Favre truly was that guy just having fun

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, August 4, 2016

Does Donald Trump really want to be President?

I’ve seen some whacky and crazy antics when it comes to politics, but the Republican presidential candidate takes the cake when it comes to trying to sabotage his own (brief) political career.

It almost makes you think it might be intentional.

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My guess is that Trump jumped into this presidential thing thinking he’d never get the nomination. And then low-and-behold, he gets the nod and realizes he might be way in over his head.

It kind of reminds me of this football player I know who grew up in Fenton, Mississippi.

The road was never easy for this kid and it sometime seemed he was intentionally sabotaging his football career with some of the decisions he made.

He nearly died in a car wreck while in college, became addicted to painkillers and wound up in controversy over some inappropriate texts.

But through it all, the most unlikleiest guy to ever become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history produced an incredible career and will now be enshrined among the greatest to play the game on Saturday night.

Like Trump, Brett Favre shot from the hip. And when he was on the football field, his gambling ways sometimes got him in trouble. No quarterback has more interceptions than Favre. But more often than not, his gambling style produced some incredible performances during a 20-year professional career as a quarterback. Before he retired, Peyton Manning broke Favre’s career touchdown mark.

Very few expected Favre to put up the kind of numbers he did. After all, he came from a high school where his Dad was the head coach and they rarely threw the ball in the Hancock North Central Hawks Wing-T offense.

Only one school offered him a Division I scholarship and Southern Miss signed him as a defensive back before injuries forced them to put him at quarterback where he made the most of the opportunity — something that was a common theme for Favre during his playing days.

As sports editor of the Picayune Item, I had the chance to get to know Favre and especially his family. His Dad, “Big Irv” Favre, and his mother, Bonita, were more than kind to me as a young “sports guy” just learning the ropes. Neither of them ever let the fame and popularity of their son get too big for them and always took the time for me. Even inviting me to their home when I was doing a piece on Brett after he got drafted by the Atlanta Falcons and again before the ’94 Super Bowl in New Orleans. I think that kept Brett grounded more than most high-profile athletes.

Brett is truly the guy you’ve heard about and seen.

My mentor at the Picayune Item, Tom Andrews, and I drove all night to Atlanta where Favre was a third-string QB for the Falcons after being drafted. The Saints played the Falcons and Favre never got off the bench. Afterwards, I interviewed him in the locker room as he got dressed, putting on flip-flops, a pair of shorts and a tank top — typical Brett attire for the time. I once interviewed him after a game in New Orleans when he finally found his way to becoming a three-time NFL MVP and he forgot to pack his deodorant. He asked one of his linemen if he could borrow his.

So the Brett Favre that is going into the Hall of Fame in Canton is truly that wide-eyed, small town kid just having fun playing ball and shocked he’s getting paid to do it.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.