Izell French seemed to be speakingfor most of the Favre family.
"I sure hope Brett can win this game for hisdaddy," said French, Favre’s maternal grandmother.And that’s what Brett Favre did Monday night,completing 22 of 30 passes for 399 yards and 4touchdowns to lead the Green Bay Packers to a41-7 win over the Oakland Raiders in Oakland,Calif.
Most of the Favre family came to Irvin andBonita Favre’s home to watch Brett, HancockCounty’s favorite son, just one day after Irvin, theformer ball coach, friend, husband and father, diedat the age of 58.
From 10 to 15 family members were togetherat any given moment in what was a somberoccasion, even as they celebrated son Scott’s 36thbirthday and Brett’s record-setting performance.
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However, they all seemed to know the gameoffered but a mere respite and the reality of thesituation would return after the Monday NightFootball telecast.
"We know this will be the easiest time we willhave," Bonita Favre said. "We have already hadsome time to grieve, but when Brett gets back(today), it will all start over again."
Irvin Favre died Dec. 22, 2003, the victim of amassive heart attack.
Bonita was a little more animated when actuallytalking about Irv, saying no one would havewanted to sit near the former Hancock NorthCentral High School football coach once Brett gotgoing in a game.
Like when he completed his first 13 consecutivepasses Monday night against the Raiders.
"He would put bruises on you if you didn’t getout of the way," Bonita said with grin. "He wouldget those elbows and knees to going, and you betterhope you weren’t in the line of fire."
Scott, whose 2-year-old son, Max, kept a senseof levity on the evening, recalled his dad’s lifeand how everyone who had known him had goodthings to say.
"If there is one good thing to come out of this,it’s all of the love I have seen people show towardDad," Scott Favre said. "Dad was really all aboutfamily. So, for all of us to be here tonight watching(Brett play) is really ironic."
Actually everyone already was scheduled to betogether Monday for a birthday party at the familyrestaurant, Favre’s on the Bayou. The party wenton, albeit at home, as cake and ice cream wereserved and Scott opened gifts.
In fact, other than a photo of Irv with candlesin front of it set up in the kitchen area, the houselooked much like any Packers Monday night partyin the Favre home.
Action figures of Brett were on the coffee tablein the living room. Books of Packers history werelying around and everyone was dressed in GreenBay attire.
And when the game started, it was hard totell anything was going on other than a footballgame, especially when the crew of 12 in the livingroom erupted with cheers when Brett connectedwith another Mississippian, tight end WesleyWalls, for a touchdown early in the first quarter.
"Dad would have enjoyed this," Scott said. "He talked football all the time, and this wouldhave been perfect. I’m not sure the full effect ofall of this has set in on any of us completely, butthis is a great time for all of us to be together.
"We have all been around football all of ourlives with Dad. It’s what we all know," Scott saidas he glanced around the room.
Irv had brought football to everyone in thatroom, and Brett’s performance on football’sbiggest stage was proof of that.
The irony wasn’t lost on anyone there.