Favre's hospitality impresses local pair   « Back

by Jim Leitner TH sports editor
Source: www.thonline.com

Mar. 3, 2008

For most of the 13-hour drive South, Scott Harris and Bob Leytem wondered what kind of experience they would have at their final destination.

Harris -- who operates Harris Golf Cars in Peosta, Iowa -- had a $9,000 custom-built golf cart on his trailer to be delivered to Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre in Hattiesburg, Miss. Leytem, his friend and the owner of the Dog House Lounge in Dubuque, went along to keep him company.

Would they meet the fun-loving, personable guy they see on TV every Sunday? Or would someone else show up at the gate to Favre's ranch and coldly show them where to drop off the cart.

"You're always kind of nervous when you're going to meet someone you look up to, because you're afraid to be disappointed," Harris said. "The last thing you want is for the guy to be a jerk, because it blows your whole opinion of him."

It didn't take long for their nervousness to disappear.

Favre not only welcomed the two onto his 450-acre property, he gave them the grand tour. For more than two hours, the trio chatted as if long-lost high school buddies.

"What a friendly guy," Leytem said. "He's got to be one of the nicest people I've ever met. The whole time we were down there, he made us feel really comfortable being around him.

"I was half-expecting some guy to show up at the gate and say, 'Put it here, boys. See ya later.' But he was awesome. It's definitely something I'll never forget."

Harris' cousin, John Schneider, serves as the Packers' personnel analyst to the general manager and set up a meeting between Favre and Harris toward the end of the NFL season. Favre wanted a custom-built, camouflage golf cart to ride around his property.

Harris considered it an appropriate vehicle for the immaculately manicured grounds located just outside of Hattiesburg, which is located an hour north of New Orleans.

"You would have thought you were at Augusta National," Harris said of Favre's property. "There were no weeds anywhere, there were all these new trees . . . it was just unbelievable.

"Even the three big machine sheds he has are immaculate. You could eat off the floor. There are a lot of golf course superintendents around the country who would love to have the equipment Brett has."

But the tour of Brett Favre's property paled in comparison to the two hours Harris and Leytem spent with him. The Packers quarterback talked about a wide range of subjects, ranging from his athletic experiences (he actually dreamed of a Major League Baseball career before starting as a freshman quarterback at Southern Mississippi) to his wife and daughters to his love of the outdoors.

Favre and his brother-in-law take care of the property themselves.

"He's just a genuine good guy," Harris said. "He looks you straight in the eye, and he'll tell you a story with that little grin of his. What you see of him on TV? That's exactly the way he is.

"Here's probably the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and he's telling you stories you can relate to. He's just a down-to-Earth, genuine good guy."

Favre plans to use the golf cart for one year, then exchange it for another one. The cart will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to Favre's foundation.

Harris also plans to make a donation to the foundation for every custom golf cart he sells back in Peosta. Favre, in turn, agreed to write personal letters of thanks to Harris' customers who purchase carts.
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