NBC's "Today" show aired an interview with former NFL great Brett Favre Monday in the wake of a recent admission that he is experiencing memory loss at just 44 years old.
Now, in an interview that was leaked over the weekend, Favre opens up more about the hits he took, the symptoms he's having now, his struggles with a violent game, and a take on the recent bullying talk around the NFL that can best be described as an old-school take. Here's the back-and-forth between Favre and Matt Lauer.
Some important facts to get out there first: Favre set the NFL record for 297 consecutive regular season starts (seemingly forever held at 282 by Vikings great Jim Marshall) and 321 if you count his playoff appearances. Lauer adds that Favre was sacked 525 and hit countless other times.
Favre's streak finally ended in December of 2010.
More key points from the interview:
* Favre says he is now uncertain at times how to finish a sentence, struggling to find the right words.
* He also adds that while he is also unsure if such symptoms are directly related to concussions, he throws in four years of college and high school football into the mix.
Favre doesn't have a son, but if he did, he said he "would be real leery" of having him play football. Some context is required there: Not only does Favre have concerns about the physical toll, but he seems more concerned about any pressure a son would have playing to live up to the family name.
"In all honesty, I would have a hard time just throwing him out there," he tells Lauer.
As far as the bullying scandal involving Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, Favre had this to say:
"My initial reaction was, 'You gotta be kidding me ... Pro football — bullying? It's the toughest sport, most violent, not to mention you're men, some older than others. So it's not like a little 12-year-old on the playground. All I'm saying is my initial reaction was, 'A grown man that's 320 pounds is getting bullied?'"
Favre seems far more torn on the game of football and what it's meant for him.
“Don't want to knock football at all," he says to Lauer. "I think that's unfair. I knew what I was getting into. To think that I could help maybe ease maybe some of the potential trauma, but still keep the integrity of the game, I’m willing to do that.”