A Dream Come True

By Anna DeForge, Phoenix Mercury
Nov. 23, 2003

So many times in life there has been an inspiration or a driving force that motivates or inspires us into becoming who we have become. I am a Midwest Girl – a Wisconsin CheeseHead – so throughout my career I have had the opportunity to watch and be inspired by the passion and success Brett Favre has had with the Green Bay Packers. Like millions of fans, I have sat back every Sunday and watched him lead, overcome injury and be one of the best team players I have ever seen – not to mention his toughness by virtue of the longest starting streak in the history of the NFL. Now that you know how I feel about the man, you’ll know that having had the opportunity to meet him at the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field was an extraordinary experience.

So, how does something like this happen? You win a bet!! As I was training in the preseason last year with Nancy Lieberman, I think she was looking for even more incentive to push me in workouts. She said that if I had a successful WNBA season that she would arrange for me to personally meet Brett Favre. Not that I lacked any incentive to get into the WNBA but meeting Brett and making Nancy honor her bet was enough incentive for me.

So, after the end of the WNBA season, she called a mutual friend, Deion Sanders, and the plan was put into motion through a very gracious public relations department in Green Bay. Jeff Blumb, the Director of Public Relations for the Packers, contacted me and the date was set for November 8 to meet Brett after a mock practice at Lambeau Field on a beautiful crisp Sunday (the Packers played on Monday night).

Practice ended at 11 a.m. and I was on the field right outside the historic Packer tunnel as the players left the field I tried to ankle-tackle my former Nebraska friend (and in my opinion, the best running back in the NFL – okay, so I’m a homer!) Ahman Green. Green also represents the #30 with pride! I had a chance to catch up with Ahman and chat about what we both have been doing since college in 1998. It was so great to see him and I’m so proud of the success he has had, as well. Then as I looked left I saw the person I was there to see, #4 himself, Brett Favre.

He was very warm, funny and shared stories about his oldest daughter who is just starting to play basketball. We talked for about 30 minutes, took pictures and Brett was gracious enough to give me a Packers jacket and some autographed footballs! What amazed me was how humble and not in a rush he was. He was everything I thought he would be. So now, I’ve met two of my sports heroes – Michael Jordan and Brett Favre!

It’s been quite a year for me, to be able to meet both of these outstanding athletes and get back to the WNBA with the Phoenix Mercury – it’s all been a dream come true.