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Favre tells details of addiction in new book

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Brett Favre isn't concerned that his forthcoming book, which details the depths of his addiction to painkillers, will dredge up the pain of his past.

"No, not at all. I've played under enough adversity and negative things, and played pretty well," Favre said. "It's almost like I look for something, someone, maybe you guys can write something bad about me or something, make me mad and I'll play a little better."It's like I've got to play with some adversity once in a while," Favre said. "So, if it does kick up some old stuff, so what?"

In "Favre: For the Record" (Doubleday, $22.95), the two-time MVP quarterback of the Green Bay Packers reveals in sordid detail his addiction and his treatment, and he also acknowledges publicly for the first time that, with the league's approval, he drank alcohol during Super Bowl week.

The NFL was upset that week when Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, told Chris Havel, a columnist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette and co-author of Favre's book, and The Associated Press that Favre's alcohol ban had been lifted.

"The league wasn't too thrilled with his comments, so it put out a statement of its own. It said the NFL wouldn't rule on my status until the offseason," Favre said in the book, an excerpt of which appears in the September issue of Esquire magazine, which hits newsstands next week.

Favre wrote that he'd been cleared in December to drink but that he, too, lied about his status to avoid distractions.

"When anyone asked me, I said I hadn't been drinking," Favre wrote.

Favre, who was banned from drinking alcohol after he admitted he was addicted to Vicodin and spent 46 days at a drug rehab clinic before the 1996 season, said he had a few drinks on the Friday night before the Super Bowl, but that he was discreet about it.

"As badly as I wanted to, I didn't think it would be a good idea to walk down Bourbon Street with a beer in my hand," Favre recounted. "Two nights later, we were Super Bowl champs, and all, finally, was well."

Favre wrote in graphic detail about how his addiction, which began in late 1994, caused myriad health problems such as constipation, dehydration and vomiting before he finally sought help in February 1996.

"The biggest problem wasn't getting the pills down, it was keeping them down," Favre wrote. "Most of the time, I'd just throw them right back up and they'd land on the floor. No big deal."

Favre also writes about his reluctant stay at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., and how he hated meeting with his doctors and nurses, which he termed "the Parole Board."

"Man, some of those meetings got ugly," he wrote. "I kept telling them I was ready to leave. . . . They didn't care. Finally, I told them what they wanted to hear: that I was a drug addict and I needed help. Sure enough, a week later they said, `We think you're ready to leave.'