Before Deanna Favre got married, she was NOT one of those women who suffered silently and looked the other way while her man engaged in dalliances with other women.
That's absolutely clear in the pages of her New York Times bestselling autobiography, "Don't Bet Against Me!" It's a tell-all -- she'll hate those words -- in which she openly talks about her battle with breast cancer, diagnosed in 2004, and her life with Brett Favre, whom she most likely met in catechism class when she was 7. I picked up the last copy of the book published in 2007 at the Barnes & Noble on Nicollet Mall Tuesday, after stumbling on the New York Post's Saturday story with the headline, "Brett Favre's wife nearly sacked him over babes."
The NFL is investigating what's been reported in Deadspin stories that claim during the year Favre QB'd the Jets, he sent inappropriate "sext" messages to a female employee of the team. While the alleged behavior of Favre, now QB of the Vikings, in sending photos of his lower brain to Jenn Sterger would represent a childish new low, Deanna Favre has seen bad behavior before from Brett, her high school sweetheart and the man who "always will be the love of my life."
From Page 34, during the Green Bay years of drugs and alcohol: "One night, I walked into the room and heard Brett talking on the phone to a woman I had discovered he'd been calling. 'That's it,' I told him. 'I don't deserve to be treated like this. You asked me to move up here to Green Bay and now you're calling these girls -- well, you're on your own now. I'm not living this way. All this stuff is over for me.'"
But Deanna was encouraged to stay by Gayle Mariucci, who believed Brett would end up killing himself by abusing Vicodin. Gayle's husband, coach Steve Mariucci, had recently confronted Brett about Deanna's suspicions he was abusing Vicodin, and Brett had vehemently denied it. Then in February 1996, while recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his ankle, Favre had a seizure. Blood work disclosed "a toxic liver." That's when he entered drug rehab.
Favre checked himself into Kansas' Menninger Clinic to deal with his addiction to "Vikes," as he called the drug. Soon after rehab, Brett wanted to marry Deanna, but she was not so sure until she started to see a change in him. She sent a letter declining her hard-won spot in a dietetics program at a Mississippi college: "I wanted it so badly, but I believed in Brett more, and I wanted to be with him," she wrote. So back to Green Bay she went, and they were married on July 14, 1996.
Although the QB had licked his pain pill problem, he thought he could still drink, and he did, Deanna said.
By the spring of 1999, Deanna was pregnant with their second daughter, and "Mr. Wild Man, a real party animal," as she called him, was fully on the loose, fueled by "liquid courage."
Her breaking point came after the wedding reception for Brett's brother in Mississippi that year. Brett rolled into his parents' home at 8 the following morning. "Is this how you want to live?" she asked.
She left Brett at his parents and went home with their child. "He didn't call me, and he didn't come home. Instead, he went out with his friends. When he finally came home on Monday morning, I had all his belongings packed and waiting in the courtyard of the house." [Page 74]
She told him, "I'm done. I've already spoken to an attorney."
Brett began begging and promising, "I'll never do it again," and then the phone rang. It was Deanna's divorce lawyer. "Brett heard me tell her I was ready to file."
Brett checked himself into rehab again, but "my feelings numbed," Deanna wrote. "At that point I honestly wanted nothing more to do with Brett Favre."
Many assume that women who marry pro athletes understand these are the terms of the contract: In exchange for the wife living a lavish lifestyle, the husband gets to cheat whenever he wants.
In the past, Deanna has been the type who goes ballistic with the conflict-averse Brett. She shares her fears and concerns with an inner circle that includes folks to whose homes she went to pray even before her bout with breast cancer.
I'm looking for something in Deanna's chapters about cancer that might indicate this current pickle of Brett's making falls into the category of small stuff not worth sweating.
She is a very religious woman. "I'll be honest, sometimes it's hard to live like a Christian in a world of wealth and privilege. That's why I'm always grateful for our Mississippi roots," she wrote on Page 194.
After checking out the photos on Deadspin, Deanna may be the only person other than Brett to know for certain the answers to the questions the NFL is investigating.
She could be forgiven for concluding that this tale is starting to sound like "The Same Old Song" -- or some other s-word.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.