Favre, others without sons aren’t in position to say what they’d let sons do

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Months after the dust finally settled on the question of whether Brett Favre will continue to play football, Favre has found another way to periodically attract attention:  By talking about whether he’d let the son he doesn’t have play football.

Favre, as pointed out Tuesday night by MDS, has now commented twice in recent months on whether the future Hall of Famer would allow nonexistent Brett Lorenzo Favre Jr. play football.  Favre has joined the likes of President Barack Obama in offering opinions and insights on what they’d let sons they don’t have do.

Both have said that they wouldn’t let their sons play football.  Obama actually said he wouldn’t let the son he doesn’t have play “pro football,” which assumes a level of control that even the most powerful man in the world would never be able to exercise over an adult male.  Until a man has a son who is beginning to feel the effects of a full complement of testosterone, it’s impossible to comment intelligently on what the man would or wouldn’t do.

Having a son is a lot more complicated than not having one, especially when the time comes to allow the son to make decisions for himself, to develop social skills, to nurture physical abilities, and to learn how to confront and overcome adversity.  Plenty of risks are taken during these developmental years, from riding a bike to strapping on ice skates, skis, and/or a snowboard to bench-pressing a bar of weights heavy enough to crush a throat to lingering on a baseball field a little bit longer than advisable with a thunderstorm approaching to getting in a car with a friend who just got his or her driver’s license.  And plenty of other stuff that entails risk of injury.

It’s easy for someone without a son to say, “I wouldn’t let him play football.”  The more accurate explanation for someone who has a son who wants to play football is, “I’m worried he’ll get hurt, in the same way I worry about something happening to him in anything else he does that could result in him getting hurt.”

For Favre, the concern has a second prong that traces back to his own ego.  Favre seems to believe it would be impossible for his male child to be as good as him at football, so he wouldn’t want him to be subjected to undue pressure to live up to the awkwardly-pronounced family name.  (Joe Montana may agree with that general sentiment; Archie Manning may not.)

Regardless, folks who don’t have sons who are asked about whether they’d let their sons play football should think about choosing their words a bit more carefully and pragmatically, especially since those who have harvested the words will be tempted to blow them up into some broader indictment on the sport and/or to provide ammunition for mothers who would bubble wrap their baby boy and put him on a mantle.  (But not so high that he might fall off it.)

I wish Favre actually had a boy.  Because it would be fun to watch young Lorenzo tell the old man to sit down and shut up when trying to spout off about how the game he played into his 40s is too violent and too dangerous and, son, be careful what you do with that cell phone.

72 responses to “Favre, others without sons aren’t in position to say what they’d let sons do

  1. “Favre, others without sons aren’t in position to say what they’d let sons do”

    Well if that isn’t the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. Of course he is in a position to discuss such things. Especially as a lifelong football player.
    So am I, in spite of the fact that I have a daughter, not a son. I wouldn’t let her play football, or I would very very strongly discourage it. And I would also steer my son away from football, if I had one. My deepest apologies if I have offended you by stating my position on this matter.

  2. Wasn’t he answering questions asked of him by the media? If he doesn’t answer the questions then he’s going to be criticized for not cooperating. Can’t have it both ways. If he’s supposedly not qualified to give answer then don’t ask the question.

    Besides, he is a parent. The point of the inquiry transcends gender and the activity. It goes to the biological, protective instincts of parenthood.

    Why do the non-Native Americans on this site feel so entitled to express its opinion of how actual Native Americans should treated, but then claim that no one, except those who actually have sons, are qualified to express an opinion about having a child play football?

    Is the hypocrisy so blatant to render one blind to it?

  3. Hell… As long as mows the lawn, takes out the garbage, and doesn’t dispespect his Mother in his formative years, what he does afterwards is up to him..

  4. I don’t think you need a son to know if you’d let them play…that’s ridiculous.

    I have real concerns about my Daughter and concussions in soccer do to heading the ball. My qualifications include a desire to see my child be and remain healthy and to protect her from putting herself in precarious positions. How is that not enough to know that if I had a son I’d have concerns about him running head first into people as hard as he can?

    Especially if I played said game at a hall of fame level for over 30 years? Give me a break.

  5. I’d be more worried about the dangers of hanging out with pro football players than actually playing football.

  6. I don’t have a kid, but I would strongly encourage him to never play football or ride a motorcycle. They involve too many trips to the emergency room.

    I mean, both are awesome, I just wouldn’t want my kid to do it.

  7. “Obama” .. “most powerful man in the world”. Wut?? Other countries fear the Iron Sheik more than this man.

