Favre Has a Wild Time While Beating the Bears


Brett Favre wiped the sweat from his Elvis sideburns and smiled a crooked smile.

“Tonight was like a little bit of heaven,” he said.

Inside the Green Bay Packer locker room, Favre’s teammates hunched over duffel bags, rubbed bruised biceps and breathed heavily.

A little bit of heaven? For Favre, sure.

The Packers’ 27-24 victory against their longtime rivals, the Chicago Bears, occurred on a perfectly strange night for football’s strangest quarterback.

There were the three scrambling, flinging touchdown passes thrown by Favre in the first 20 minutes, including an NFL-record 99-yarder.


Then there was the 20-point lead that the Packers couldn’t hold because Favre insisted on still flinging the ball, wilder with each attempt, a country boy behaving as if ball control is worse than gun control.

There was Favre, running and growling and inspiring the Packers to double the Bears’ yardage in less than three quarters.

There was Favre, throwing a pass directly to Donnell Woolford, leading to a Bear touchdown that closed the gap to 27-21 early in the fourth quarter.

“It doesn’t bother us, we’re used to all this,” said Packer safety Leroy Butler with a smile. “You’ve got to remember, Brett does it every day in practice.”

Finally there was Favre ending the game by running the only play that is guaranteed not to make his teammates hyperventilate.

Two minutes after Reggie White knocked the ball out of Erik Kramer’s hands to end the Bears’ last-gasp drive, Favre took a knee.


And the Packers had survived to win for only the 62nd time in the 149th meeting between the NFL’s oldest rivals.

Perhaps more important to them, they also survived to go 1-1, matching the start of the Bears, before 64,855 at Soldier Field.

Favre was so excited, who knows, maybe this week he’ll do something silly like shave.

“Whew, it got tough when we had that field goal blocked,” he said.

Blocked field goal?

“You mean, we didn’t have a field goal blocked tonight?” he said. “Oh, well. It was a long game.”

In the fourth quarter, however, the Packers did have a botched punt, a botched field goal and a fumbled kickoff.

The only reason they were able to survive this is that Favre, with the Packers holding the ball and three-point lead with 9:02 left, was able to complete 38 yards worth of passes and lead his team on a time-consuming drive that ended in the botched field goal.

Three plays after the Bears took over the ball deep in their territory with 2:40 left, White’s slap and Wayne Simmons’ recovery ended it.


And suddenly the Packers could celebrate how the game began.

“I was out there and it was like, I could complete anything I threw,” Favre said.

There was Favre, looking in 10 different directions before finding Robert Brooks in the corner of the end zone for the Packers’ first touchdown.

Not that Bear defenders were dazed, but Brooks was five yards from anybody, and the play began on the four-yard line.

There was Favre, running right, pumping left, freezing the linebackers and camera operators and everyone else on Lakeshore Drive, then gently tossing a 10-yard pass to Anthony Morgan on the five-yard line. Morgan jogged in for the Packers’ second score.

Then there was Favre as he has never been before.

Early in the second quarter, with the Bears blitzing on third down from his one-yard line, Favre held steady five yards behind the end zone.

“I wasn’t going nowhere,” Favre said. “I was hanging in there until the end.”

Just as two large hands landed on his helmet, he lofted the ball down the right sidelines. Brooks had made one move and turned cornerback Woolford completely around.

Brooks caught the ball at the Packer 32 and outran Woolford for the score, tying an NFL record shared by eight others.

But then came what some thought was an even more exciting play.

Favre was so excited during a celebration sprint down the sideline, he rank smack into Butler and knocked him flat.


“Nearly gave me a concussion,” grumbled Butler.

“Hardest he’d been hit all night,” grumbled Favre.