GREEN BAY – Brett Favre doesn’t see any point in having his No. 4 jersey retired by the Green Bay Packers, and while he expects to have a relationship with the organization “someday,” he says he’s not the least bit worried about it.
While Favre and interviewer/ex-Atlanta Falcons teammate Deion Sanders covered a lot of ground – much of it completely non-newsworthy – during their sitdown interview that aired on NFL Network Wednesday night, the most interesting portion of the interview was about Favre's relationship -- or lack thereof -- with the Packers.
The retired iconic quarterback was asked if he has any relationship with the team he came to embody during his 16-year career with the team.
“Not really,” Favre replied.
Favre announced his retirement in March 2008, informed the Packers of his decision to unretire in July 2008 and, after one of the ugliest splits between a franchise and a star player in league history, was traded by general manager Ted Thompson to the New York Jets in August 2008.
Favre then retired from the Jets following the 2008 season, only to unretired again and go on to play two seasons with the rival Minnesota Vikings in 2008 and 2009.
Asked by Sanders about not being wanted by the Packers, who moved on with now-NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, Favre replied: “We see it all the time. … But I also understand that changes need to be made – sometimes in spite of how you play. It would be easy to say, ‘We’re going to let this guy go, (he) didn’t play very well;’ it’s like, ‘You start to see diminished skills.’
“I had my best year my last year there [in Green Bay]. A lot has been said about their side, my side, who should’ve … The business part of it is it happens. I’m not upset at that, I really am not.”
Retired team president Bob Harlan said in an interview on Green & Gold Today earlier this month that the Packers Hall of Fame tried to facilitate a reconciliation by approaching Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, about Favre attending Saturday's induction of former head coach Mike Holmgren. To Harlan's disappointment, that won't happen.
Asked if he would like to have a relationship with the Packers, Favre said: “It’ll happen someday. … That day will come. I haven’t lost any sleep over it, nor have they. They’ve gone on.”
Sanders poked fun at Favre for that response, saying, “Will you just kiss and make up? Who would you kiss? The GM? Who is it?” Sanders made it clear he wasn’t buying that Favre hasn’t lost any sleep over it.
“I haven’t. I really haven’t,” Favre said. “I wish them well.’
Replied Sanders: “This is like an ex-girlfriend. You were the Green Bay Packers, man.”
“You know what? You said my thoughts exactly,” Favre replied. “What I did speaks for itself. What I left behind speaks for itself.”
In May, Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy said during a stop on the team’s annual Tailgate Tour bus tour around the state that the team hoped to retire Favre’s jersey in the next year or two, adding that the team wants to do it “when it’s meaningful to Brett.”
Based on Favre’s response to Sanders, that might be a long time coming.
“Why?” Favre replied with a laugh when asked by Sanders what he’d say if the Packers called him about having a “Brett Favre Day” to honor him.
“I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know this: Whether anything happened between you and Atlanta, me and Green Bay – and people think I’m crazy – but I don’t need to have a day. I don’t need to have a retirement [where they] retire your jersey to solidify my career.”
According to the NFL Network, the second part of the interview, which airs Thursday at 7 p.m. Central time, will addresses why Favre went to Minnesota, the New Orleans Saints bounty program, the reason for his retirement and more.
Here is the full transcript of the first part of the interview, courtesy of the NFL Network’s Andrew Howard:
> On what he is doing now: “Just hanging out back home, helping out and doing a little coaching at the high school.”
> On if he is demanding as a coach: “I find with each day I get a little more demanding, but I’m not a yeller. My dad yelled a bunch and I’ve been around a lot of coaches [and] I’ve seen coaches yell. I’m kind of in-between.”
> On what coach worked on him: “[Mike] Holmgren, he was so instrumental. Everyone knows the West Coast [offense], or a version of it now; it was just kind of new, it was just Joe Montana and Bill Walsh back then. The offense just fit me perfectly and he was the best guy to lead me.”
> On if he is enjoying coaching: “I am enjoying it. At the high school level, I find that because being so far removed from that you feel like you’re coaching. You really feel like you’re making an impact.”
> On if he could see himself coaching: “I don’t think I would never move up. I like the free time, and I was reluctant to give more of my time. At the high school, I’ve been just volunteering.”
> On his playing career: “I feel like playing 20 years of pro football and numerous other years, there are no regrets because when I look back, people ask me if I missed it. I thought I would. I really don’t miss it; I kind of miss some of the goofing off…I left it out there. There is no [feeling of], ‘If I would have just done this.’ I did it all.”
> On what he would tell starting quarterback Chris Miller when he was with the Atlanta Falcons: “I would tell Chris just go in there and screw it up so I could finish the second half [laughing].”
> On his knowledge of the game: “I studied hard. I don’t care what other people think. I ran the Wishbone in high school. Then when I went to college, I started four years but it was I-Formation, never ran shotgun. I was way behind; I could throw it, but if you were to ask what nickel defense was, I had no clue. But the older I got, the harder I prepared. As my success grew, so did my knowledge of the game.”
> On when he first arrived in Green Bay: “When I got to Green Bay, [there was] a lot of tradition but a long time since they had won. A lot of people were, ‘We need to win, it’s been 25 years.’ [Mike] Holmgren, he had gotten there a month before I did so we were all kind of just starting over…I just knew that if they ever put me on the field, then that’s going to be a good move.”
> On if he always had that kind of confidence: “Looking back, how I made it I have no idea. I thought just play me…That’s part of the success of me is that sometimes it’s better to just go play.”
> On not being wanted by an organization any longer after being with them for a long time: “We see it all the time. But I also understand that changes need to be made sometimes in spite of how you play. It would be easy to say we’re going to let this guy go if you didn’t play very well; it’s like, ‘You start to see diminished skills.’ I had my best year my last year there [in Green Bay]. A lot has been said about their side, my side. The business part of it is it happens. I’m not upset with that, I really am not.”
> On if he has any relationship with the Green Bay Packers: “Not really.”
> On if would like to have a relationship with the Green Bay Packers: “It will happen someday…That day will come. I haven’t lost any sleep over it, nor have they. They’ve gone on.”
> On his impact on the Green Bay Packers: “What I did speaks for itself. What I left behind speaks for itself.”
> On if the Green Bay Packers call and want to have a ‘Brett Favre’ day where they retire his jersey: “Why? [Laughing] I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know this: whether anything happened between you and Atlanta, me and Green Bay – and people think I’m crazy – but I don’t need to have a day. I don’t need to have a retirement [where they] retire your jersey to solidify my career.”
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