1. Brett Favre
Brett Favre isn’t the first public figure who has been ascribed virtues for no reason other than that he is famous. He became the Green Bay Packers quarterback in 1992, a once-storied franchise that had made the playoffs only twice since their last Super Bowl victory during the 1967 season.
A good ole country boy led the franchise most deeply rooted in the origins of the NFL back to prominence. The Packers have missed the playoffs only eight times in thirty years since they traded a first-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Favre. His gunslinging style on the field was excused as a childlike enthusiasm as the quarterback for the smallest local market in the league became one of its biggest stars.
Well, now the jolly green giant is caught up in a federal scandal. Like seriously, he has been connected to a massive welfare fraud scandal in Mississippi. Not some “Welfare Queen” scandal, but officials with access to how this money is dispersed. Favre has allegedly used his gunslinger ways to try and get money from Mississippi to, of all things, fund athletic facilities at his alma mater — Southern Mississippi.
Welfare money, prison labor, whatever it took, Favre allegedly wanted it all used to drastically improve the Southern Mississippi athletic facilities. And folks, there is a paper trail. Favre’s texts both requested help from former Mississippi Director of Human Services John Davis, former Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, and Nancy New — head of a non-profit who pleaded guilty to defrauding the state government — and that they delivered. Quite a few messages that could lead a reasonable person to believe that Favre saw a $70-plus million scheme in progress, so why shouldn’t one of the state’s most famous residents get a piece of the pie?
Favre denies that he knew where the money was coming from, and both he and Bryant deny any wrongdoing. However, Davis has pleaded guilty to federal and state charges of improper use of welfare money. Favre sent several texts discussing money that Davis had approved. Some recently released ones show that even Southern Mississippi was concerned about how Favre had secured the funding to build the new volleyball stadium.
It appears that Favre, along with several other people, showed no care that Mississippi is the poorest state in America, and instead wanted money that was designated for some type of help for those who needed it, for vanity projects. To earn the money that he has earned throughout his life by throwing footballs in Packer uniforms and Wrangler jeans, the fact that he would stoop this low as a middle-aged man should erase any great mythology left around him.