  8. This post makes no sense to me. I LOVE football. But you have to be a total moron if you ignore the fact that this is arguably the most dangerous major American sport. With the research studies being conducted today, most parents would easily prefer their children to play a sport that minimizes the risk of severe injury or brain damage. The reason that we keep seeing these rules to protect player safety is so that this very sport that we love does not die out. Old school fans hate the rule changes but then complain when people are starting to reconsider whether they would want their sons to play this game. Just because someone doesn’t have a son doesn’t mean they can’t have an opinion on that. Our love for the sport cannot blind us from the fact that this is an extremely dangerous sport and that parents have a right to protect their children

  9. At the time, I wondered if any parent would ever let their kid play football after watching how the Saints teed off on Favre in the Vikings / Saints playoff ‘bounty’ game….

  10. I really don’t see the big deal? Someone asked him a question and he answered in what seems to be a pretty straightforward manner. While I agree since Favre has no son, it is hypothetical, but opinions are like buttholes-everybody has one.

  11. @6250claimer – who wouldn’t fear the Iron Sheik — the man wants to make those who oppose him “humble”.

    So, the point of this article is that if you’re not in particular situation (i.e. don’t have a son), you can’t have an opinion (i.e. I wouldn’t let him play football).

  12. I have a son. He plays sports. I am concerned about him playing football and will make sure he understands the full scientifically confirmed risks of playing. Also, while he is a legal minor, I do in fact have some say over what he can and cannot play.

    As a parent, I think it’s not legit to just take the pose: “boys need to grow up and be a man; therefore I can’t tell them what not to do.” That’s true when they are over 18 but it’s not true before that.

    There are lots of things you tell a teenage boy he shouldn’t do: unprotected sex, excessive drinking, failing out of school, etc. You don’t just say, “do whatever you want…you are a man with hormones.”

    I think there’s some rationalization going on here.

    I do have a son and I haven’t said anything insulting so please do not “hide” this post.

  13. Why do you guys always rip Favre for having a dumb oppinion? We read your dumb oppinions all day and your wealthy for it. I mean really. Give the guy a break. He is the all time leader in almost every category, but people act like he is a joke. In reality, he is not only the best because of his numbers, he is the best because he got those numbers doing it his way. Hes just a big gunslinging goofball. If you cant deal with that just leave the guy alone.

  14. Isn’t sharing opinions about things in which you have no direct experience the very thing that you do for a living?

  15. Those with out a child who make this argument are doing it completely theoretically—and those doing it with a child are doing it practically and experientially.

    It’s like a person telling everyone who they would vote for–when they don’t have a vote.

    It doesn’t mean that a childless person can’t weigh in, it just doesn’t hold as much validity.

  16. Eh, soccer has about as much legitimate contact as a checkout line in a NYC deli, but I watched the World Cup final and one guy pretty much got KO’d on the field, and another took a flying leg to the face from a goalie he didn’t see coming. Life is risk, might as well spend it doing something you love.

  17. No one ever brings this factor up when NFL players say they wouldn’t let their son play football.


    Their sons wouldn’t have to play football to ‘make it’

  18. A whole article about Favres imaginary son playing football that seems like it was written by Florios imaginary friend. Feels like a Twilight Zone episode. Oh man, I’m tripping out! Is the imaginary Favre also Florios imaginary friend?

  19. You’re unqualified to give your opinion about what a football player says about his offspring playing the game because I’m betting you’ve never taken a snap in a single game. Not even flag football.

  20. Here’s the deal:

    If you are going to say that you can’t have an opinion about something you have not and are not experiencing, then the whole idea of commentary goes out the window unless you only seek out the opinions of those directly involved in the field. I love Pro Football Talk and I respect Mike Florio’s reporting and direction regarding how PFT covers the NFL. But under Mr. Florio’s “you don’t have a son” claim, I should disregard what he and the other writers on this site say general managers, owners or players should do because “they’ve never been an NFL executive/owner” and “they’ve never been an NFL player.” But obviously, I come here because I have come to enjoy the opinions of the writers here and I feel they are informative. While I doubt Mr. Favre has spent as much time considering his fictional son’s activities as the writers here have investigated pro football, I don’t think it’s unfair to be curious about his opinion when the matter of football safety – particularly regarding brain injuries – has come to the fore in recent years.

    I believe that Mr. Florio is sensitive to the issue because he has a son who plays football. And I agree with him that there is more to the matter than just saying “I’m going to deny my son football if he wants to play.”

    Personally, I would allow my son to play football once I make him aware of the risks.

  21. This line surprised me:

    “provide ammunition for mothers who would bubble wrap their baby boy and put him on a mantle.”

    Only mothers are (over) protective and want to “bubble wrap” their sons? There aren’t fathers who do that same thing?

    I played college football. My old teammates and I already have sons playing high school football. None of the mothers of these boys has been over protective. If anything, it is the fathers who played college football who are more cautious about football for their sons than their wives (the mothers).

