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Sunday, December 21, 2003
Updated: December 22, 8:14 PM ET
Family in 'shock' after loss

ESPN.com news reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre will start against the Oakland Raiders on Monday night, a day after his father died unexpectedly from a heart attack.

Coach Mike Sherman said Monday afternoon that Favre would make his 205th consecutive start, including playoffs, an NFL record for quarterbacks.

Irvin Favre died Sunday night after suffering a heart attack while driving near his home in Kiln, Miss. Brett Favre was in Oakland with the rest of the team at the time of Irvin's death.

A funeral service is scheduled for Wednesday at St. Paul Catholic Church in Pass Christian, Miss.

Various reports prior to Sherman's announcement previously indicated that Favre would play.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the Packers quarterback told teammates at a meeting Sunday night that he will play. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on its Web site that Favre stayed in California at the team hotel and would play after receiving encouragement from his family.

However, Packers spokesman Aaron Popkey said Sunday that Favre's status was not yet determined.

"Our thoughts are with Brett and his family," Popkey said.

Favre has started 204 consecutive games, including playoffs, an NFL record for quarterbacks. The Packers trail Minnesota by a half-game in the NFC North and need a win for their playoff hopes.

"It's just a shock to us," Scott Favre, Brett's brother, told the Journal Sentinel Sunday night. "Nobody knows what to think right now."

The Journal Sentinel reported that visitation and funeral services are set for Tuesday, with times yet to be finalized. Favre could play on Monday night, then join his family in Mississippi on Tuesday.

Irvin Favre was 58 when he died Sunday. State police said Favre went off the road at 5:23 p.m. near Kiln, the hometown of Brett, a three-time NFL most valuable player.

Irvin Favre ran into a ditch, said Sgt. Joe Gazzo of the Mississippi State Highway Patrol.

"It didn't appear that the accident was serious enough to cause him to be unconscious, so that leads us to believe that a medical condition was what caused him to go off the road," Gazzo said.

Favre was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m.

"First, the witnesses, then the ambulance, and then at the hospital they tried to revive him," Gazzo said. "It's going to be a great loss to the community, he was a great guy."

Visitation and services are planned for Tuesday, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Irvin Favre coached his son at Hancock North Central High School. He said he knew Brett had a good arm, but he also had an abundance of good running backs. So, for the three years Brett was the starting quarterback, Hancock North ran the wishbone.

One of the school's signature plays at the time was a pitchout with Brett Favre as the lead blocker.

"If I had wanted to showcase my son, I could have let him throw," Irvin Favre said later. "But I thought I did a good job in that what I was doing was in the best interest of the team."

Favre followed his son's NFL career closely and considered the Packers' 1997 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in New Orleans among the best events of his life.

"Sometimes I think it's just a football game," Irvin Favre said at the time. "Then when I think about it, I realize it's the world's championship.

"It's hard to believe that the little boy we raised has done all this."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.