Brett Favre is going back to Green Bay.
The quarterback whose No. 4 was synonymous with the squad in the late ’90s returned to Lambeau Field one last time on Thanksgiving night when the squad retired his jersey.
Favre was already inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame earlier this year, but now his number will be retired and his name emblazoned on the facade in the Lambeau Field Ring of Honor. “It will be an incredible honor to be in Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night with Packers fans,” Favre said in the statement, “and have my name and number placed among the greatest players in Packers history.”
But while the focus will certainly be on Favre, and everything he did for the Packers, the standout quarterback won’t be on the field alone. In fact, he’ll be flanked by a handful of family and friends during the ceremony. Here’s everything you need to know about the Favre clan:
1. Favre & His Wife, Deanna, Have Been Married Since 1996
After growing up together, and attending school, in Mississippi, Favre and Deanna, finally, tied the knot in July, 1996. The pair were married in an area church in Green Bay where Favre was playing at the time.
The pair have overcome their fair share of obstacles throughout their relationship, including Favre’s battle with Vicodin and alcohol addiction, the death of Deanna’s brother on their property and her battle with breast cancer.
The two have bonded through their faith, however, and have joined forces on a number of charitable endeavors, including The Deanna Favre Hope Foundation and the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation. The former helps support breast cancer education, as well as imaging and diagnosis for women of all financial status. Meanwhile, the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation has raised over $3 million for disadvantaged and disabled children in Wisconsin and Mississippi.
2. His Mother, Bonita, Helps Manage His Financial Holdings
Favre’s mother, Bonita, has a major impact on his day-to-day life and still helps the former quarterback manage his holdings in agriculture and real estate, handle his endorsements and appearances and oversee his charity work.
In fact, the two have joined forces on several professional works and even released a book together in 2004, titled Favre.
Bonita’s house – and Favre’s boyhood home – was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina as the waters continued to reek damage. “We were stuffing towels and rugs against the doors,” Bonita said. “We figured there’d be 3 or 4 inches of water, but it just kept on rising.”
3. Favre’s Father, Irvin, Died Just Before a Standout Monday Night Football Game
Irvin Favre died unexpectedly in December 2003 after suffering a heart attack while driving near his home in Kiln, Mississippi. His son, Brett, was in Oakland with the rest of the Green Bay Packers at the time.
Despite the emotional moment, Favre started the Monday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders, maintaining his then-record start streak. Irvin Favre was a major presence in the community and coached football and baseball in the area for nearly 30 years. He even coached Brett.
“I always told my dad the wishbone would never get me to pro football,” Favre joked after winning an unprecedented third straight NFL MVP award in 1997. “Thanks, Dad.”
Brett went on to throw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in the MNF game after his father passed away, earning a 41-7 victory on the road.
4. He & Deanna Have Two Daughters Together
Brett and Deanna became first-time parents in 1989 when they welcomed their first daughter Brittany. It was far from perfect, however, as Deanna raised Brittany on her own for nearly six years before joining Brett in Green Bay in the mid ’90s.
Deanna explained their relationship at the time, while Brett was playing for the Atlanta Falcons, telling The New York Daily News:
We’ve always been people who just lived. It was never really about planning. I never could see us not together, and I just took it day-by-day.I was a single mom, and had no insurance. I could take care of myself.
The pair married in 1996, after Brett returned from a rehab visit for Vicodin addiction, and, in 1999, welcoemd their second daughter Breleigh. The youngest Favre daughter was a standout athlete in her own right, a successful volleyball star in Mississippi.
Now, Brittany Favre-Mallion, the Favre’s oldest daughter just recently graduated from the Loyola University’s College of Law.
5. Favre’s Daughter Brittany Has Two Sons As Well
Favre’s oldest daughter, Brittany, is a mother to two sons of her own; Parker Brett, born in 2010 and, later, A.J.
Brittany was 21 years old when she gave birth to her first son, making Favre the first-ever grandfather to play in the NFL. Favre, who was 40 at the time, and Deanna released a statement shortly after the arrival of Parker:
Deanna and I are very proud to welcome our grandchild Parker Brett to the Favre family. Parker Brett was born on Friday, April 2, weighing 7 lb. 7 oz. and we’re pleased to say that both Mom, Dad and Parker Brett are healthy and doing great.
Favre had just wrapped up an NFC championship-berth season with the Minnesota Vikings the year before.