MONDAY: The aftermath
It's just after 8 a.m., and Brett Favre cannot bear the thought of getting out of the four-poster bed he shares with his girlfriend of 10 years, Deanna Tynes. This has nothing to do with the previous night's celebration of his artistic 342-yard passing performance against Detroit, which consisted of a single light beer. This has everything to do with the throbbing turf toe on his right foot. And the right shoulder he had heard go snap-crackle-pop when it was jammed into the turf 20 hours before. And the lower-back pain he feels every Monday, the lingering result of a lumbar fracture suffered in a 1990 car accident. And the arthritis that he knows is advancing in both hips. And his aching right side, which is the worst of all his ailments. Ten months ago two sections of hard plastic mesh were sewn into the muscle walls in his right side just below his ribs to repair a herniated muscle, a belated casualty of the car crash. His doctors said the muscle would take a year to heal completely. Of course, Favre couldn't wait that long. And so he must try to ignore the grotesque, egg-shaped growth of plastic and muscle mass that protrudes from his right side. Most of the time he succeeds, except after games, when the side feels as if something is ripping inside him when he moves.
"Deanna," Favre pleads in his Mississippi twang. "Could you please get me an egg sandwich and some hash browns?"
Tynes goes out for some fast-food breakfast. A few minutes later Favre, still in bed, is propped up on his left arm, polishing off his meal. Eating triggers more pain. When he chews, his jaw aches from the brutal helmet-to-helmet hit he took from Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Greg Lloyd in the preseason.
Finally Favre musters the energy to walk to the bathroom. His left knee is killing him. "God," he says to himself, "I didn't know I hurt that." Then he remembers the kick in the knee that he took from a Lion. He hadn't felt that one until now.
"When he gets up every Monday," Tynes says, "he looks like such an old man." Favre is 26.
At 11 a.m. Favre leaves his house for the two-mile drive to the Packer training complex at Lambeau Field. There, strength-and-conditioning coach Kent Johnston sets to work on Favre's aching body, guiding him through exercises that include sit-ups and a medicine-ball drill designed to loosen his stiff joints and muscles. "I'm a new man!" Favre announces as he pulls out a plastic bottle from behind Johnston's counter. The label reads MUSASHI. "It's branched-chain amino acids from Australia," Johnston says. "It helps with recovery after a workout." Favre puts two teaspoons of the white powder on his tongue and washes it down with spring water.
Monday is report-card day, and after his session with Johnston, Favre and his two backups, Ty Detmer and T.J. Rubley, join quarterbacks coach Steve Mariucci to review the Lion game.
"We had 12 audibles yesterday—nine good, three not so good," Mariucci says.
"Not bad," says Favre.