Favre wears new crown in humble way Champion QB lauds rest of honorees at Block event

March 19, 1997|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

Success doesn't seem to be spoiling Brett Favre.

The Green Bay Packers' two-time MVP was the feature attraction last night at the 19th annual Ed Block Courage Award Foundation dinner at Martin's West.

Favre, who showed up despite being deluged with banquet requests, took little credit for beating an addiction to painkillers and then leading the Packers to their Super Bowl win.

"I'm very happy and very proud of what I did, but it was no different and probably actually less than what most of these guys have done here tonight," he said of the players from each NFL team -- 24 of the 30 attended -- who were honored for exemplifying the principles of sportsmanship and courage originally set down by Block, the late longtime trainer of the Baltimore Colts. "Fortunately for me, we won the Super Bowl so what I've done has been magnified.

"I'm no different than anyone else in this room. It's just that I was fortunate enough to play quarterback and be able to be on TV and in the paper every single day of the week. Let us all remember that we're all the same, we're no different. As long as we can remember that, this place will be much better," he said.

The foundation's goal is to open a home for abused children in every city in the league. It already has six of them operating, including the Ravens Courage House at St. Vincent's Center in Timonium.

The Block dinner is different from the average sports banquet. It is short on jokes and long on moving stories.

Several players said they were touched by visiting the children at St. Vincent's yesterday and Earnest Dye of the Arizona Cardinals talked about how his brother had a drug problem and committed suicide.

"I would express to people to leave them [drugs] alone. Say no," Dye said.

The Minnesota Vikings training staff got the trainer of the year award. The team's head trainer, Fred Zamberletti, was a contemporary of Block's and said, "I feel Eddie's presence here tonight."

He added: "I can hear him getting right into my face. He'd be saying, 'Let's not forget the reason we're here tonight. He'd say, 'Remember the kids.' "

There were some moments of levity, although the funniest line wasn't meant to be a joke.

Bobby Mitchell, the assistant general manager of the Washington Redskins, got a cheer when he said the league should schedule the Ravens and Redskins every year.

"I think it can be done," Mitchell said.

The reason it can't be done is that Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke is against the idea. Ravens owner Art Modell has suggested an annual exhibition series.

Pub Date: 3/19/97

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