The magical hand
According to his Green Bay coaches, Brett Favre had the strongest arm in the NFL they had ever seen. They attribute his throwing strength and the speed at which he could throw the ball to his recklessness on the football field.
He was well known for being able to throw between linebackers and defenders to his receivers. Favre says that he didn’t do any of it out of hubris, he just wanted to win.
Favre started breaking records by his second season on the Packers, bringing them to the playoffs for the first time in over 11 years. Additionally, he broke the team’s season touchdown passing record in 1994, sending them to the playoffs for the second season in a row.
However, his hard work and his lack of fear ended up being quite detrimental to his health. To Favre, playing injured or playing in pain was just part of the game.
Honeymoon? What honeymoon?
Perhaps not the most glamorous of NFL honeymoons, the family went back to Green Bay after the wedding. This was in order to allow Brett to get back in time for training camp and to get ready for the upcoming season.
He had Super Bowl dreams, and he wanted to make sure that he would be able to bring his team there. It was the first time he was back since rehab, and his coaches liked what they saw.
A new daughter
Favre had a daughter named Breleigh in 1999, expanding the Favre family once more. He was on top of his game, scoring TV show appearances, sponsorship deals, endorsements, and had a venerable god-like status amongst Green Bay Packer fans.
However, despite it all, Favre made sure to remain grounded as normal as possible. He would even babysit his coach’s kids when his coach couldn’t find a babysitter.
Favre tried to be a fun dad. Breleigh recounts how her dad would blast country music with the speakers rolled down as he dropped her off at school.
Meanwhile, Brittany remembers how her dad would throw tons of tennis balls at her as she was going to school, specifically to embarrass her in front of her friends.
Back and better than ever
Brett Favre’s struggle with pill addiction coupled with him coming back from rehab better, faster, and stronger than ever endeared him to the fans of Green Bay.
They not only viewed him as a sports star, but also as an every man who goes through trials and tribulations just like they do. And they began to show even more support for their beloved quarterback.
Fixed up and raring to go, Brett would go on and give the Green Bay Packers their best season in over 30 years. They were the leading NFL team in scoring for 1996, and cruised through the playoffs to the NFC Championship.
Favre says that it was one of the most important and meaningful games of his career, as it was played in Green Bay and packed to the brim with Cheeseheads. They won 30-13 against the Carolina Panthers.
Achieving his goal
Favre did what he set out to do in the beginning of the season – make it all the way to the Super Bowl. And incredibly, it was being hosted in New Orleans, just an hour’s drive away from where he grew up.
He was playing against the New England Patriots, one of the best teams in the league. It was time to put his years of training to the test.
When he first started out playing in the NFL, he had no idea what a nickel defense even was referring to. However, by the time he faced off against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI, he was able to read the field so well that he was calling perfect audibles again and again.
This enabled Favre to take the Packers to victory in that Super Bowl, blowing out the New England Patriots 35-21.
Just a regular guy
Despite accomplishing his dream of winning a Super Bowl Championship, Brett Favre felt that he still had a lot to do. But in the meantime, the United States had fallen in love with this football star.
He was unlike other football or sports stars who seemed genuinely out of touch with reality. Favre was just an average guy who liked to horse around, and was someone Americans could relate to.
Everyone loved him
Favre was a joker while at work as well. He did not care who a person was, so long as they were good people. He was well known for treating everyone the same – from the coaches to the ball boys to the secretaries to the janitors.
There was not one person to whom he did not show respect. He says he did not do it to win over fans, but because it was the right thing to do.
Death of his father
When Brett’s father Irvin died in 2004, he was devastated. Brett had looked up to the man his whole life, and had gotten into football under his influence. However, the day after he died, there was an NFL game that Favre was supposed to play in.
As his coach, his father never accepted any excuse to not play, and Brett was sure his father would be disappointed in him should he have forgone the game.
Favre’s best game
The game went on against the Oakland Raiders, where fans from both sides gave him a standing ovation as he ran onto the field. He ended up playing one of the best games of his life that night, throwing four touchdowns in the first half alone.
To this day, no one really knows if he was playing so well in order to give a sort of last goodbye to his father, or if he was just trying to drown out his emotions and play hard.
The beginning of the end
Brett Favre did not think that he would ever be knocked off of his pedestal, but in 2005, the Green Bay Packers drafted Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers was a good backup quarterback, and Favre was happy with him so long as he was relegated to the sidelines.
