NFL standout Brett Favre was selected to 11 Pro Bowls during his 20-year NFL career. He won a Super Bowl title with the Green Bay Packers during the 1996 season. Favre started in 297 consecutive games. It is highly possible Favre enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame during his first year of eligibility.
And if Favre had a son, he would not encourage that child to play football.
Favre spoke with TODAY's Matt Lauer about several topics during an interview that will air on Monday. When asked if Favre would allow his son to play the sport he once dominated, the former quarterback was very reluctant.
"I would be real leery of him playing football,” Favre told Lauer. “In some respects, I'm almost glad I don't have a son because of the pressures he would face. Also the physical toll that it could possibly take on him, not to mention if he never made it, he's gonna be a failure in everyone's eyes. But more the physical toll that it could take.”
It is easy to understand Favre’s sentiments.
Favre recently admitted he suffers from memory loss and could not remember his daughter played youth soccer. He has not been linked to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease that many allege is caused by head injuries in football. However, Favre’s story is similar to some former players who are speaking out against the dangers of football.
"I try to...offset the aging process, as we all are, by diet or running or biking, whatever,'' Favre told Lauer. "But as we get older, I mean, it happens to all of us. You know, 'Where's my glasses?'
"I think to me the wakeup call was (wife) Deanna and I were talking recently, and she was talking about Breleigh, our youngest, playing soccer. I've pretty much made every game that she's ever played (in) basketball, volleyball. She played softball one year, she played basketball a couple years As I find out, she played soccer. I don't remember her playing soccer. She played right over here, and that was probably where my first inclination that something ain't right."
Favre’s sentiments have been shared by parents who do have sons.
According to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines," Pop Warner, the nation’s largest and most recognized youth football program, saw its participation levels drop 9.5 percent between 2010-12. The organization's chief medical officer, Dr. Julian Bailes, attributed that decline to amount of negative attention the NFL has received due to head injuries.
Favre may not have a son, but if he is opposed to the sport, it has to leave many parents wondering if football is worth the risk.
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