SportFavre talks comeback, Starr, Rodgers at golf tourney
Bart Starr to be remembered at public service
Former NFL quarterbacking great Bart Starr is being remembered at a public memorial event in his native Alabama. An event celebrating Starr's legacy as a star of professional and college football will be held Sunday afternoon at Samford University in suburban Birmingham. Starr's family also is planning a private funeral. The Green Bay Packers selected Starr out of the University of Alabama with the 200th pick in the 1956 draft. He led Green Bay to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls. Starr died a week ago at age 85.
MADISON - A gallery of fans gave Brett Favre an ovation as he headed to the driving range at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, as the former Green Bay Packers quarterback was about to warm up for his nine holes of play at the American Family Insurance Championship.
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He said he had been hitting balls for about three weeks to prepare for the celebrity best-ball match, with his opponents being two-time U.S. Open champion Andy North and country musician Toby Keith.
Favre’s partner? The one and only Jack Nicklaus.
“The only way I can describe it is being a priest and serving Mass with the Pope,” Favre said. “It’s got to be a thrill to do that. I’m obviously not a golfer. I’m a Sunday golfer like most of us. This is an extreme honor. Looking forward to it. Not to the actual playing necessarily, but just, I mean, I’ve had so many people at home ‘You’re playing with Jack Nicklaus?’ I feel the same way. It’s pretty cool, I think we can all agree.”
Before teeing it up, Favre did address several football-related topics, including a post on his official Instagram account on Tuesday that said he would be returning to the National Football League in 2020. The post was soon deleted, and Favre said the account was compromised.
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“I got hacked, absolutely,” he said sternly. “Somebody obviously doesn’t have a lot to do.”
That said, the 49-year-old Hall of Famer showed up looking trim and fit and more than capable of completing a few passes.
“I saw him just I think it was like two weeks ago and I remarked about how he looked like he could still play,” Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt joked on Thursday. “I didn't think he was going to take it seriously. But the guy, he's in good shape.”
The post led to some fun speculation from J.J. and T.J. Watt, a rush linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I think anytime you can go up against a competitor like that, I think it will bring out the best in any defender, especially growing up idolizing him and being able to watch him, and just his improvisation on the field is what makes him so good,” T.J. Watt said. “So just to be able to try to get him down — I'm not saying we'd be able to get him down, but just to be able to try to be on the field with him would be pretty special.”
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Though some had their fun with the post, Favre emphatically squashed any notion that he’d be returning to the football field.
“Yeah, the last thing I want to do is stir the pot,” he said. “That’s the last thing I want to do is come back and play. No offense, but it was fun, then. I’m not coming back.”
This was also the first time Favre was asked publicly about Bart Starr, who passed away on May 26. Favre and current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers attended Starr’s private memorial service in Alabama and each spoke briefly.
“He was a perfectionist. What a gentleman,” Favre said of Starr. “Just a class act. And when he spoke, you listened. But most of the things he always said were very thoughtful and supportive.”
While in Alabama, Favre and Rodgers also had a chance to speak about the upcoming Packers season. Rodgers, now 35, is working through a head coaching and offensive system change for the first time in his career as a starter. Favre played for four head coaches while in Green Bay but like Rodgers, he was a Super Bowl-winning, multiple-time Most Valuable Player when Mike McCarthy took over in 2006.
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“Aaron will be fine,” Favre said. “I think that the thing is he needs to remain the same. And I don’t have to give him any advice. You know, he’ll handle it well. The question is, how will they handle it with him. And obviously, that’s very important. I mean, there’s more to the team than Aaron but we all have to admit that when he’s playing and playing well, which generally when he’s playing he is playing well, you don’t want to change what’s working. There’s other factors that you have to work on.
“So I think you let him play his game and not disturb that very much. And it’s going to be interesting to see if that happens.”
Contact Jim Owczarski at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @JimOwczarski or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JOwczarski/
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
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