Beforw Brett Favre became the face of the Green Bay Packers, he had a short stint with the Atlanta Falcons. The quarterback was not a good fit for the team, partly because he spent a lot of time in bars and overindulged in drugs and alcohol use during that time.
The Falcons’ head coach, Jerry Glanville, had enough of the young quarterback’s antics and traded him to the Packers after only one season, claiming he was doing so to sober him up.
Brett Favre had a short run with the Atlanta Falcons
As the 33rd overall pick in the 1991 NFL Draft, the 22-year-old quarterback from Southern Miss was the second-round pick for the Atlanta Falcons. Favre received a $350,000 signing bonus and signed a three-year deal with the Falcons valued at $1.4 million.
Favre only played in two games in his rookie season, throwing for a total of five snaps. According to Blogging Dirty, “During those five snaps, he completed zero passes, threw two interceptions, and was sacked for an eleven-yard loss.” After only one season, the Falcons traded Favre to the Green Bay Packers for a first-round pick.
The Daily News reported that Favre admitted he had plenty of bad habits during his time with the Falcons. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback explained, “I just said, ‘The hell with it.’ I went out every night, gained weight, and was out of shape. I didn’t study. I didn’t care.”
Favre said he would go on a “nonstop drinking and eating binge,” knowing that he wouldn’t be in the game on Sunday. His brother, Scott, who enjoyed partying with the NFL legend, said, “He didn’t think he’d ever get a chance that season, so he probably didn’t take it very seriously.” Favre continued, “Plus, you’re young and dumb and in a big, exciting city. We took advantage of it.”
According to Pro Football Talk, Glanville defended his decision to trade the star quarterback, saying, “I had to get him out of Atlanta… I could not sober him up.” The Falcons head coach explained, “I sent him to a city where at 9:00 at night, the only thing that’s open is Chili Joes.” He said, “If I would have traded him to New York, nobody to this day would have known who Brett Favre ever was.”
Was Jerry Glanville truly worried about Favre’s sobriety?
Wisconsin has the third-highest rate in the nation of alcohol consumption and per capita bars. According to local radio station Mix 108, there are 3,043 bars for the 5.7 million people who live in The Badger State.
While Glanville claimed to have traded the young quarterback for his own good, the facts don’t add up. With one bar for every 1,910 cheeseheads in Green Bay, a trade to the Packers doesn’t make sense.
If Glanville was honestly worried about the quarterback’s sobriety, he might’ve been better off trading Favre to the Baltimore Ravens. Nearby Lynchburg, Virginia, only has one bar for every 84,724 residents.
According to Sports Illustrated, the head coach grew weary of trying to sober up his troublesome player, saying, “People think I didn’t like Brett Favre. Not true. It wasn’t about like or hate. I saw him do things with a football nobody did.” Glanville explained, “He could play. But he didn’t want to play. He wanted to party.”
Brett Favre cleaned up his act to become a legendary quarterback
Favre found his home at Lambeau Field and spent 16 seasons wearing the No. 4 for the Green Bay Packers.
According to Sportskeeda, “During the mid-late 1990s, the Hall of Fame QB developed an addiction to prescription medication.” Favre attended several drug rehabilitation centers to beat his dependency on Vicodin.
Known as the Gunslinger, Favre cleaned up his act. He became the NFL’s Most Valuable Player for three consecutive years from 1995 to 1997. The 11-time Pro Bowler led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots. Favre held the league’s career touchdown record, until he was surpassed in 2021 by quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Us Weekly reported that Favre, who retired from football in 2010, “Opened up about his substance abuse issues over the years” in his memoir, Favre: For the Record.