Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and free-agent pitcher Roger Clemens ran into each other recently at the gas station as the Rocket was pumping unleaded premium into his orange Hummer – the same one George Steinbrenner gave him when he was still a Yankees employee.
Fortunately, we were there to capture the conversation and bring it to you.
RC: Hey, Brett! Brett Favre! Is that you?
BF: Roger Clemens - how are ya'?
RC: Doing great! Really enjoying my indefinite vacation. Hey, I couldn't help but notice that you've been standing there for quite awhile now without pumping any gas. Need a few bucks or something?
BF: No, it's not that. You see, I still have a quarter of a tank and I wasn't sure if I wanted to get gas today. Then again, the price might go up tomorrow. Plus, there are too many dad-blamed choices. Do I get ethanol or 89 octane or what? I just don't know what to do.
RC: Hell, just buy the place and you can make your own rules. That's what I would do.
BF: Rog, nice Hummer. How do you manage to milk your owners for all these cool free toys?
RC: It's so easy. They fall all over themselves to give me stuff. It is so great being rich. You never have to pay for anything! Just hint at retirement and they really pour on the goodies, from all over the league.
BF: Man, I am jealous. All I get is television features with Michele Tafoya blubbering over and over about my family misfortunes with all this cheesy piano music in the background and dim lighting. That's gotten so old and there's no cash in it, to boot!
RC: Favre, you've got it all wrong, but you've come to the right place to learn from the master.
BF: How do I get started?
RC: First, sit up there in the driver's seat. You've got to take charge, man. When you dawdle over your career future, you've got to do it big-time. Open the door for unlimited bidding while you're at it. Run up the asking price sky-high before making a decision.
BF: What if I'm not a free agent?
Then just threaten to play another sport. I learned that move from
BF: Cool. I always wanted to be a NASCAR driver…
RC: Favre, I've got to tell you. You really screwed up by making your 2006 decision so soon.
BF: So soon? The Packers had a salary cap deadline. What was I supposed to do?
RC: That's their problem. Do what I do. Wait until the season starts and they get really desperate. How does a cool $3 mill sound to you?
BF: Heck, $3 million per year isn't all that much.
RC: No! I am talking $3 million per MONTH… and you can decide which months you want to play! Think about it. Too hot in August and September? No problem. Just set an October 1 deadline and voila! The team will be 0-4 or 1-3 by that point and dying for a savior.
BF: But, they'd probably be 1-3 even if I was there…
RC: Listen, man. There is only so much one person can do. After all, you're not the GM and you're not the running back or the defensive secondary. You're just the QB.
BF: Really? I kind of like making personnel decisions, too.
RC: Tell you what. If you really want to make them sweat, don't set a deadline at all. Make it a rolling decision date.
BF: Hmmm… Maybe I could start up after the bye week.
RC: If you're really on your game, you can negotiate a deal to totally avoid practice and just show up for games. Now, that is sweet.
BF: You mean I can get paid and not have to take hits from stupid defensive linemen in practice all week?
RC: Yep. Just tell them "no deal" unless you get plenty of time at home with your kids. Play up that family angle for all it is worth. Nobody can beat the "spend time with the family argument". Should be a slam dunk for you…
BF: Great idea!
RC: Yeah, and if I ever retire, then my buddy Andy Pettitte is going to get the same clause from the Astros that I had by telling them he needs time off during the season to spend time with ME, his best pal!
RC: In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret. I made a deal with Brad Lidge. I told him to get lit up here in the early going and that I would demand an extra mil from the ‘Stros every month to help "straighten him out". Because I am such a nice guy, I told "Lights Out" that I'll give him half my cut. 50-50. Right down the middle.
BF: Damn. I wish I had thought of working that deal with Donald Driver when he was looking for more money…
RC: So, what do you think of my wheels, Favre? Looks like you could use an upgrade.
BF: Well, I ain't makin' no $18 mill per, but I've got enough cash to buy this here Hummer off you. Wanna' sell, big boy?
RC: I'm not sure I do. Not sure if I don't. I need to talk with my family about it first.
BF: I like kids. How many little booster rockets you got?
RC: Ahhh. I forget. I used to have all their names written down, but I do remember they all start with "K".
BF: Why the letter, "K"? Oh, like Clemens. I get it.
