"I was the MVP on a pain-pill buzz."
NFL Hall of Famer Brett Favre recently spoke with Sports Illustrated's Peter King about his addiction to alcohol and Vicodin, which resulted in three stints at different rehab facilities during his illustrious NFL career.
Favre, 48, says he once took 14 Vicodin pills at one time during the 1995 season when he was named the NFL MVP for the first time in his career.
"It is really amazing, as I think back, how well I played that year,'' Favre said. "That was an MVP year for me. But that year, when I woke up in the morning, my first thought was, 'I gotta get more pills.'''
Favre won three consecutive MVP Awards (including a co-MVP with Barry Sanders in 1997) and led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory in the 1996 season. During that time, he described himself as "the MVP on a pain-pill buzz."
"I was the MVP on a pain-pill buzz," he said. "The crazy thing was, I'm not a night owl. Without pills I'd fall asleep at 9:30. But with pills, I could get so much done, I just figured, 'This is awesome.' Little did I know [fiancee and now wife] Deanna would be finding some of my pills and when she did, she'd flush them down the toilet."
He explains that he spent 28 days at a rehab center in Rayville, Louisiana in the early '90s due to his Vicodin addiction, and another 72-day stint at a Kansas City rehab center in the mid '90s for the same thing. The third time he went to rehab in 1998 was "strictly for drinking."
"When I drank, I drank to excess,'' Favre said. "So when I went in the second time, to the place in Kansas, I remember vividly fighting them in there. They said drinking was the gateway drug for me, and they were right, absolutely right, but I wouldn't admit it. I will never forget one of the nurses. I had it all figured out. I fought with this nurse all the time. I would not admit the drinking problem. At the end, she said to me, 'You'll be back.'
"I was back. 1998. Guess who was waiting there when I walked in -- that same nurse.''