Brett Favre started a record 321 games in a row in his career. His career is best remembered by Favre’s boyish zeal and astonishing toughness, and that creates a sad starkness to seeing him now, 48 and gray, worried about the consequences of a career that turns out to be more dangerous than he realized.
In this interview with CNN’s Christian Amanpour and Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered CTE, Favre said that as recently as a few years ago he’d have estimated he had “two, maybe three” concussions.
That was, as we all now know from Omalu’s work, based on a grave misunderstanding about the nature of head injuries and football.
Now, Favre says worries that any day now, he might forget who he is.
Here is the quote:
“I am affraid of not only my future, but of other players … intentionally playing the game, knowing that the repercussions could be life threatening. I have one who’s 8, 3 and a newborn. And they have not decided, at least the 8 year old, to play football. I’m not going to encourage him to play football. I’m not saying I would discourage him, but I would be cringing every time I saw my grandson get tackled, because I know, physically, what’s at stake. I’m able to function the way I so choose, at least up to this point. I stay active. … Tomorrow may be totally different. Tomorrow I may not remember who I am, I may not know where I live, and that’s the frightening thing for us football players.”
Favre was asked how to make the game safer, and he came up with pretty much the same answer as anybody else.
“How do you make the game safer? You don’t play.”