Brett Favre's shady side

When you think of football legends, it's hard to compile a list that doesn't include former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. He made two appearances in the Super Bowl and took home the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy in 1997, but his career and his life following his final retirement in 2010 have been riddled with controversial business deals and rumors about his womanizing ways. 

The Hall of Famer will go down in history for breaking numerous records on the field, but there's a shady side to this athlete that you won't find between the pages of a sports almanac.

Did he take his job seriously?

Favre relied on his natural talent to beat his competitors and complete show-stopping plays on the field. However, some believe he didn't take the game or his position as quarterback seriously. Those suspicions were somewhat confirmed when Favre admitted that he was clueless about a basic defensive alignment play as an NFL newcomer. 

While playing for the Packers, Favre reportedly kept hearing then-coach Mike Holmgren toss around the term "nickel defense." He finally mustered up the courage to ask teammate Ty Detmer what the heck a nickel defense was. "So I said, 'Ty, I gotta ask you a question … What's a nickel defense?'" Favre recalled. "He gets real quiet. He says, 'Are you serious?'"

Detmer explained that the play involved taking out a linebacker and bringing in a defensive back instead. Once enlightened by Detmer's football wisdom, Favre says he responded with, "That's it? Who gives a s**t?"

Not many professional quarterbacks can get away with not knowing simple football terminology, but Favre was unique. He was essentially able to wing it on the field, thanks to his natural athleticism.

He allegedly has a thing for racy text messages

According to Deadspin, when Favre was traded to the New York Jets in 2008, he reportedly took a liking to the team's game day host, Jenn Sterger (pictured). What followed next included MySpace messages which allegedly included his phone number (with an area code from his native Mississippi) and invitations to contact him. Favre reportedly got his hands on Sterger's phone number and began leaving her voicemails, too, asking for her to meet him at a hotel. The very married athlete also allegedly sent her a few unsolicited photos of his … shall we say, "eggplant." Um, gross.

It was never confirmed if Favre was actually the person behind the messages and voicemails, and even the NFL couldn't determine if he'd violated the league's personal conduct policy. In the end, Favre was fined $50,000 by the NFL, not for his alleged saucy exploits, but for "failure to cooperate" during the investigation.

That wasn't the only time Favre was accused of using his cell phone for kinky escapades. Five days after he was hit with a fine for the whole Sterger debacle, two Jets massage therapists sued him for allegedly sending them racy messages, too. After one of the women's husbands demanded Favre apologize for his actions, both ladies were allegedly fired from their part-time jobs with the organization. That case was settled in 2013 for an unspecified amount, reported the New York Daily News.  

Did he lie about alcohol addiction?

In 1996, the Chicago Tribune reported that Favre suffered a Vicodin-related seizure following ankle surgery, spent 46 days in a rehab facility, and admitted to the league he had a dependency on the painkiller. He voluntarily admitted himself into the NFL's substance-abuse program, and in response, the league placed him on a strict alcohol ban. Favre reportedly fought to have the ban appealed, claiming he was addicted to the opioid pain medication, not to booze. 

That ban was lifted in 1997, but years later, Jerry Glanville — Favre's former coach during his rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons — claimed the quarterback had, indeed, battled alcohol problems. Glanville told WNSR in Nashville (via NBC): "I had to get [Favre] out of Atlanta … I could not sober him up." The former coach claimed he chose to send Favre to Wisconsin in 1992 after just one season with the Falcons because the only thing that was open late at night in Green Bay was a "Chili Joes" — suggesting a smaller town was the only way to keep Favre away from alcohol and more focused on the game. 

So, did Favre have a drinking problem or not? He still stands by his admission that painkillers were his only vice. However, he did reveal that he gave up alcohol in 1999 for personal and professional reasons, according to the Chicago Tribune

He got wrapped up in a bad business deal

Athletes are frequently chosen to help market a wide range of products. Since their faces are recognizable, and they already have legions of fans, businesses are quick to offer sports stars  lucrative endorsement deals. However, as public figures, athletes also shoulder the responsibility of doing their due diligence to ensure all of their business deals are legit. That's something Brett Favre apparently found out the hard way.

In January 2018, the former NFL player and a company called Sqor Sports were sued for attempting to defraud an investor out of $16 million. According to The Blast, Favre and the executives made "a series of negligent and fraudulent misrepresentations" to entice the investor, a company by the name of CCM. When the investor noticed something fishy in Sqor's growth chart, it reportedly threw a flag on that play.

CCM accused Sqor of inflating its estimated yearly projections and of lying about its social media reach. In the lawsuit, CCM accused Favre and Sqor of violating the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and sued "for the return of their $16.75 million investment plus consequential damages," reported The Blast. 

At the time of publication, the suit was ongoing.

Was he a womanizer?

Considering his alleged penchant for sexting, some fans aren't too surprised that Favre has been accused of being a womanizer before he met his wife, Deanna, and throughout their marriage.

Author Jeff Pearlman detailed the former quarterback's alleged philandering in Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre. In the book (via the Chicago Tribune), Pearlman claims Favre used his fame and popularity to have multiple trysts with various women, including during the time Deanna was pregnant with their daughter. Long after the couple married in 1996, Pearlman claims Favre was still busy being a playboy, "partying more than ever; sleeping around more than ever."

