Packer Plus

Favre is a hot commodity

- TOM SILVERSTEI­N

Editor’s note: This story was published Jan. 30, 1996.

Brett Favre didn’t play in Super Bowl XXX, but you’d hardly know it from all the attention he received in the past week.

He was named the Miller Lite player of the year, he was a featured member of the exclusive NFL Quarterbac­k Club gathering, he was one of the top attraction­s at a charity golf tournament and he appeared on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno.

And then there was the time he stepped onto the second floor of the Hyatt Regency hotel and was mobbed by radio journalist­s seeking interviews and fans wanting autographs. He eventually needed an escort out of the hotel.

The man whose reputation for enjoying nightlife often precedes him said he had to pull in the reins a little bit on his public life. Earlier last week, he was asked what obligation­s were ahead of him.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve got to go to dinner now. Tomorrow, it’s a golf tournament. You know how those are. You wait 45 minutes, hit, wait.

“Tomorrow, I don’t know. I’ll just wake up when they call me. If they don’t call me, I’ll sleep right through.”

The things Favre has accomplish­ed most valuable player, Pro Bowl starter, player of the year are all testaments to the kind of season he had with the Green Bay Packers. But they haven’t come without a price.

Favre was a hot commodity during the season, wanted not only by the local reporters for interviews but also the national media. That’s on top of the rabid fan following that prevents him from venturing out into the public very often.

Then there’s the self-chosen attention such as television commercial­s, card shows, charity events, award dinners and public appearance­s. Favre doesn’t have to do any of those if he doesn’t want to.

But he and his agent, attorney James “Bus” Cook of Hattiesbur­g, Miss., have mapped out a plan to take advantage of

his popularity. They know such things can be fleeting.

“Obviously, the exposure is something you’d like to capitalize on,” said Cook, who has never had a client with the star power of Favre. “Like the saying goes, `You’ve got to grab it while it’s hot.’

“But my first concern is Brett Favre and his personal health and well-being. How much is enough, he’s got to be the one that says that.”

According to both Cook and Favre, the 26-year-old quarterbac­k is receiving offers for commercial­s and public appearance­s every day. Cook said it was his job to negotiate the deals and Favre’s job to determine which ones he wanted to do.

There is one problem, however. “Brett doesn’t like to say no,” Cook said. “He’s really a nice guy, sometimes to his own detriment. He may say yes to something when he should say no.

“He just has to say no sometimes. Every

charity with a problem wants him to help. And he wants to help. But my primary concern is that Brett back off a little bit and say no. I’ll be happy to say no for him.”

Favre admits that he has been through a hectic season and that he is going to have to make time to rest mentally and physically. He is anticipati­ng a relaxing Pro Bowl week in Honolulu, where practices are short and free time is plentiful.

After that, he said he had about 15 appearance­s scheduled so far, ranging from card shows to several player of the year banquets. Cook is also negotiatin­g commercial deals with Chevrolet and Denorex shampoo.

And, Favre says, there is talk of him doing a national shoe advertisem­ent like the ones other National Football League stars have done. All of that will be deter

mined in the coming months.

One big question is whether it’s really worth it to Favre to spend all the energy on endorsemen­ts and card shows when he is already getting paid $19 million over a five-year period. Some would suggest he doesn’t need the money, especially from the autograph sessions.

“You get good money,” Favre said. “I think it’s worth doing four a year. The money you make from that you can save with your salary. I’m pretty tight anyway.

“But if someone says we’ll pay you $20,000 to $40,000 for a card show, I’m like, `Wow.’ Some people are like, `Who cares?’ I look at it different than other guys. It’s not going to be there forever.”

Favre said he would spend much of the off-season at his parents’ home in Kiln, Miss., because he can relax there. He’ll come back to Green Bay for required commitment­s, but he said it was difficult to get away from football living in Wisconsin.

“Most people back home are excited about everything,” Favre said. “But Green Bay, you know how it is. You stop at a stoplight and people are honking their horns and trying to pull me over.

“I’ll be up there for minicamps and maybe an extra week after the camps. Not as much. It’s hard to relax anywhere. But at home in Mississipp­i, I can get a little more rest. I can go out and play golf.”

The Daytona 500:

You know, that rain delay did the unthinkabl­e. It lasted longer than some Super Bowl pregame shows.

Must-see TV:

The Super Bowl viewership numbers dropped from last year. Obviously, “The Bachelor” has better commercial­s.

DOWN

Avocado tequila:

Tom Brady may have partied too hard on that boat. He’s a Buccaneer. Shouldn’t it have been yo ho ho and a bottle of rum?

Winter reruns:

OK, the Lions hired Dom Capers and the Bears hired Mike Pettine. Look for the Vikings to hire Ed Donatell so they’ll be ready for a fourth-and-26.

Mike Hart

 ?? AP ?? Packers quarterbac­k Brett Favre, right, talks with San Francisco 49ers quarterbac­k Steve Young and Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren during practice for the Pro Bowl on Jan. 31, 1996.
AP Packers quarterbac­k Brett Favre, right, talks with San Francisco 49ers quarterbac­k Steve Young and Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren during practice for the Pro Bowl on Jan. 31, 1996.
 ?? USAT ?? Cars are covered as rain puts a stop to the running of the Daytona 500.
USAT Cars are covered as rain puts a stop to the running of the Daytona 500.

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