Deanna says Brett excited


Mar 8, 2005
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The ties that bind
Favre's family stronger after tumultuous times
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Posted: June 5, 2005
Appleton - He took the teasing quite well after being upstaged at the plate by his wife, she had her new curly locks tucked under a vintage No. 4 ball cap and the girls were running around the field chatting with fans and teammates.

This is the Favre family as we have grown to know them, unpretentious, open, generous and, at last, relieved from the grief and scares that life had dealt them in the last two years.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and his wife, Deanna, both openly talked about a variety of subjects Sunday after the Brett Favre Celebrity Softball Game that drew a record crowd of 8,905 fans to the Fox Cities Stadium and raised an estimated $100,000 to $150,000 for the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. Two-thirds of the money benefits children's charities in Wisconsin and Mississippi; the other third will go into the endowment fund of the foundation.

In the marquee game, the Packers' offense crushed the defense, 22-5. For the day, Deanna ripped two base hits and caught a deep fly ball in center field off the bat of Donald Driver. She is still getting her energy back after chemotherapy that ended in January and radiation that ended in March, both used to treat her breast cancer. She easily drew some of the biggest ovations from the crowd, some whom presented her with gifts.

Brett had a double and bunt and showed no mercy in forcing oldest daughter, Brittany, out at second base one play after he was unable to reel in her single. Later, he seemed almost eager to get some things off his chest as he addressed reporters in the dugout.

For starters, he does not regret the things he said about a month ago regarding receiver Javon Walker's contract holdout. At that time, Favre said he thought a player ought to abide by his contract, that Walker might be getting bad advice and that the Packers should not cave in to Walker's demands.

On Sunday, Favre tried to justify his comments by saying he wants to help the Packers by being a leader, which might mean he'll be speaking up more than he has in the past. He added that, at age 35, his playing future is limited and he knows how valuable the Pro Bowl receiver is to the Packers' offense.

"He's a phenomenal player," Favre said, referring to Walker. "The sky's the limit for him. He doesn't even realize how good he can be. I just want him in camp. It's going to help us as a team. I hated that that had to come out, but I meant what I said. I don't backtrack from that.

"I hate to see the game going this way. And I've read a lot of comments that, 'Well, Brett's got his money,' and all this stuff. Never once did I mention holdouts. Never once did I say, two years, three years left on my contract, I deserve this. . . . You let that take its course. There's a way you handle things, I believe. Now if I am wrong, I apologize for that.

"But I believe as the leader of this team, in some ways, I have to be vocal. I've always been a quiet guy when it comes to things like that. But I am at the latter part of my career, and I want to win. I don't know if it will be this year, maybe we go 8-8, maybe we go 13-3, I don't know, but I want to do everything in my power to make sure that we get our best shot."

Favre has spoken out against such holdouts before, by Sterling Sharpe and Mike McKenzie. Favre didn't expect Walker to hold his comments against him any more than Sharpe or McKenzie did.

"I don't see any reason why he'd be bitter at me," Favre said. "If he is, then he'll have to get over it. I haven't said anything negative about Javon. He's a tremendous player, he's a great guy, but I think the way he is going about this is wrong."

Favre, who is entering his 15th season, has been scrutinized more closely ever since coach Mike Sherman told him to skip the post-draft minicamp in April and the current minicamp.

Both Deanna and Brett agreed with Sherman that unusual personal circumstances almost demanded a break like this that could enhance and even extend Favre's career. By now, the Favre family's recent history is well known: Brett's father, Irv, died of a heart attack in 2003, and last year Deanna's 24-year-old brother died in an accident. Shortly thereafter, she discovered she had cancer.

Favre waited two months earlier this year before deciding to return for his 226th consecutive start and the Sherman psychology has worked. Favre misses football so much he's even watching the NFL Network back in Mississippi.

"I think taking the time off was a good thing, I really do," Deanna said. "He needed some time to rejuvenate him. Over the last two years, a lot has happened, so I think just staying away and really focusing on family and working out really helps. He's really excited about coming back, more this year than probably the last two or three."

With Favre roaming practice at this minicamp, that seemed pretty obvious.

"Being away, I've missed the guys and I've missed being around, but that's kind of the whole premise of training camp is to come into this ready to go, because you can get burned out," Favre said.

Deanna Favre said the couple had talked about his retirement, but she thinks he could play a few more seasons.

"Sure, I think a couple more," she said. "We have (talked about it) and he's just right now going to take it one year at a time. He's not going to make any decisions. Maybe, hopefully, there will be another one."

Added Brett: "I haven't made any decisions. I was confused on what I wanted to do and where my main focus was. I don't know if within the last two years, within the 16 games, I've been totally committed because of some of the outside things I have had to deal with. Although they have been big distractions for me and my family, still this is my job and I want to be totally committed to the team. I don't know if I've done that. I've given it my best but I'm hoping this year will go smoothly."

When Favre does decide it's over, Deanna hopes the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation will go on, and hopes one day her daughters will run it. Deanna never considered postponing this event, or the other charity event she had in March for cancer, because she wasn't feeling well.

But there were awful days last season, and not just because her hair was falling out. The weeks she would undergo chemotherapy, she was so whipped she didn't leave the house for a week, entirely out of character for her.

Now she feels so much better that she has worked out with Brett and the personal trainer he hired to get in better shape for the season. She has follow-up appointments today and Tuesday and expects cancer-free reports. She said the support from her family kept her going, as well as letters from women who decided to get checked by doctors because of her story. She was also greatly looking forward to the upcoming season.

"I lost my brother right before the cancer treatments so I was a little numb," Deanna said. "It was kind of a roller coaster. I was having emotional setbacks. Physically, as well. I had great support from my family. You saw Brett shaved his head. My two daughters cut their hair for Locks of Love. All the fans, it was incredible, the prayers and encouraging words. I received a lot of support, which helped.

"I'm looking forward to a little bit of normalcy, no tragedy, nothing like that to deal with. I hope we can just actually enjoy the year and have a great year. We're looking forward to that."

Good article from MJS.

From this it sounds like it was a good idea to hold Brett out of the training camp. The extra time gave him and Deanna time to sort out all the things been through the last couple of years. Most impotantly he is "chomping at the bit" to play football. Let's hope this translates into a great year for the Pack.


Jun 6, 2005
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Lynchburg, VA
I like that he's willing to step up and be a voice for the team...something that the team really needed last year...mind you more so the defense, but still, the Pack haven't had that since LeRoy was around.

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