To protect the image of the organization and its star's reputation, Pearlman says the Packers allegedly went to great lengths to conceal Favre's rumored naughty ways from the media — something that was easier to do before smartphones and social media.

Despite all of the cheating allegations, Deanna has stood by her man. In an interview with Good Morning America, she talked about trying to stay sane throughout the cheating controversies. "Faith has gotten me through many difficult struggles," she said. 

He toyed with fans' emotions

Most athletes announce their retirement, hang up their jerseys and cleats, and quietly embark on a new journey post-football. Brett Favre took a very unusual approach to retirement, and he left his fans completely confused in the process.

Favre played the bulk of his career with the Packers, but in March 2008, he announced that he was ready to part ways with football. He even openly wept on stage while delivering his formal retirement announcement. Sports fans were crushed to hear the news … until July 2008, when Favre decided he didn't want to retire after all. In fact, he really wanted to get back on the field and do some damage!

At that point, Aaron Rodgers had already replaced him as the starting quarterback, but the Packers refused to grant Favre an unconditional release that would have allowed him to sign with another team of his choice. Instead, the Packers traded Favre to the New York Jets in August 2008, reported to The Washington Post.

The following year, in February 2009, Favre told the Jets he was retiring, citing a shoulder injury, according to ESPN. But leave it to Favre to pull a fast one on us redux. He turned his back on retirement once again and signed with the Minnesota Vikings in August 2009. 

In 2010, he announced his retirement yet again, but this time, he apparently meant it — much to the delight of sports fans who were tired of him yanking their chains with his déjà vu goodbyes.

He promoted a shady pain cream

Favre began endorsing a pain cream called Rx Pro in 2013. During a SiriusXM radio interview (via CBS Sports), he touted the product's healing properties: "[Rx Pro] is a safe way to treat some of your ailments. It even works with cramps, stomach pain … It's just endless what will happen with this product and this company," he said. 

But according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (via CBS Sports), Byron Barrett, the president of the manufacturing company that produced the cream, revealed that he wasn't sure the cream had even been FDA-approved. He was also less than transparent about the actual ingredients that were allegedly able to mysteriously heal so many ailments. "Barrett said the product contained no substances that are banned by the National Football League, though he declined to identify the ingredients," the Sentinel noted.

The whole thing sounded super shady, considering products that make medical claims must be proven safe by the FDA before they're marketed towards consumers. Shame, shame, Favre. 

Is he a narcissist?

There are people who love Brett Favre and all that he brought to the game of football, and then there are those who absolutely despise him for a multitude of reasons. An opinion piece in Bleacher Report suggests the NFL legend is nothing more than a narcissist, citing his attempted post-retirement comeback with the Packers and his reluctance to hand over the reigns to Rodgers as proof of a personality disorder.

Per Bleacher Report, "Extreme narcissists often become so egocentric that they develop a sense of solipsism — where only the 'self' exists, an overindulgence in one's own needs and desires — which, in this case, exposed Favre's neglect for the very real fact that the franchise has priorities that supersede Favre's."

Boston.com echoed that sentiment in 2010 when Favre was playing for the Vikings. It's op-ed expressed annoyance with Favre's supposed tendency to draw attention to his injuries, then brag about how he was able to play through his pain and heal so quickly. "Favre is no longer admirable nor honorable," the editorial said. "He is needy and pathetic. He is a narcissist's narcissist." Dang, but there's more: "Favre's self-absorption borders on the pathological," the piece alleged. "He simply cannot live without the spotlight."

He allegedly treated his successor horribly

There's been plenty of scuttlebutt about Favre allegedly having a rocky relationship with his Packers' successor, Aaron Rodgers. According to Sports Illustrated (via Bleacher Report), Favre wasn't thrilled about the Packers using their first-round draft pick on another quarterback. There were even reports that Rodgers had called Favre "grandpa" the first time they met — something Rodgers has denied. However, that notorious tale is retold in Gunslinger: "From that first day, Favre did nothing to help Rodgers and much to hurt and ridicule him. According to Sports Illustrated (via Bleacher Report), Favre wasn't thrilled about the Packers using their first-round draft pick on another quarterback — and made those feelings known.

Years later, it seems these two have finally buried the hatchet — if such hatchet ever existed. During an interview with In Depth with Graham Bensinger (via Yahoo!), Favre said: "Aaron and I, we don't talk all the time but I don't talk all the time with family members. It has nothing to do with him being the starting quarterback of Green Bay in spite of what people may think … I got no hard feelings. Why would I have hard feelings for Aaron Rodgers and why would he have hard feelings for me?"

Finally, all is well in the world … or in Wisconsin, at least.

He bashed the sport, but can we blame him?

Brett Favre made a name for himself tossing the pigskin around like a beast, but if he could go back in time and choose a different profession, it may not be football. 

In an interview with The Rich Eisen Show, Favre talked about the memory loss he's suffered, which he believes is a result of all the hard hits he took while playing in the NFL. For that reason alone, he said he'd hate to see his loved ones join the league.

"I got three grandsons," he said. "I'm not going to encourage them to play football, I'm not going to discourage them, but I would much rather be a caddie for them in golf than watch them play football."

Considering all of the recent research regarding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) — a degenerative disease that has been linked to blows to the head and identified in the brains of many deceased NFL players – we can't blame Favre for becoming leery of the sport that made him a household name.