Exclusive in-depth interview airs Monday, Nov. 18, on NBC's 'Today'
Matt Lauer sat down with Brett Favre in an exclusive interview to air Monday, Nov. 18 on NBC's "Today." The legendary quarterback and future hall-of-famer spoke to Lauer in an in-depth discussion about concussions, his future, and the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal.
Favre told Lauer his initial reaction to the Miami Dolphins' issue was, "You gotta be kidding me."
While discussing concussions, Favre, who doesn't have a son, said if he did he "would be real leery of him playing" football.
Excerpts from the exclusive interview follow:
Matt Lauer: Why is it worth it for kids to keep taking those hits, knowing what you now know about the cumulative effect of those hits?
Brett Favre: Well, I guess he and his family would be the ones to answer that. ... In fact, if I had a son, I would be real leery of him playing. And that sounds - in some respects I'm almost glad I don't have a son, because of the pressures that he would face. But 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.
Lauer: There is another subject making the rounds in football right now, and this is a story brewing with the Miami Dolphins. These two offensive linemen - one accusing the other of prolonged bullying. Ritchie Incognito is the guy being accused, and Jonathan Martin is the guy who's saying he was the victim. What was your initial reaction when you heard this story?
Favre: My initial reaction was, you gotta be kidding me?
Favre: Pro football - bullying? We're playing - it's the - toughest sport, most violent, not to mention you're men - some older than others. So it's not like a little 12-year-old on the playground. And I'm not defending or condone - I'm - all I'm saying is my initial reaction was a grown man that's 320 pounds is getting bullied?
Lauer: So, you get out of the game. When did you start to realize that this has taken a physical or physiological toll on me?
Favre: You know, it - recently is where I've noticed - I mean, I feel fine. I try to stay in - to offset the aging process, as we all are, by diet or running or biking, whatever. But as we get older, we also know - I mean, it happens to all of us. You know, where's my glasses?
Lauer: Yeah, where are the car keys?
Favre: Right, so I don't wanna get that confused with just part of aging, but I think to me the wakeup call was - and Deanna and I were talking' recently, and she was talking about Breleigh, our youngest, playing' soccer. And I've pretty much made every game that she's ever played - basketball, volleyball. She played softball one year; she played basketball a couple years. And - 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.