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Friday, November 7, 2008

Brett Favre Almost Didn’t Come To The Jets Because Of Fan’s Hurtful Remarks

Florham Park, NJ- Star quarterback Brett Favre considered staying retired when he found out it was likely he was going to play for the NY Jets. He was apprehensive to join the team, not because of the lack of talent or the overwhelming media coverage, but because of an insensitive comment made by a fan. The incident happened several years ago, but the memory has haunted Favre ever since.
“I’ll never forget it,” said a stoic Favre outside the Jets new training facility, “I’ve heard a lot of stuff over the years, but this one [comment] stung.”
Favre noticeably upset, recounted the painful details.
“Dec. 29th, 2002, I’ll never forget the date. We had just lost to the Jets 42-17. I was walking off the field, beaten up, and feeling pretty lousy. Just before I reached the tunnel, I heard this voice yelling, ‘hey, Brett, hey, Brett’, I looked to my right and he was right there,” said Favre whose bottom lip began to quiver, “and then I heard the hurtful words that have stayed with me all these years.”
Favre took a long pause and a deep breath, blinking his eyes several times before he could continue. When asked if he needed some time to compose himself, he nodded his head and took a long drink from his water bottle.
“He was only about 10 feet from me, so I heard every painful word. He told me to either grow a beard or not grow a beard. He said,’ what’s the matter pretty boy, can’t grow a real beard?” he held his prodigious right index finger in the air, closed his eyes, and took another deep breath. “I’m a country boy from Mississippi, I didn’t know this kind of cruelty existed.”
This particular comment struck a nerve with Favre, because for generations the men in his family have all had trouble growing beards. The hair grows only to a certain length, never quite forming what would be considered in modern society, a complete beard. Several of Favre’s ancestors even had the added indignity of ‘spotting’ or sporadic follicle growth on their faces.
This incident has affected Favre’s confidence and caused his interception totals to skyrocket over the last few years.
“They call me a ‘gunslinger’ but that’s not the case at all. Sometimes I hear his voice buzzing in my head, taunting me, ‘can’t grow a real beard, can’t grow a real beard’, and I throw the ball in frustration, trying to make the voice disappear. This has lead to an upswing in turnovers on my part,” said Favre whose eyes began to well up, “I’m sorry, I thought I was getting over it. Please excuse me.”
Favre then shook hands and quickly exited the area.
When Jets coach, Eric Mangini heard the startling details of the incident, he shook his head and said, “That’s totally unacceptable. I can’t believe one of our fans could be so cruel. It’s definitely a black mark on our franchise. Thankfully, Brett is bigger than that and didn’t let such a horrible memory prevent him from coming here. Listen, I’ve been around the game for a long time, and that’s one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.”
G.M., Mike Tannenbaum went one step further saying, “We are going to review the tapes of that game, and if we can figure out who this insensitive creep is we will bar him from the stadium for life. We will not tolerate this sort of behavior from one of our own fans.” DD

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