But This was also the first year that Brett Favre did not play well, and he did not play too well the year after that either.
The last waltz
However, the 2007 season saw Brett Favre break record after record, and play an amazing season. He was winning and the whole city of Green Bay was winning along with him.
His teammates felt it too, and they went all the way to the NFC Championships. However, it was here that Favre played one of his worst games, and the Green Bay Packers lost to the New York Giants 20-23.
Favre said that he would retire after that season, but then he wanted back in. Green Bay would not take him so he played for the New York Jets for a season, a season in which he did not do well.
He then went to play with the Minnesota Vikings as he wanted to play against the Packers out of revenge for not taking him back, absolutely destroying them. He took the Vikings 12-4 and to the NFC Championship game.
Ending on his own terms
However, his body simply could not take the hits. This was one of the reasons for his abysmal last season. However, he quit on his own terms, and truly felt that his time had come.
His professional football journey officially came to an end when he was invited back to Green Bay, WI in order to attend a ceremony where they retired his number – the famous number four.
Hall of Fame
In 2016, Brett Favre was inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame. There, he gave a moving speech about his father, and how he always tried to be the best that he could be in order to impress him.
His father expected greatness, and Brett tried all he could to deliver. In the end, he did deliver greatness, and we are sure that Brett’s father was smiling down upon him as he was named one of the best football players who ever lived.
The big move
In the middle of his his first season on the Falcons, Favre got a call from Green Bay Packers General Manager Ron Wolf. The Packers traded their first round draft pick for Favre to be the backup quarterback.
During his second game with them, the first string quarterback got injured, forcing Favre to step up. Down a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals and starting on their own 10 yard line, Favre threw the ball three times, resulting in a touchdown and winning the game 24-23.
Can’t understand the instructions
Favre became famous for running the ball for tons of yards early on in his career. But it wasn’t until several games in that he revealed why – he didn’t know the plays well enough to predict where his teammates were supposed to be on the field.
When coaches would give him instructions, he would just nod and smile and try to improvise as he had no idea what they were talking about. The coaches understood this and tried to mold him into a star.
In addition to him being a successful football player, Favre also had a minor career in Hollywood. He made a cameo appearance as Cameron Diaz’s’ athlete boyfriend at the 1999 blockbuster comedy “There’s Something About Mary”, although initially, he wasn’t the first choice for the role.
The Farrelly Brothers who directed the movie were big fans of the Patriots, and after receiving two negative responses from other famous Patriots (Drew Bledsoe and Steve Young) they eventually chose Favre for the part.
The “incident” with Caitlyn Jenner
All hell broke loose in the media as a video snippet of Brett Favre was making headlines all over the internet. The snippet shows former athlete Caitlyn Jenner approaching the stage to receive an award during a sports award ceremony.
The cameramen then switch to Favre, who is shown rubbing his hands while looking at Jenner. The footage became viral almost instantly, which resulted in another wave of backlash against the football player, saying that his behavior matches the allegations against him.
Following Favre’s hands incident, The media became overflowed with jokes and memes about him and about the situation. A well-known sports site even posted a screenshot of him, calling the football player “total weirdo”.
Sterger, who has involved the allegations against the famous athlete, did not miss a chance to get back at him. The former hostess wrote a mean tweet about him on her personal account, saying to Caitlyn Jenner “Welcome to my world”.
Daughter #1: daddy’s girl
Brett Favre and his wife have two daughters. The youngest daughter Breleigh is 17 years old, and only recently finished high school.
Favre was very emotional about her growing up, he wrote in his Twitter account: “Bittersweet day for Deanna and I. Proud of our beautiful and humble daughter, Breleigh!”.
Breleigh, Favre’s youngest daughter is not even 18 yet, and already made a name for herself in the sports world. Breleigh is an exceptional volleyball player. She is tall (6 feet) and can leap like no one else.
When Breleigh was asked about her famous last name she answered that being Brett Favre’s daughter can sometimes make her life much harder. “Yeah, it is tough sometimes” she said and added: “But you know you just have to keep working hard.”
Daughter #2: the “famous” one
Brittany , Favre’s eldest daughter made herself quite a name online. Brittany was born in 1989, and today she’s 28 years old.
Brittany did not make the headlines because of achievement that would make her father proud, but because two main reasons: her looks and very juicy photos (some of them were not even hers but of someone who looked like her).