    There are plenty of pro football players who were raised by single mothers who are very supportive and proud of them. Examples like Hines Ward and his super supportive single mother are common in the NFL.

  22. weepingjebus says:
    Jul 16, 2014 10:06 AM
    Eh, soccer has about as much legitimate contact as a checkout line in a NYC deli, but I watched the World Cup final and one guy pretty much got KO’d on the field, and another took a flying leg to the face from a goalie he didn’t see coming. Life is risk, might as well spend it doing something you love.


    First of all: I do tend to agree with you that sometimes you will take risks if you think it is worth it. I am not for “banning football” … but I do think it’s ok for parents to approve or disapprove of activities for their minor children based upon an assessment of the risks of that activity. It’s really up to the individual family…just be aware of what you are doing and signing off on.

    Second: one of the things that is getting lost in this debate is that current research does NOT support the notion that you will only get brain injuries from “big hits.” It is repeated pounding each and every play, even if you are not taking big shots.

    This is why when people compare the risks of football to stuff like soccer or riding a bike, it’s not really legit. In either case, you can have an “accident” that results in a brain injury. However, it is not true that in all activities you damage your brain just be “regularly performing the activity.”

    This is the aspect of brain research that the NFL does not want to be discussed. They can legislate against “big hits” but they cannot legislate out normal contact. That would effectively end the sport.

    Until then, parents can and will be concerned.

  23. This would have more credence if he wasn’t coaching high school football. If he is so concerned with Kids safety then he should start with other peoples kids.

    Start with his players and talk about what he has done for the kids at the school he is coaching. More than just calling plays.

    Talk about he is helping teach the kids to properly tackle and hit. That is where 90% of the concussions come from. Poor form and improper teaching.

  24. Football is not the most dangerous sport that our youth participate in. Actually, football is safer now that it has ever been in light of the improved protective gear and rules requiring players to wear it, not to mention the numerous rule changes to make it safer. Sports like gymnastics, cheerleading, diving, rugby, soccer, basketball are more dangerous than football but don’t get the media hype because we haven’t seen large class action suits involving these sports so far. Many schools have eliminated sports like gymnastics and diving because of liability issues and turned cheerleading into dance because the stunting was too dangerous for the average student.
    The fact of the matter is that all sports are dangerous to a degree but the positives outweigh the negatives when participants use common sense, observe the rules and aren’t hot dogging to get attention. As a mother with boys and girls and coming from a sports minded family, I firmly believe that participating in sports is the best preparation for life’s competition, and being overly protective is far more damaging to the development of character and interpersonal skills.

  25. So Favre answers a quetion and contrary to the headline he didn’t say he wouldn’t let his son play in the latest article/interview linked here the quote is “I don’t know if I would let him play.” What else is he supposed to say? Yes I would let my hypothetical son play? I don’t know seems like an honest and accurate answer.

  26. Horsepuckey.

    As he and his peers age he understands the toll the game can take on a body. He is in a very good position to have an opinion.

    There are other sports. I don’t enjoy them as much, but they exist and can be very competitive.

  27. Parents should be concerned about their kids, nobody will argue that. What I’m suggesting is that there is also often value in things not only despite their risks, but because of their risks. Rock climbing, swimming, bike racing, and baseball are all wonderful sports that can kill you in the blink of an eye — and it is that element of danger that makes people fall in love with them, because they want to test themselves against it. And when you pass through it, you come out the other side something better and stronger than you were only moments before. There is a chapter in the novel Winter’s Tale about a burning NYC ferry that I always think of in this regard. As the book explains it, the NYC firemen storm the ferry because the danger makes them stronger. They “knew that though it sometimes kills them, the fire gives them priceless gifts.” Your sons will be fine. Their struggles and triumphs will make them stronger and prepare them for the time when you are weak, and then their sons will do the same for them. It’s the story not only of sports but of nations, and that’s why the two are always woven so tightly together.

  28. One of my friends is a high school athletic director and former football coach who was All State in both football and basketball. He did not allow his son to play football until the son was in high school. Additionally, he is one of the most vocal critics of Pee Wee football that you will ever meet.

  29. Lets face it favray most likely does have a son somewhere, like adrian petersons son who no one knew about. Lets also face it that favray is brain damaged, as he has admitted. I mean who texts photos of their junk to a women who rejects him. favray can’t bear to be out of the limelight. As a life long Packer fan, I am totally embarrassed whenever he opens his mouth. Go away forever, please. And please don’t delete this, as I too am only expressing an opinion, without swear words, or calling anyone a name.

  30. Well heres the deal – the rumor in Green Bay is that he does have a son… just not one with the last name Favre… so maybe he has more of an opinion then you think…

  31. Your point here is problematic. Having a son does not necessarily grant one the sudden ability to make more informed decisions in any regard. To believe so would be to put up a necessary experience barrier to any decision we might make, disregarding our ability as humans to make reasonable choices based on available information.

