Brett Favre Admits He Wonders If Playing In The NFL For Too Long Has Impacted His Memory
Brett Favre is a Hall of Famer quarterback who is, arguably, one of the best to ever play the position. But, even though the Green Bay Packers legend made his name tossing around the ol’ pigskin every Sunday, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still wonder if he did more damage to himself for having such passion for the game and sticking around for too long.
As most of us know, Brett Favre waffled between retirement and playing for years — calling it quits a couple of times before being talked back into joining a team — like the New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings late in his career. And, while Favre was praised then for just having the enthusiasm for the sport, he admits that playing for as many years as he did may have impacted his long-term mental health.
While chatting with NBC Sports‘ Peter King in August, Favre took part in a 47-minute podcast conversation, with things like funny stories coming to the surface. Naturally, so, too, did the topic of concussions and CTE in many football players, which is when King asked the legendary quarterback if he ever wondered if he stuck around the NFL for too long, which Favre promptly responded, “absolutely.”
Per Bleacher Report:
“I wonder every day what tomorrow will bring just from [how] I did play,” he said.
“For me, what I have fear of more than anything that 20 years ago was not even a thought is the mental side of it. You and I were talking before we started the podcast—some of the stories you brought up, I don’t remember. There was a point in my life where I remembered everything.. A story I should know, whether it’s one from you or someone else, I have no recollection of it. It bugs me. It makes me wonder.”
The Super Bowl XXXI champion clarified that he was glad he played football and said he “wouldn’t trade any of it.”
It’s interesting to hear a guy like Brett Favre say this, because he’s sort of the poster boy for the backyard playing quarterback who played with unbridled enthusiasm throughout his career, knowing it was nearly impossible to leave the sport who had given him so much. But, like many former players who have begun researching the impact of those playing days, it sounds like he’s questioned the toll it took on his body and mind.
In a separate interview in 2018 with Megyn Kelly on Today, Brett Favre talked about the stigma around a player getting his bell rung and having a full-fledged concussion. Just listening to him describe things is terrifying, as he talked about the wild amount of possible concussions he may have endured during his playing days.
“But as we’re learning about concussions,” he continued, “there’s a term that is often used in football, and maybe in other sports, that I got ‘dinged.’ … When you have ringing of the ears, seeing stars, that’s a concussion. And if that is a concussion, then I’ve had hundreds, probably thousands, throughout my career, which is frightening.”
If Brett Favre truly believes he may have experienced thousands of concussions in his career, that’s scarier than anyone could imagine. This is a guy who played quarterback, not someone who was taking head shots every play like a lineman, or a frequent helmet-to-helmet collision as a running back or wide receiver was. And, while Favre doesn’t regret the way that he played right now, it has to make you wonder about how he might feel as he continues to get older and more research surfaces about head trauma related to the sport.