On a humid morning in May, I stood with Brett Favre outside a barn on his Mississippi farm. “Farm” is probably the wrong word — it’s more like a feudal kingdom. There are 465 acres, two homes, fishing ponds, deer stands and a bench memorializing a brother-in-law who was killed in an ATV accident on the property. “I don’t know if I should play again,” Favre said, wiping tears out of his eyes. “Every time I leave here, something bad happens.”
I’d spent the day before with Favre and his agent-protector James “Bus” Cook for a magazine profile I was writing. Our time together revolved around Favre’s annual Wrangler commercial shoot, as well as a media firestorm that seemed critically important at the time. The morning I arrived, Favre confessed to ESPN that he would need ankle surgery if he were going to play again.