Daughter wants Favre home
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre's daughter wants her father to quit playing football.
With the Packers mired in a monthlong slump and alone in last place for the first time since 1988, many Green Bay fans are fearful the three-time MVP's retirement might be hastened.
Favre isn't saying, but he did ask his youngest daughter, 5-year-old Breleigh, for her thoughts as he drove her to kindergarten on Wednesday.
"We were just talking on the way," Favre said. "I've always tried to pick her brain. I said, 'Are you ready for Daddy to quit football?' She knows I play and she knows people want my autographs and things, but she doesn't really grasp the whole concept of what's going on. She said, 'Yeah. I'm ready for you to quit playing football, so you can live with us full-time in Mississippi."
Breleigh lives with Favre and his wife, Deanna, in Green Bay during the football season, while her 15-year-old sister, Brittany, stays with relatives in Sumrall, Miss., so she doesn't have to move midway through the school year.
"It's kind of funny that she said that," Favre said of Breleigh's comments, "because I'm with her every night. I said, 'If I quit playing, there's no more football, there's no more games, no more cheering.' She said, 'No, I'm ready for you to do that.'
"If you want the truth a lot of times, go ask your kids. But I don't think she really knows."
Regardless, teammate Ryan Longwell isn't surprised family and football are both pulling at Favre, who turned 35 last week and is playing in his 14th NFL season.
"I think Brett is at that stage where it's tougher for him to leave home every year," Longwell said. "For the married guys with kids, I think that's the pull that eventually gets us all away."
Coach-general manager Mike Sherman said he's not worried about Favre's future: "My only concern right now is the Detroit Lions and this season and this team and we'll worry about next season when that comes around."
Favre recounted the conversation with his daughter when asked whether he had thought about life after football. Foremost on his mind, however, is reversing the team's tailspin. Only eight teams have overcome a 1-4 start to make the playoffs.
"I consider it a challenge," Favre said.
Favre, who said back in August that he hoped to play several more seasons, declared during training camp that the Packers should be a favorite to win the Super Bowl this season. They looked like a championship contender when they opened the season with a convincing win at Carolina, the defending NFC champion.
But the Packers have lost four straight and are three games under .500 for the first time since 1992, Favre's first season in Green Bay.
Although Favre has stretched his starting streak to 213 games, counting playoffs, he's been knocked out of two of his last three games with a bruised hamstring and a concussion. He also has a loose left shoulder.
Last week, Favre's 24-year-old brother-in-law was killed when he flipped an all-terrain vehicle on the quarterback's property in Mississippi. It's the second family tragedy since December, when Favre's father, Irv, died of a heart attack.
Adding to the adversity, offensive coordinator Tom Rossley underwent an emergency heart operation Tuesday and might not make the trip to Detroit on Sunday.
And Favre's longtime backup, Doug Pederson, is pondering retirement himself after going on injured reserve with a broken rib last week. Pederson is helping out quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell.
"He's sticking around, I think, on my behalf," Favre said. "He's the highest-paid friend now in the league. But I like having him around. He probably knows me better than anyone, on and off the field, and he's sticking it out, trying to help out as much as possible.
"It is different, and he knows that this might be it for him. But we're going to try to have a little fun the rest of this year and see what happens."
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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