HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Few people questioned the toughness of future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Brett Favre during an NFL career in which he started 297 straight games and absorbed numerous brain-rattling hits.
Favre didn't make a big deal of any of them... but the impact of those hits does seem more significant now.
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"I've talked to several doctors, asking them about symptoms, and one of them is not being able to finish a sentence,'' Favre told Matt Lauer in a TODAY exclusive interview that aired Monday. "Or not remembering a word - a specific word. I've noticed lately, if there's any symptom at all, that one being the one that shows the most.''
Favre also spoke about gaps in his memory.
"I think to me the wake-up call was (wife) Deanna and I were talking recently, and she was talking about Breleigh, our youngest, playing soccer. I've pretty much made every game that she's ever played (in) basketball, volleyball. She played softball one year, she played basketball a couple years. As I find out, she played soccer. I don't remember her playing soccer. She played right over here, and that was probably where my first inclination that something ain't right."
Lauer asked if these issues were as a result of the hits Favre took during his 20-year career spent primarily with the Green Bay Packers - in which he was sacked 525 times, more than any quarterback in NFL history.
"I can't say for certain,'' Favre said. "I would assume so, and I think most people would assume. But I've got to believe that after 20 years, and if you go back, I played four years in college and played every game and then in high school, the toll has got to be pretty high."
Favre is now the offensive coordinator at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., working for free.
Favre doesn't have a son, but if he did, he told Lauer, "I would be real leery of him playing" football. "In some respects, I'm almost glad I don't have a son because of the pressures he would face. Also the physical toll that it could possibly take on him, not to mention if he never made it, he's gonna be a failure in everyone's eyes. But more the physical toll that it could take.
"In all honesty, I would have a hard time just throwing him out there."
Favre is speaking out about concussions and the damage they can cause, but also wants to keep the game intact.
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