During a special visit to Liberty University last week, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre shared how God became real to him through his career and family hardships.
The Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer spoke at the university’s convocation, where thousands of students gather each week to hear influential speakers.
Favre, who played with the Green Bay Packers for 16 years, was welcomed by students wearing his infamous green and white Packers jerseys.
University President Jerry Falwell introduced Favre to the students and highlighted his accomplished career in the NFL.
Speaking to the college students, Favre told the students about one game that will forever stick out in his mind, one many of his fans will remember: a Monday night game in December 2003 against the Oakland Raiders.
Just one day after his father passed away, Favre decided to take the field to honor his father. And by halftime it was clear his mission was accomplished, the legendary QB had thrown for a personal best of 311 yards, four touchdowns, and had a 158.3 passer rating.
The Packers beat the Raiders 41-7, in which Favre threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders and not a single interception.
Favre shared with the students how much he prayed that day, and how Doug Pederson, his teammate at the time, now the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, prayed with him continuously leading up to the game.
“The question was not if I could play; the question was if I could play in a way in which I honored my father that no one could understand,” Favre explained. “We prayed so much, right up until we went out for pregame, we had a prayer right at my locker.”
“I just wanted to honor my father; I wanted to win the football game. I didn’t care about being the greatest player that night. I wanted to honor my father in a way that he would be proud.”
Favre shared how that moment was pivotal in his walk with God, and how God became all the more real after that game.
“What I realized later, after I retired, as I think about that game is that I, and maybe you, have oftentimes said, ‘God, show me You’re real, just for me, just for a second,’” Favre said. “Come out of the clouds, cross the road, whatever. You look for these signs and you never see them — when they’re right in front of you. And for me the sign was how I played in that game.”
Over the course of his NFL career, Favre was chosen to play in 11 Pro Bowls, won one Super Bowl, and was a three-time NFL MVP, that game holds as one of Favre’s most memorable performances by his fans, and is his own personal favorite.
Later in the discussion, Favre was asked to share his favorite Bible story, to which he told students to reference Luke 23, the conversation that took place between the two criminals and Christ on the cross.
That story, Favre explained, touches him in a very personal way because of how relatable it is.
“One was forgiven in spite of all the things he’d done … and if he can do it, we all can, and we all need it,” Favre shared. “Everyone wishes they had something that the other has, and we all have flaws. Do not try to be perfect, because it’s impossible. Be who you are and trust that God has your back.”