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Favre fears that “tomorrow I may not remember who I am”

Green Bay Packers vs Buffalo Bills - November 5, 2006

Brett Favre #4 of the Green Bay Packers against Ryan Neufeld #88 of the Buffalo Bills during a game between the Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York on November 5, 2006. Buffalo won 24-10. (Photo by Mark Konezny/NFLPhotoLibrary)

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Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre played most of his career at a time when the NFL had yet to wake up to the long-term problems associated with head injuries. Which puts Favre among the thousands of former NFL players who may develop cognitive issues later in life.

And Favre is keenly aware of what may come.

“I’m able to function the way I so choose, at least up to this point,” Favre recently told CNN, via “I stay active. . . . Tomorrow may be totally different. Tomorrow I may not remember who I am, I may not know where I live, and that’s the frightening thing for us football players.”

That fear is to be expected. As Dr. McCarthy pointed out more than four years ago in an item posted at, former players may be unnecessarily freaked out by fears of Chronic Traumatic Encelopathy, feeling that they have a ticking time bomb in their heads when in reality there’s a good chance they don’t, based on the decades of football players from the decades during which the league had no sensitivity to concussions.

The question of Favre’s fear arose in connection with whether he’ll encourage his grandchildren to play football.

“I’m not going to encourage him to play football,” Favre said regarding the oldest grandchild, who is eight. “I’m not saying I would discourage him, but I would be cringing every time I saw my grandson get tackled, because I know, physically, what’s at stake.”

But what if they make the game safer?

“How do you make the game safer?” Favre said. “You don’t play.”

Not playing definitely would make the game safer. However, the NFL has taken steps to make the game reasonably safer, even though it’s impossible to make it entirely safe.

Regardless of the risks, no player can currently claim that he doesn’t know what can happen if he plays football. And very few have chosen to walk away from the game prematurely, even knowing what they now know.