    Even if Favre, or anyone else, had a son, the experience logic still falter because there are other variables. Favre’s experience and wealth offer a different perspective from the guy who washes out of the league in three years, much less the guys who do not play beyond high school.

    Wishing that the man had a son so you could see the eventual real choice is a distraction from the point he made. Agree with him or disagree with him, but do not pretend through faulty logic that he does not have the right to make an informed opinion.

  32. Who says Favre doesn’t have a son? I bet there’s a couple of Berts floating around the WI area from his and Chewey’s exploits years back.

  33. Favre played pro football, so he actually is in a position to opine about this subject. Obama, on the other hand, has never done anything productive at any level and thus is just blowing smoke – something President Choom is very familiar with.

  34. Using this logic that means any man without a uterus isn’t in position to tell a woman what she can do with hers… Say what!? I know that’s likely to rustle some jimmies with quite a few of you here. But it’s the truth.

  35. @andrewluck12 – thanks. Best comment yet and exactly what I was going to say. A lot of these media guys never played football on any level but feel they can give an opinion.

  36. idiaznet says:Jul 16, 2014 10:38 AM

    “Talk about he is helping teach the kids to properly tackle and hit. That is where 90% of the concussions come from. Poor form and improper teaching.”

    Neck injuries come from poor form and improper teaching, not concussions.

  37. It is very much like someone who served in the military saying that they wouldn’t want their hypothetical son or daughter to enlist. There are benefits and dangers. If you feel like the dangers outweight the benefits, you’ve just given an opinion.

    Now, if you then have a child that admires your military service and wants to do ROTC and later enlist, you may change your opinion because it is one thing to say what you would hypothetically do and another entirely to look into your child’s eyes and deny them their dreams. Facing the reality of the situation does not invalidate the opinion you formed previously, even if it doesn’t end the way you may have thought.

  38. packsoldier says:
    Jul 16, 2014 12:41 PM
    And people who don’t own a gun aren’t in a position to tell a gun owner what she should do with her guns…

    Assuming you love your guns as much as you’d love a child…….and I suspect that is the case.

  39. packsoldier says:
    Jul 16, 2014 3:43 PM
    Tell it to the uterine rights advocate who brought up the subject in the first place.

    Don’t pin your personal incredulity on me now. I made a very valid logical jump… Where as yours implies ownership of an item. I for one, in my heart, can’t view another human as a thing to own. I’m pretty sure humanity has gone down that road before in history… And I may be wrong, but I’m fairly certain it didn’t end well. For any parties involved… I know there are still relics of the past who like to think that way about people (women, children, employees…), but I think it’s time to evolve as a species.

  40. trollingforjustice says:
    Jul 16, 2014 3:56 PM
    And yet we continue to let non Native- Americans
    speak out for them about the team name Redskins…kinda disses you own crusade here doesnt it?

    Let’s do a test… Give me one sentence (that doesn’t involve potatoes, football, or apples.), with the name “redskins” in it that is a positive statement… I’d go ahead and wait but it’s not possible. This “political correctness” thing that so many visitors to this site hate isn’t about taking away your manly bravadoery, it’s about being polite and respectful. Which is something I think we all teach our kids right? When humans gain knowledge or wisdom we’re supposed to implement that and evolve… There was a time in history where we weren’t allowed to gain new knowledge and we regressed. About 1000 years of it actually, the middle, or “dark”, ages. This is 2014, it’s time to let go of emotional connections to a time gone by.

  41. packsoldier says:
    Jul 16, 2014 4:04 PM
    If “evolving” means “excusing infanticide”, I’ll stay in my cave, thanks.

    I’m going to paraphrase my buddy Inigo Montoya here, but “infanticide”; you are using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means… If you want to use big boy words, maybe know there definitions first buddy. I don’t want to stereotype here, but it does seem that a lot of people on this site seem to bash Packer fans intelligence… Maybe they’re not wrong?

  42. You may want to work on your punctuation and spelling skills before bloviating so pretentiously.

    I don’t sugarcoat the truth with euphemisms.

  43. One of my boys did play pro football. He didn’t listen to me as a kid and doesn’t take my advice nowadays and perhaps quite fortuitously elected not to study medicine . He was both bright and athletic as a kid and I wanted to join the partnership and play golf and tennis for enjoyment. I submit that his foresight is perhaps more keen than mine.

  44. Apparently Obama said if he had a son he would not let him play football, because it’s too dangerous… hard to respect any man who thinks like that, and hard to consider anyone who makes a comment like that a MAN at all. We have officially become a nation of soccer moms carpooling in mini vans.

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