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A very Brett Favre Christmas


Before he relays this story, former Packers guard Aaron Taylor would like you to know that he loves Brett Favre.

The quarterback brought him to two Super Bowls. Favre's yokel sensibility grounded younger players during a time when they couldn't possibly deflect all the attention they received. He made people believe in themselves.

The two are still close, reliving old times at Favre's "palatial estate" in Mississippi when Taylor is town calling a college football game.

All of that being said, Favre -- or "Alligator Arms," for his inability to reach for his wallet -- was a horrible Christmas gift giver. Tom Brady gives his guys Ugg boots. Tony Romo provides Louis Vuitton travel luggage and Russell Wilson hands off Xbox gaming systems. But Favre?

"I would have taken a sharpie pen, frickin' wet wipes, anything, man," Taylor said, laughing. "IsoToners, we didn't even get disposable gloves back then."

Favre didn't buy Christmas presents, or any presents, really, until one epic winter when he momentarily destroyed his tight-fisted perception before getting caught red-handed.

Taylor tells it this way:

After Super Bowl XXXII, we lose to Denver and after years of us busting his butt, Frank Winters and Mark Chmura really led the charge, but they were busting his butt so much -- he had been MVP like three of the four years I was there and still didn't do anything!

So finally, FINALLY, he says 'I'm going to take you down to Cancun, an all-expense paid vacation. We were like 'Yeah baby! Brett, I don't care what anyone says about you man. You're alright.'

We're all fired up. We get plane fare down there and we get there and see all the hotel rooms. Then he mentions that he set up an autograph sessions at night, but that was his deal. The offensive line could go down and hang out.

Well, we're down there about a day or two and he busts out halfway through the trip. He says 'Oh by the way, you have to come to this session tomorrow (morning) and sign some autographs.'

And we're like, we're going to be out late. We don't want to get up. We told him whatever money we were going to make off is not worth it.

But Brett goes 'No, no no. That's part of the deal, man. If you don't do it, you have to go to the front desk and pay for your rooms and your flight.'

This guy arranges for this -- air quotes -- free trip to Cancun. It was contingent on us signing autographs to earn our keep!

The best metaphor I could give you was, I felt like Charlie Brown and Brett was like Lucy holding the football. We knew it was too good to be true. That was Favre man.

After that moment, the relentless teasing of Favre continued. He got his beers for free in a football town the size of an airport, but he banked all of his money. Taylor knew it wasn't out of spite; that Favre's humble roots in small town Mississippi had more to do with his fiscal conservatism than anything.

But that won't stop Taylor from wondering what it would be like to open up a brand new pair of Ugg boots sitting underneath his locker.

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