Packers Worry About Loved Ones In Gulf Coast


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

While Brett Favre received word that his immediate family lived through Hurricane Katrina, other Packers players hoped for the same news.

"Fortunately, they all survived," Favre said.

Javon Walker, however, cannot locate his grandparents or two of his uncles -- Lucille, Paul Jr., Paul Sr., and Earl Goldsmith of Moss Point, Miss.

At first Walker's mother did not want to worry him, but she became increasingly anxious after not being able to contact them for two days.

"They panicked a little bit," Walker said.

Favre received the news from his mother, Bonita, after she stopped a Houston news van. Someone with the news station phoned the Packers to inform Favre of his family's safety.

The hurricane destroyed his mother's house, erected in the 1940s, in Kiln, Miss., but Brett's home in Hattiesburg, Miss. survived. About 50 people including Favre's extended family and neighbors have gathered there.

"They have nowhere to go," Brett said. "Our house is their refuge right now."

They have no power, and many of the children are starving. Brett's wife, Deanna, said they have one loaf of bread for all of them. Favre may scrap his initial plans of traveling from Nashville, Tenn. to Hattiesburg immediately after the game.

He slept two hours on Tuesday night.

"I had nightmares the whole time about should I go or should I stay, if I go -- what do I do," he said. "If I don't go, how guilty I'll feel."

After one of the few cell phone conversations with his wife, Deanna said staying in Green Bay, Wis. may serve as the best decision.

"If I come down, am I eating one more sandwich than the kids could have shared?" he said. "I'm better off being here. I'm trying to get the word out."

After the Tennessee Titans game, Favre has arranged for a car to drive to Hattiesburg with supplies. The car will continue farther south if possible.

On Tuesday Favre said he wanted to receive a lot of action against the Titans to hone his performance for the regular season. He has since softened his stance. Head coach Mike Sherman, who has coached Favre since 2001, told Favre he could drive to Mississippi on Wednesday night and miss the game if needed.

Favre made the trip to Nashville, Tenn., but he and Sherman discussed how long they will play during Wednesday's plane trip.

"It's still up in the air," offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said.

Favre has endured a difficult year-and-a-half as his father and brother-in-law passed away and doctors diagnosed Deanna with breast cancer.

While Favre has suffered through a series of adverse events, the 26-year-old Walker is grappling with such a scenario for the first time.

"It's kind of new for me," he said. "I haven't really been around any tragedy in my life growing up. ... It puts things in perspective."

The opposing quarterback during Thursday's game and Favre's Hattiesburg neighbor, the Titans' Steve McNair, has talked on the phone with Favre. The hurricane destroyed McNair's brother's house, and McNair has not heard from his mother since the destruction.

Linebacker Ray Thompson and much of his family live in New Orleans. Normally soft-spoken and patient, an exasperated Thompson walked away from the media horde at one point.

Thompson's brother and two of his cousins left the city, but a trip to Texas took nine hours because of traffic congestion. He has reached his uncle by phone but not his mother.

"I'm just waiting. That's all I can do," he said. "It's frustrating."

Thompson not only worries about the lack of power, food and working but also the dangers presented when the levee breaks. Alligators, snakes and other animals may infiltrate homes.

The team held a prayer for the hurricane victims after Tuesday's practice. Several of the players have friends and family along the Gulf Coast.

"It's a dire situation," Favre said. "It's going to take help from everywhere."


*The National Football League will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast region that includes Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced Wednesday.

The NFL and its clubs are working on other initiatives to assist in the relief effort, Commissioner Tagliabue added.*

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