Brittany’s blonde hair, huge smile and a clearly spicy personality was noticed by “the crowd”. After appearing on TV in several occasions connected to her father, the internet community couldn’t ignore how gorgeous she was.
In fact, Brittany’s photos were shared in sport’s forums and websites under headlines like: “Brett Favre’s daughter is beautiful/hot”.
Whoops! This is embarrassing
One interesting Brett Favre daughter fun fact is actually not about his daughter at all. Although Brittany has several attention grabbing photos, the most famous ones are not even hers.
It turns out, Brittany has a look a like, and this look alike is very proud of her curves and is not shy to show them on her Instagram account. In fact, this look a like’s photos made it into most of the “athletes’ daughters lists” under Brittany’s name. Oops.
Brett and his wife, Deanna love to spend their time doing some outdoorsy activities, for example they competed in the Key West Sprint Triathlon which took place in Key West, Florida.
Unfortunately for the former player, he only came at 187th place, but the most surprising this was that his own wife surpassed him where she finished in number 97. She also finished third in her own group of age.
The place he calls home
When the former Green Bay Packers quarterback finally retired from playing professional football back in 2010, he felt like it was time for him to go home, literally, and return to the place he felt most comfortable.
Favre was born and raised and also later played for University of Southern Mississippi, so it only makes sense that he would want to go back to that place. The family resides in Lamar County in a small town called Sumrall where they own a stunning mansion.
The player’s famous truck is still making big headlines among the team’s fans. The 2007 Ford F-150 was up for sale in 2009 and you could say that the car has switched a good number of hands.
Today the truck is owned by a Wisconsin resident who made an offer on eBay starting at $17,000. The owner decided to sell the car as it was too big to fit in his garage.
A fresh face
There was so many rumors going around regarding who will replace the great Packers player after he retired in 2002.
Among the names that came up to fill in Favre’s big shoes were Kyle Boller of the Baltimore Ravens, Philip Rivers, and Rex Grossman who is famous for playing for the Chicago Bears. Eventually, the management picked Aaron Rodgers to replace Favre.
It was only a matter of time until someone would have decided to create a documentary about the legendary player’s life. Finding Favre, which is due to be released this July, was shot from a fan’s point of view and documents both Brett’s personal and professional lives.
The movie includes many prominent people in the former player’s life for example his team officials, his past coaches and his family of course.
Trouble is in their genes
It seems like getting in trouble almost runs in the family at the Favre’s. In 1996, Brett’s oldest sibling, Scott, was involved in a horrifying car accident where his best friend, Mark Haverty was killed. On their way home, Scott stopped on a train track for some reason and that was when a train passed by and crushed the car causing Mark to die immediately.
Brett’s brother was later arrested and was sentenced for a year being held in a house arrest. Scott was arrested a year later for driving while having a suspended license and was sentenced for 13 years in prison. He was eventually released after two months though.
Brandi, Brett’s younger sister, was arrested during a raid at an apartment in Diamondhead, Mississippi and was charged with being involved in producing illegal substances. Brandi was bailed out for $40,000 but was waiting for her trial.
The youngest Favre is expected to have 30 years inside and to be fined for $1 million. This was not Brandi’s first run-in with the law as she was arrested back in 1996 when she was only 20 years old.
Brett, the legend
Till this day, Brett Favre is considered the best quarterback in the history of NFL. He started by playing for college football at The University of Southern Mississippi, then went on to have short romance with the Atlanta Falcons until he got his biggest career break when he signed with the Green Bay Packers, in 1992.
He was awarded with the Most Valuable Player Award after his team won the Super Bowl XXXI.
Brett the grandpa
Today, Brittany is married to a nice fellow and sometimes even uses his last name to cover up her own. She has a son named Parker Brett, which makes Favre a proud grandfather.
When Parker was born, Brett wrote on his website: “Deanna and I are very proud and excited to welcome our new grandson, Parker Brett, to the Favre family…We’re pleased to say that both mom, dad and Parker Brett are healthy and doing great.”
Every father’s dream
And if that’s not enough, Brittany Favre-Mallion is also a certified lawyer. The athlete’s daughter graduated from Loyola University’s school of law, which is located in New-Orleans while being a full-time mother.
Favre said that while she participated in sports as a child, she was always drawn to a career in law. She also said that her family was always supportive of her aspirations and they always pushed her to pursue her dreams. After passing her bar exam, Brittany joined a law office in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.