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Favre hit with more loss as wife's stepfather dies

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Heatherthepackgirl, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Enlarge image Enlarge By Morry Gash, AP
    "I consider myself as mentally tough as anybody, but at times like this I question it," Brett Favre said about the death of his wife's stepfather. "Things like this are humbling. Sometimes we think that the only thing is our job, and then you get blindsided and wake up. It's not fun."



    GREEN BAY, Wis . — Wins and losses matter in the course of his profession. But once again, Brett Favre finds himself more concerned with life and loss.

    He had barely arrived in northeastern Wisconsin for his 16th training camp with the Green Bay Packers, had practiced just once with his teammates on Saturday afternoon when an equipment manager interrupted a meeting to tell him he had an emergency phone call.

    He knew. He knew right then. He'd had phone calls like this before.

    It was his wife Deanna, calling from their home in Hattiesburg, Miss. Her stepfather, Rocky Byrd, was dead of a heart attack at the age of 56.



    "It's never not a shock," Favre said in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY before he left Green Bay for the viewing in Gulfport, Miss., on Monday and the funeral Tuesday. "In our case, it's always been unexpected."

    There was his father's sudden death of a heart attack at 58 on Dec. 21, 2003, a day before the Packers were to play a Monday night game in Oakland. Then Deanna's brother's passing as the result of an accident involving an all-terrain vehicle in the fall of 2004, followed a week later by her diagnosis of breast cancer. Then came the destruction of his mother's home by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

    Now Byrd, with whom Favre formed a deep bond the last 10 years. Byrd and Deanna's mother, Ann, lived in a house on the Favres' 465 acres, and Byrd effectively managed the grounds, bought the supplies for all that work and often cooked breakfast as well. He and Favre spent hours every day riding the property.

    "I know most people will see something like this and say, 'Well, it's not a real close family member,' but I was as close to him as I was to my dad, probably closer in the sense of being able to tell him things I didn't tell my dad," Favre said. "I saw him every day. He was as close to me as anybody else down there, because I spent so much time with him, working together and taking care of the place.

    "I probably spent more time on the phone with him than anyone else."

    Favre got the news on Saturday night. The three-time NFL Most Valuable Player did not practice with the team on Sunday morning but joined the evening workout before leaving one family — the Packers — for another, his and Deanna's. He says he should be better at handling this, considering how often he has had to do it.

    "To be honest with you, I would rather stay away," he said. "I was the same way with Dad. I hated to go home. I knew I had to, but I hated to. I didn't want to see him in a casket, and I didn't want to remember him that way. I didn't even go to the wake. At the funeral, I walked up and peeked and never looked again. I'm not good at that, not that anyone ever is. I've never been good at it."

    When Irvin Favre died late in 2003, his son honored the memory of the man who was also his high school football coach by passing for 399 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout of the Raiders. Even Oakland's notorious fans cheered the quarterback's teary grit.

    "I knew dad would want me to play, I knew that was not really the question. The question was: Am I just going to play and stink it up? I had forgotten everything we studied that week. I just went blank. And in warmups, my throws were off and I kept thinking, 'What a mistake,' " Favre said. "But with the help of others, I got through it. The game is a good way to escape. It's a tough way, but it's a good way for me.

    "If you haven't been in that situation, you maybe can't understand it. But you have to focus or they're going to knock your *** off or you're going to stink it up, and most athletes have a lot of pride, want to play well and are willing to do almost anything to do that."

    Training camp and practice in no way resemble an important late-season game during a hectic playoff chase. Favre, 37, knows he will return to Green Bay on Wednesday night, to the mundane routine of training camp. There's no refuge in that, no place to hide.

    "When I called my mom the other night to tell her about Rocky, she said, 'I was just praying that regardless of wins and losses you would have a fun year.' Not that that can't happen, but it's not really starting off on the right foot," he said. "I worked my tail off this offseason, got myself ready, felt good about where I was, and now …

    "I consider myself as mentally tough as anybody, but at times like this I question it. Things like this are humbling. Sometimes we think that the only thing is our job, and then you get blindsided and wake up. It's not fun."
    Posted 1d ago
     
  2. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Thanks Top Hat!!
     
  3. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Bumping this up cause noone is responding..lol
     
  4. Lare

    Lare Cheesehead

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    Thankfully, I have yet to experience the loss of a very close family member. But we all do, we all will. And although it gets highlighted when it happens to someone famous, the fact is it happens to hundreds of thousands of people each and every day. My heart goes out to everyone in these situations.
     
  5. porky88

    porky88 Cheesehead

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    I hope Favre can continue to gut it out. He's as tough off the field as he is on the field I imagine. My best wishes to the family.
     
  6. Greg C.

    Greg C. Cheesehead

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    Wow, I didn't realize Favre had such a close relationship to this guy. And he's always so candid when he talks about these things. It's very sad.
     
  7. Zombieslayer

    Zombieslayer Cheesehead

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    Yeah, it is sad, but it's good that he had a good relationship with him.

    The thing about Favre is everyone experiences death, but man, it's hitting him all at once. It's like once a year, something really bad happens, like someone dear to him dies, the hurricane, his wife getting breast cancer, etc.

    I wouldn't trade our lives even for all his money. I'd rather have my family members. Favre's one of my favorite Packers ever, which of course makes him one of my favorite players. It really is a shame. My prayers go out to his family.
     

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