Throughout the career of Brett Farve, he was known as an iron man, playing in 297 (312 when counting the playoffs) consecutive starts in the National Football League. In fact even retirement didn’t stop him as his first attempt to leave the game lasted only an off season. That’s why, even at the age of 44, it was surprising to hear that Farve turned down the chance to come back this year with the St, Louis Rams. Today we no know why he said no, he admitted Thursday that he suffers from memory loss in an interview with SportsTalk 570 in Washington D.C., via CBS Chicago.
“This was a little shocking to me that I couldn’t remember my daughter playing youth soccer,” Favre said. “It was just one summer, I think. I could remember her playing basketball, I could remember her playing volleyball, so I kind of think maybe (I thought) she only played a (soccer) game or two. Well, I think she played like eight. So that’s a little bit scary to me. So for the first time in 44 years, that kind of put a little fear in me.”
As well it should. And it has become an all-too-familiar chorus for retired NFL players.
With this admission by Farve, it brings more attention to the NFL and how they handle concussions and other head related injuries. There is no evidence whatsoever yet that Favre, or several players with similar symptoms, suffers from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the hot-button disease that was chronicled in the piercing “Frontline” report on concussions by PBS earlier this month. But we start to wonder every time we hear about a former player’s post-career difficulties and memory lapses.
In the end, saying no to the game he loves could very well be what makes his later days more pleasurable and comfortable.