SI Flashback: Leader of The Pack
For Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre, the fun stops only when it's time to win football games
Posted: Tuesday March 4, 2008 11:35AM; Updated: Tuesday March 4, 2008 12:34PM
This story originally appeared in the Aug. 23, 1993 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Brett Favre is looking for a clean golf shirt. Two clean golf shirts, actually. He is flying in the morning to Pittsburgh, and that afternoon he is playing golf at Oakmont Country Club and the day after that he is playing in one of those celebrity benefit things at some other Pittsburgh course. His agent has told him that playing at Oakmont is a big deal. The U.S. Open is played sometimes at Oakmont. To move around a course that famous, a man should be dressed right. The agent is worried that Favre may not be dressed right. The agent knows Favre.
"I think about golf and I think about wearing a T-shirt and cutoffs and sneakers," Favre says. "You know what I mean?"
A golf shirt. ...
A golf shirt. ...
He is looking through piles of clothes, looking through drawers, looking around and around his room. His room? It is a room from the pages of Boys' Life. Sports posters and pennants and memorabilia cover the walls and the ceiling, Charles Barkley dunking next to Joe Montana, who is passing a football, next to a program from the 1982 Sugar Bowl that actually was signed by a collegiate Dan Marino. A picture of Bear Bryant is placed directly above a picture of Jesus Christ. Priorities, perhaps. Bear Bryant is the one wearing the checkered porkpie hat.
"Is this all right?" Favre asks, pulling out a blue golf shirt from one of the piles.
"Is it yours?" his mother, Bonita, asks.
Who's to say for sure? Who knows? The three Favre brothers live in this room -- O.K., their room -- and the shirt could belong to any one of them. It also could belong to their father, Irvin (the Hammer), or maybe to their sister, Brandi, the reigning Miss Teen Mississippi, or maybe to their aunt, Kay-Kay, or maybe to Bonita or maybe to just about anyone in Hancock County. There's a kid named Clark who has been living in the house for a few weeks now, and Jeff, the youngest brother, back just today from his freshman year at Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, has brought a friend to stay for a few days, and a kid named Mark has been around all day and ... who knows? Laundry is a problem.
"Brett was wearing my shirt one day," Kay-Kay says. "I told him it was mine. He said it was his. I said, 'Well, that must be true, because you look awfully good in a T-shirt with shoulder pads. . . .' "
"Everybody just wears everybody else's clothes in this house," Bonita says. "It gets confusing. One time I just wrote names on everything, to try to keep down the fights. Well, Brett calls us from Green Bay one day. He got undressed in the locker room. Seems that the word DAD was written across the top of his underpants. ..."
Blue. Brett decides the shirt must be his. Couldn't be anyone else's. He throws it into his traveling bag. Now he needs to find only one more shirt for the trip. Why is the outside world so complicated? A golf shirt to play golf.
The house is on Irvin Farve Road in Kiln, Miss., a dead-end dirt road that finishes at a still stretch of water called Rotten Bayou. On a hot day, of which there are many here, a visitor arrives in a small tornado of red dust. Almost 10 years ago the road was named after Brett's dad, which seemed logical since he was the local high school football and baseball coach and no one but Favres and their relatives lived on the road anyway. The sign was misspelled, which is not so bad because that is the way the name is pronounced. People can figure it out.