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Favre Practices With Heavy Heart


For more information on how you can help the victims of Hurricane Katrina, please visit Favre's official Web site,

Brett Favre loves football, but playing that game became arduous this week. With Hurricane Katrina ravaging his hometown, he has focused on his family.

"Today was very difficult to practice," Favre said. "I'm sort of going through the motions out there. ... I'm trying my best."

In what he calls as difficult a distraction as he has endured during his NFL career, the 15-year-veteran quarterback has barely slept the last couple of days. He tries to watch as much news coverage as possible. Head Coach Mike Sherman approached him during practice to see how he was doing.

"Our heart goes out to them," Sherman said afterwards.

The storms have made cell phone contact very difficult. He talked to his wife, Deanna, Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

"Communication has been very hit or miss," he said.

His family members, however, reported to be in good health for the time being.

He spoke to his mother, Bonita, late Tuesday afternoon after a Houston television station put them in touch. His mother and grandmother spent Monday night in the attic as water inundated their entire house in Kiln, Miss. in five to 10 minutes.

Despite the circumstances regarding his family, Favre plans on starting against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday.

"My loyalty is to this team and to my family as well," he said.

Sherman indicated the starters will play much less than they did last week, but Favre wants to improve on his performance. He completed 9-of-21 passes for 69 yards and two interceptions against the New England Patriots last week. Even at 35-years-old, he believes that practice makes perfect.

"There's a lot left to do," he said. "The more I play, the better I get."

After the game, he will try and travel to Mississippi. Because of the destruction, he does not know what means of transportation he will use. He could end up renting a car in Nashville, Tenn. and driving south to help the cleanup effort.

"I'll do whatever I can until Sunday," he said.

His mother lives in Kiln in a house perched on a hill with a river in front and a creek in the back. It has withstood several natural disasters, including the Hurricane Camille 1969.

During a hurricane in 1987, much of the extended family and friends used that as a gathering place and shelter. Children would stay there as they missed school.

"It was kind of a fun retreat," Favre said. "But this one's not that way."

Bonita Favre told Brett that Hurricane Camille did not compare to this one. She indicated the family home is "destroyed" and probably will be bulldozed.

Katrina also destroyed much of Hattiesburg -- where Brett currently resides.

"I hate to compare this to the tsunami," he said. "but in a small area, it was like that. The only difference is [Katrina] brought 100 miles per hour-plus winds with a 24-foot tidal surge."

Favre is enduring a trying period. In the last year-and-a-half, his father and brother-in-law died, and Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer.

He admits to asking "why me" at first before reflecting deeper on his life.

"I try to remind myself of all the things to be thankful for, which there are a lot," he said. "Playing professional football for the Green Bay Packers is a wonderful honor. I am very much appreciative of that. As I've said before, to have tragedies in my life is no different than anyone else. It's just that mine are on TV."

His adversity in life makes competing in the NFL seem easy.

"If you're down to Minnesota in the third quarter," he said, "I can always remember it's been a hell of a lot worse."

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