Hall of Famer Brett Favre was quite literally the type of player you had to drag off the field to get him to leave the NFL. Favre played with reckless abandon for 20 seasons, twice coming out of retirement.
While Favre led the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl XXXI and was a three-time All-Pro, perhaps his biggest accomplishment was his consistent availability, as he holds the NFL record with 297 consecutive starts. Between Sept. 27, 1992 and Dec. 5, 2010, Favre didn't miss a single regular season game. During that span, he played for the Packers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings, and became one of the most popular players in NFL history.
Still, just days before his 50th birthday, Favre spoke to Peter King of NBC Sports and admitted he's already dealing with some memory loss.
"For me, what I have fear of more than anything that 20 years ago was not even a thought is the mental side of it. You and I were talking before we started the podcast—some of the stories you brought up, I don't remember. There was a point in my life where I remembered everything.. A story I should know, whether it's one from you or someone else, I have no recollection of it. It bugs me. It makes me wonder." [Transcribed by Megan Armstrong of Bleacher Report]
Favre has previously shared that he went to rehab on three separate occasions during his NFL career, as he battled addition to pain pills and alcohol. During his final season in 2010, Favre, then with the Vikings, played through a fractured ankle and a bruised chest before a shoulder injury ultimately snapped his consecutive games played streak.
What worries Favre the most, though, are the amount of concussions he now believes he suffered during his time in the NFL.
"But as we're learning about concussions," he continued, "there's a term that is often used in football, and maybe in other sports, that I got 'dinged.' ... When you have ringing of the ears, seeing stars, that's a concussion. And if that is a concussion, then I've had hundreds, probably thousands, throughout my career, which is frightening."