I've covered Brett
Favre throughout his pro career, and when people ask, "What's Favre really
like?" I might tell a story about his dead-on imitation of Billy Bob
Thornton's character in Sling Blade, or about the time on a hunting trip that I
heard him tracking his prey by cooing, "Here grousy-grousy-grousy." Or
I might tell this story.
Ten years ago
Green Bay was preparing to play Denver in Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego, and
the seven previous times that I had covered the Packers, I had either dined or
visited with Favre the Friday before each game--and Green Bay had won every
time. On the Monday before the big game, I reminded him of this. "Well
then, we've got to go out Friday night," he said. "Find a good
place." Then he thought for a second. "Do me a favor. Can you find a
girl you might know, around Brittany's age? She'd hate it, being the only kid
at a dinner with all the adults." Brittany Favre, his daughter, was almost
It just so
happened that my best friend from college, Dan Squiller, lived in San Diego and
had a nine-year-old daughter, Brooke, and the Super Bowl was the biggest thing
ever to hit town in her young life. Would she like to go to dinner with Brett
Favre and his family? "Yeaaahhh!!!" she said, and even skipped a
friend's birthday party to go. When the Favre party of 20 assembled at a La
Jolla restaurant, Brooke and Brittany started chatting like new best friends,
and Brett couldn't have been more pleased.
Brooke," Brett said, "what'd you do in school today?"
Spanish, I guess. Lots of Spanish," said Brooke, who attended a bilingual
magnet school. "Everybody's talking about the Super Bowl, though."
"What do you
want to do with your life?" he said.
"Be a marine
biologist, I think."
"You have a
boyfriend?" he said.
No reply. Just a
lot of blushing.
And so Brooke,
who'd arrived very nervous, was part of the extended family now. She and
Brittany giggled a lot, talked about how they'd redecorate their rooms if their
lame parents would only let them. They got a kick out of Brett's ordering the
sliced ostrich, along with tenderloin of Texas antelope. "I can just hear
the announcers on Sunday," Brett said. " Favre's a little under the
weather today. Must be antelope poisoning."