Favre of the faithful
Brett Favre will welcome Pope Benedict XVI to the United States in a taped statement when the Pope appears at Nationals Stadium on Thursday. The Catholic Herald talks to some of the priests that knew Favre in Green Bay. And did you know that Brett Favre was listed as one of the top ten Catholic heroes of the Super Bowl?
Deanna Favre’s memoir offers a Catholic rebuff to the secular celebrity culture exemplified by Brady and Bündchen. She and Brett were still in college and unmarried when she became pregnant with their first child. Friends pressured her to have an abortion, but she insists that “there was no way I could destroy an innocent life.” She told her friends that having premarital sex was “a bad choice, and for every choice there’s a consequence.” When Brittany was born, Deanna writes, “I knew I’d made the right choice.” Certainly this story holds appeal for Catholics and evangelical Protestants alike. Yet in narrating her struggles, Deanna – a self-described “quiet Christian” – never quite manages an evangelical level of effusiveness. Don’t Bet Against Me! begins with an unsettling account of its author in a hospital bed, being prepared for breast cancer surgery; beneath its gaudy pink cover, the book brings readers into a world of guilt, responsibility, and suffering bodies.
The Favres’ Catholicism became a somber counterpoint both to the joyous hedonism of sports stardom and to the exuberance of the evangelical athlete. When Sports Illustrated asked Brett to recount his favorite football memory, he seemed to channel Walker Percy, or Job: “If I were to make a list, I would include the interceptions, the sacks, the really painful losses. Those times when I’ve been down, when I’ve been kicked around, I hold on to those. In a way those are the best times I’ve ever had, because that’s when I’ve found out who I am. And what I want to be.” As it happened, the last pass of Brett Favre’s career was an interception late in the conference championship game, a bad choice of throws that cost his team a trip to the Super Bowl. For every choice there’s a consequence. Wisconsin’s Catholics understand this, and weep. (ht: RomanCatholicBlog.com)
Update! I should add, Favre is the #2 Catholic Super Bowl hero of all time. The #1 Catholic Super Bowl hero is Roger Staubach. I didn’t make the ranking. I just agree with it.