Favre Softball Draws Record Numbers

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Ferguson watches one of his two home runs.

Already renowned for their all-weather support, Green Bay Packers fans added to their legend Sunday.

Despite afternoon rain showers that eventually gave way to sunshine, a record 7,123 fans packed Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton to watch the Packers offense defeat the defense 24-10 in the fourth-annual Brett Favre Celebrity Softball Game.

Proceeds for the game benefit the Brett Favre Forward Foundation, which looks to provide aid to disadvantaged or disabled youth of Wisconsin.

"I'm just surprised we got it in," Favre said in regard to the wet conditions. "The weather actually turned out great (by the end of the game) and it was another great turnout.

"It was a lot of fun as usual and I hope the guys enjoyed it, and I hope the fans enjoyed it as well."

Unlike last season, when only two home runs left the yard, 10 balls cleared the fences Sunday.

The offense accounted for eight of the long balls, including two apiece for wide receiver Robert Ferguson and fullback William Henderson.

After being retired in order in the first inning, the offense looked as if it might suffer its third straight defeat, but a five-run second inning and a 10-run third put Favre's unit well on its way to victory.

Favre himself contributed to the offense with a homer, but was not so warmly greeted by wide receiver Donald Driver, who doused the quarterback with ice water as he approached home plate.

Offensive linemen Marco Rivera and Mark Tauscher showed their power by hitting homers, as did halfback Najeh Davenport, who said he enjoyed his inaugural Favre softball game.

"I haven't played softball since eighth grade, but it was nice," Davenport said. "I really enjoyed myself."

Not so enthusiastic was the defense, which struggled to score runs.

Rookie linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but the defense didn't go yard again until punter Josh Bidwell hit a grand slam in the top of the sixth.

Bidwell's homer was too little, too late, and when the game concluded, defensive players found themselves on the run as the offense hunted them down with the traditional whipped cream pies.

Somehow getting the worst of it was Driver, who took a pie in the face from Brittany Favre and then was pounced upon by other teammates.

But that's all just part of the show.

"It was great, coming out here and having our fans cheer us on," Driver said. "Brett always puts on a great event and this is one of them that we'll be back for every year."

Notes: Sunday's attendance was the largest crowd ever to attend an event at Fox Cities Stadium ... the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by executive director of public relations Lee Remmel, who is entering his 30th season as a member of the Packers' front office.

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