- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, December 18, 2000
BEFORE A MEETING OF THE PACKERS' OFFENSE A COUPLE OF weeks ago, Brett Favre hid a remote-control device under the chair of coordinator Tom Rossley. When Rossley began to speak, Favre hit the remote button, and the staccato sound of flatulence turned all eyes in the room toward the coach. Rossley did what all men do when confronted in that situation: He swore he didn't do it. "It's the video machine!" he said, as the place broke up.
At 31 Favre is still full of boyish mischief that keeps his teammates loose, but he's tightened up his personal life. As he chipped golf balls inside the Packers' practice facility on a December Saturday in 2000, he talked about handling his addictions to alcohol and the painkiller Vicodin, the latter of which nearly derailed the three-time league MVP's career in 1996.
"I've been dry for two years, and I don't miss it a bit," he said of drinking. The Vicodin? Favre said he picked up a prescription for his wife, Deanna, the day before, after she'd had dental work. "The pharmacist handed it to me, and I looked at it: Vicodin-ES. I got chills. That was my favorite. I was supposed to take one of those a day for pain. I was up to 15. I just sat there thinking how times have changed.
"A few weeks ago in Tampa, I hurt my foot. It hurt so bad I thought it was broken. The doctor gave me Darvocet, which can be addictive. Never took it. Got by on Motrin."
Trying to keep the Pack's playoff hopes alive against the Lions on Dec. 10, Favre was suffering in another way. On a bone-chilling day in Green Bay he was uncharacteristically inaccurate, completing 15 passes in 36 attempts for 208 yards, but that didn't keep him from sticking to his routine. With the Packers nursing a 12-3 lead early in the fourth quarter, Favre got on the phone to Rossley, who was up in the coaches' booth. "Hey, Tom," Favre said, "I'm struggling with my accuracy, but let's not stop chuckin' it."
Detroit scored to pull to 12-10, and on Green Bay's ensuing possession Favre faced third-and-eight from the Lions' 49. He made a perfect throw deep down the right sideline to wideout Bill Schroeder for a 45-yard gain. Two plays later Favre hit running back Ahman Green for a three-yard score, and the Packers won 26-13 to even their record at 7-7.
"Brett did not have a particularly good day, except with the game on the line," Green Bay general manager Ron Wolf said afterward. "That's part of the problem. He's spoiled us so much because of how good he really is."