Sports Illustrated's Greg Bishop profiled NFL legend Brett Favre for the “Where Are They Now?” issue and learned how the NFL's all-time passing yardage leader is spending his retirement, and how he spent his storied NFL career.
1. He's got jokes about Deflategate.
When Bishop visited Favre's Mississippi estate in March, Tom Brady and Deflategate were still very much in the news, so Favre couldn't pass up an opportunity to make a quip about the scandal.
Favre grabs the football—“slightly deflated,” he jokes; “we better not go there”—and slings passes that whistle through the woods.
2. He isn't always recognized for his football exploits.
His 20 years in the NFL made Favre one of the NFL's most recognizable faces, so it's tough for him to stay anonymous in public. But occasionally people will stop him because they're fans of his acting career.
Sometimes someone will recognize him only from his cameo in There’s Something About Mary. “You’re Brett Farv-ruh,” they’ll say, a nod to how Ben Stiller’s character mispronounced his last name. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that,” he’ll respond.
3. He spent his career playing the role of class clown.
Over 20 NFL seasons, sometimes it seemed as if Favre would never grow up, let alone grow old. He thrilled and scrambled and improvised and, before one important drive, paused to goofily advise coach Mike Holmgren of an icicle in his mustache. Favre never took himself too seriously. He lined teammates’ helmets with Vaseline and baby powder, laced jockstraps with Icy Hot cream, dumped buckets of water on unsuspecting heads. He read aloud from You Might Be a Redneck If... on the way to playoff games. He was the opposite of fine wine: He never aged. Until he did.
4. Steve Mariucci's kids thought he was a terrible babysitter.
Favre arrived in Green Bay in 1992, the same year Steve Mariucci was hired as the Packers' quarterbacks coach. Favre used to lend a helping hand and babysit Mooch's kids, until his antics began to wear on them.
Favre grew up in Green Bay. Or tried to. He jumped on the backs of so many teammates after touchdowns that Holmgren threatened to fine him $5,000 for his next leap. He babysat Mariucci’s children, but “after a while, they didn’t want that anymore,” Mariucci says. “He kept giving them the Dutch oven.”
5. He loves TV shows about guys hunting for gold.
Favre does enjoy more stereotypically manly pursuits. When his wife and daughters finish American Idol andThe Voice, he stays awake for Mountain Men and Ax Men and Swamp People and Ice Cold Gold, of which he gushes, “They’re over there in Greenland! Badass! And Gold Rush. I love Gold Rush!”
- Dan Gartland