Brett Favre's love of football never wavered. Not even in the toughest hours of a 20-year career that led him to induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Just before Christmas 2003, Favre's father, Irv, died. The Packers were scheduled for a Monday night visit to Oakland. Despite reported uncertainty if Favre would play, his appearance against the Raiders never really was in doubt.
And that victory in Oakland was about more than winning one for dad. For Favre, it was about redemption.
"My dad was my high school football coach. He was the head football coach, and he coached me and my two brothers," Favre said during his emotion-packed induction speech Saturday night. "But I never had a car growing up. I always rode to and from school with my father in his truck, so he was always the last to leave the building because he had to turn the lights off, lock up, and then we made our way home.
"So it was the last high school football game of my high school career, and although I don't remember how I had played before, and I don't remember how I played in the last game, what I do remember is sitting outside the coach's office, say, on a Wednesday, waiting for my father to come out so we could leave. It was dark. And I overheard my father talking to the three other coaches — and I assume I didn't play as well the previous week only because of what he said — and he said: 'I can assure you one thing about my son, he will play better. He will redeem himself. I know my son. He has it in him.'"
Until his Hall of Fame speech, Favre never told anyone he overheard Irv's comments. He used them as fuel, though.
"I thought to myself, that's a pretty good compliment, you know? My chest kind of swelled up," he said. "But I never forgot that statement and that comment that he made to those other coaches. And I want you to know, Dad, I spent the rest of my career trying to redeem myself."
•Linebacker Brandon Spikes is getting an opportunity to resume his NFL career after signing with the injury-depleted Bills on Sunday.
It's a second chance in Buffalo for Spikes, who played for the Bills in 2014.
The Bills also signed veteran linebacker David Hawthorne and tight end Jimmay Mundine in a series of moves made during their day off following the first week of training camp.
Rookie Reggie Ragland, a projected starter, hurt his left knee on Friday, and his status remains uncertain.
•Art Demmas, a longtime NFL official who worked four Super Bowls, died Saturday. He was 82.