Favre video goes viral

Clemens: Favorite Favre fan stories

Mike Clemens
June 26, 2019 - 9:02 pm

Sportsradio 105.7 FM The FAN

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Madison, WI - Last Saturday Brett Favre took a moment to walk over to a fan, a mom holding her baby, while he was competing in a celebrity round of the Am Fam Championship golf tournament. 

As of this writing, over 1.2 million people have viewed the video of this brief encounter:

Here are some of my favorite fan encounters with Favre. 

In the photo above, you see #4 with back-up quarterback Ingle Martin during the Green Bay Packers 2006 training camp. 

A sudden thunderstorm popped up, so first year head coach Mike McCarthy instructed players and the media to move indoors to the Don Huston Center. 

That normally means fans attending practice are out of luck. When the team practices inside the Huston Center, there's not enough room on the sidelines for fans to watch safely. 

Ted Thompson, in his second year as general manager, was very wary of safety for all, and had imposed several new restrictions that not only limited public access, but media access as well. 

But on this occasion, Thompson had a change of heart. There were several hundred fans who had arrived early to the outdoor practice field, on a day when severe weather was not in the forecast. Often these fans travel hundreds of miles and planned summer vacations around having the opportunity to see the Packers at work, up close, and for free. 

So the Packers GM himself walked over to the garage door in the northeast corner, bent down and lifted the garage door, and as fans walked to their cars, Thompson invited them to come inside to get out of the rain and thunderstorm, and watch a little practice. 

In marched in the fans, including a woman with two grade school aged girls, each wearing #4 Packers jerseys.

The  woman had walked in carrying a six-foot-tall, full - sized stand up display of Favre holding a football, and two bottles of milk, part of an NFL endorsement found in the dairy section of your local grocer.

Players typically don't chat with fans while practice is in progress. Yet the woman hollered and shouted throughout the entire session.

"Brett! Hey Brett! BRREETTT??" trying to get Favre's attention, while she wobbled the cut out making it dance like a street vendor with a promotional sign, likely seeking to get his autograph. 

It was an hysterical, awkward moment. 

Shortly after, Thompson and a security tech ushered the fans out the side door as the storm had eased up, and practiced continued inside the Hutson. 

"I mean, what was I supposed to do?" Favre asked at his locker the next day, smiling, shaking his head.  

"It was kind of an out-of-body experience."

On a Saturday night in July, 2015, when Favre was inducted in to the Packers team Hall of Fame, a sold-out banquet that draws about 1,500, the team honored Favre's request to open up Lambeau Field for those who could not get inside, and instead could watch the ceremony on the stadium's scoreboards. Fan's were charged $4 a ticket, with the money donated to charities. 

Over 67,000 fans attended to see Favre walk out on the field and address them for 10 minutes. Just to say "Hi" and "Thank-you."

Who does that? What other sports figure can draw that many people  - just to watch a guy walk on to an empty football field? 

Not many. 

It raises another interesting question: If Favre had not thrown that interception to the Saints Tracy Porter in the 2009 NFC Championship game, and the Vikings had gone on to win the Super Bowl that year, would Favre still be warmly welcomed back to Wisconsin? 

Probably not. 

But Favre has that kind of effect on people. Even his former teammates. 

Last November the Super Bowl XXXI Packers attended a reunion at the Wisconsin State Fair grounds to meet fans and sign autographs. A limited amount of tickets at $250.00 per were sold out if you wanted a Brett Favre autograph on any piece of memorabilia. Favre was scheduled to sign helmets, jerseys, posters and quickly pose for photos with fans for three hours, then be driven to the airport to catch a flight. He had another appearance later that day in Kansas City. 

Favre was running 20 minutes late, still carefully signing his name and "HOF" to hundreds of Green Bay Packer helmets that would sell for a market value of $500.00 a piece.  

As he worked the black sharpie pen, he got a tap on the shoulder. 

Favre turned and said "Hey Dorsey, how's it going?" 

The two embraced. 

It was former Packers running back Dorsey Levens, who was also on that 1996 Packers Super Bowl team.. Levens time slot to sign autographs had ended over an hour before,. He apparently had been hanging around just to get a chance to say hello to a busy Favre.

Levens pulled out his cell phone and said "Hey Brett - can I get a picture? This would help me get some more followers on my Instagram account."

He wasn't joking.

Favre put down the pen for a quick "selfie" with Levens. 

Of course for every autograph Brett Favre has signed since 1992, there are probably thousands more of disgruntled, disappointed signature seekers who came up empty handed. 

But Favre really has a distinct charm with people, especially with families and kids. 

A Make-A-Wish child and his parents were once escorted to the sidelines during practice in 2007 in Green Bay. 

During a scheduled water break, Favre came over to introduce himself and pose with the boy, about 8 or 9 years old, with his family. 

After the snapshot, in a sweet, little voice, the boy looked up at the famous quarterback, wearing his helmet,  looking down through his facemask, pointed and said "Do you have a radio in there?" 

"Do I have a radio?" said Favre, taking off the helmet to show the boy the inside, pointing to the receiver.

"You bet I do!" said Favre. "It's got AM. FM. Sirius. XM. (pause) HBO...." 

The family, and everyone around cracked up laughing. 

Perhaps my favorite Favre/fan encounter dates back to January, 1997. 

Green Bay had defeated the New England Patriots in the Superdome, and thousands of Packers fans were headed for home. Flights were booked solid and delayed out of New Orleans. Driving didn't seem like an option. So I got the last seat on a northbound train headed for Chicago, the famed "City Of New Orleans."

Every seat in our car was filled with Packers fans headed back to Wisconsin and during a stop in southern Illinois, of the the passengers purchased a copy of the Chicago Tribune, and brought it back on to the train. 

As we neared Union Station in downtown Chicago, the man reading the newspaper said out loud "Hey everybody, listen to this!"

He began to read a column by a Tribune sports columnist that feared the Chicago Bears, who finished 7-9 under Dave Wannstedt that season,  with a lackluster roster, were in for more years of domination of the NFC North Division by Green Bay. 

"And consider the Packers leader, 27-year-old and two time MVP winner Brett Favre," said the man reading the column to everyone on the train. 

The writer had visited a coffee shop in Green Bay where the waitresses said the Favre family comes in from time to time on Saturday mornings for a pancake breakfast. 

One time after the Favres had ordered their food, the waitress told Brett "a number of customers have asked if you wouldn't mind signing your autograph for them?"

"Not until we're all done eating here, OK?" replied Favre. "And tell 'em it will cost them $5."

The Favre's ate their pancakes and when they finished, Brett motioned to the waitress to give her the signal it was OK to sign some autographs. 

The waitress says suddenly nearly everyone in the restaurant stood up to get in line, that nearly reached out the front door, all holding a napkin, a placemat, a cap, something - for Favre to sign, all holding $5 dollar bills. 

When Favre finally signed the last one in line, there was a large pile of cash on their table. 

As the Favre family slid out of the large booth, and headed for the door, Favre turned to the waitress, handed her the check, and said "Here. And what's left is all yours."

The waitress said she walked away that morning with about a $600.00 tip.

"And that's why the Packers are Super Bowl champions, and the Chicago Bears are just another team," ended the column, as the passenger finished the oral reading. 

You could hear a pin drop during that magical moment aboard the train car full of satisfied Green Bay fans, as we pulled into the station. 

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