Brett Favre, the NFL legend whose durability remains the league’s gold standard, would be happy if his grandchildren played … golf? Wait, what?
Favre, who holds the league’s all-time record with 321 consecutive games played, told CBS Sports’ “Pick Six” podcast that concerns about concussions have forced him to take a harder look at how football affects young players like his three grandsons.
“Every tackle I would be cringing, hoping they get up and not shaking their head and saying they got a headache,” he said. “But the likelihood of that happening by them playing football is very high. So I’d much rather them choose a safer route.”
The Favre grandsons are 8, 3 and in infancy, so it’s not like they face an immediate decision. Even so, when they come to Paw-Paw—which is, apparently, what they call the ol’ Gunslinger—he won’t be encouraging them to prepare for a life lining up against the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
“I’m not going to encourage them to play. I’m not going to discourage,” Favre said. “If they were to say ‘Paw-Paw, will you be my caddy in golf, I think I’m going to do golf instead of football,’ I would be much more happy, satisfied and excited by that than by them playing football.”
And with good reason: you can make an awful lot of money and have a decades-long career in golf, and the likelihood of concussion-inducing tackles is pretty low.
Favre isn’t the first ex-player to suggest that maybe football wouldn’t be right for his children and grandchildren, and concussions are the primary culprit. Favre noted that equipment changes aren’t the only route to helping minimize concussions: “There is something out there that can make the environment safer, aside from helmets, and that is the surface,” he said. “I think you have to look at the surface as an equal if not more important than the equipment you wear.” (It’s worth noting that Favre is consulting on a short documentary, “Shock Doc,” coming out later this week on watchstadium.com, that advocates for the use of safer turf, and is sponsored by a turf company.)
A Hall of Famer, Favre stands as one of the game’s most notable voices, and that means the talk of concussions as a clear and present threat to the game’s future is now coming from the very top of the league’s alumni. It’ll be fascinating to see whether such well-known voices will have a significant effect on the game going forward.
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