RC: No! "K", like strikeout. I pump ‘em out just like fastballs down the middle of the plate.
BF: Not me. I need more time to find my receivers.
RC: Hey, you got any kids named "TD", Favre? That would make some pretty good press, man.
BF: No, I don't. But, there's still time.
RC: Now, you're thinking! By the way, how come the letters of your last name are out of order? Shouldn't it be "Farve"?
BF: Beats me. I always have other people sign stuff for me, anyways.
RC: Good idea. That would save a lot of time. I'll get my kids working on that.
BF: So, when will you decide if you want to sell the Hummer? I am used to being the one calling the plays around here…
RC: Not until I get into selling shape. Then I can decide. But, I should let you know that just the other day Tiger Woods was asking about it.
BF: Get off it. I know Tiger is a Buick man. I seen the commercials.
RC: Right. Like anyone under 80 is ever caught dead driving one of those. It's called endorsements, man. You think Raffy actually used Viagra? Ain't nobody failed a drug test with that stuff.
BF: Uh, yeah. Anyway, back to the Hummer…
RC: Listen, you'll have to submit your offer to my selling agent.
BF: You mean used car salesman? Man, I really dig those wheels. The Hummer looks like a big ‘ol tractor to me. Speaking of my tractor - that is the only other subject the darned networks always want to talk about…
RC: Well, maybe if you threw a few more touchdowns, they'd want to talk about football, instead…
I want to take it back home to Kiln,
Take it home? You can never go home. Where's home? Heck, I am booed in
That's no problem in
RC: I don't lie down for nobody.
BF: I really like that Hummer's orange paint.
RC: That's Longhorn Orange. I had my kid sign a letter of intent to attend college there at UT to drive up his price before he signed with the Astros.
RC: Yeah, so what's the point? They didn't offer enough. If I wanted an education, I'd just buy a college and give myself a diploma. Cut out the middleman.
BF: A chip off the old block…
BF: Hey, why is the windshield on this thing cracked?
RC: Well, it is far from a secret. One of my "K" kids hit a home run off me in a simulated game (wink, wink) but the darned ball came down right on top of my truck sitting out there in the valet parking lot.
BF: Now, why would I know anything about that?
It was only on the front page of every sports section in the
BF: Is the Hummer a one-owner?
RC: Yeah, unless you count the time Steinbrenner had it. Don't believe what you read in the papers. He gave it to me because it was too small for his ego!
BF: Yeah. It figures.
A couple of years back, I even got some wacky radio guys in
BF: You would have given the first one back?
RC: No way! I would have just kept them both. Remember, I got all my little "K's" to worry about.
BF: Oh, yeah…
RC: You know, I loaned the Hummer to my oldest kid and sure enough, he left it unlocked and it got stolen. Good thing we got it back.
BF: Well, like where were the crooks going to hide it? But, I gotta' tell ya'. Now, I am not so sure if I want to buy it, being damaged goods and all.
RC: Who are you to talk? And, why not? Folks want to give me stuff all the time. Not just cash. Heck, Mike Piazza even wanted to give me one of his bats.
BF: To be honest, I am not sure the old feelings of driving intensity are still there for me any more on Sundays.
RC: How you gonna' answer that?
BF: I am going to talk to the new President of General Motors about whether he is building new models and find out how he is going to build them first. Then, I'll ponder it.
RC: How could you lose your intensity, man? That should be the last thing to go.
BF: I used to be addicted to pain killers, but that stuff is out now.
RC: Well, I used to be smaller. So, what? Anyway, are you interested in buying this or not?
BF: Now, I can't decide…
RC: Don't be pulling a Javon on me and holding out. When will you let me know?
BF: I've gotta' tell it like it is. A decision like this has to be made in the best interest of the team. I just can't be rushed into something so important.
RC: Ok, ok. By the way, where are you headed today?
BF: My wife wanted me to go out with her, but I hate shopping. She can never decide what she wants. Drives me crazy.
RC: I know what you mean. Dumb women can't make up their minds about anything other than spending lots of money. You know what? I don't care anymore.
BF: Now, that's the truth! Well, maybe I will see you later.
RC: Yeah, maybe. Check with my agents. I'm not in any hurry to get anywhere. But, everyone can't wait for me to arrive. It's great to be wanted!