Brett Favre’s trip to rehab prior to the 1996 season is one that most fans know. The three-time NFL Most Valuable Player announced in May of that year he would be checking himself in to a facility in Kansas to battle his addition to pain killers. Favre exited after 72 days and led Green Bay to its first Super Bowl title in 29 years. What no one had heard of, or at least written about, was the fact Favre actually had three stints in rehab.
This is from Peter King’s final Monday Morning Quarterback:
“A year or two before (1995), I went to a place in Rayville, La., just outside Monroe. It was pills then too. Deanna and [agent] Bus [Cook] talked me into it. I didn’t think I had a problem, but they talked me into it. I went for 28 days. When I got out, I was able to control myself for a while. I wouldn’t take anything for a day or two, and I wouldn’t drink. But I was a binge drinker. When I drank, I drank to excess. So when I went in the second time, to the place in Kansas, I remember vividly fighting them in there. They said drinking was the gateway drug for me, and they were right, absolutely right, but I wouldn’t admit it. I will never forget one of the nurses. I had it all figured out. I fought with the nurse all the time. I would not admit the drinking problem. At the end she said to me, ‘You’ll be back.’
“I was back. 1998. Guess who was waiting there when I walked in—that same nurse. This time it was strictly for drinking. I didn’t go back to the pills. I admitted my problem, I was in there 28 days, and it worked. When I got out, the toughest thing was the first three months, because I had to change my thought process. When I played golf before, I realized the only reason I wanted to play was to drink. After a while, instead of thinking, ‘How many beers can we drink in 18 holes?’ I fell into a pattern of what could I do to get good at golf. I realized with each passing day I really didn’t like drinking.”
Favre’s time in Green Bay came to an end after the 2007 season. After playing three more years — one with the New York Jets and two with the Minnesota Vikings — he retired and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.