If you ask any of the beat writers who covered the Green Bay Packers during Brett Favre's run, they'll all tell you that Favre loved to tell stories. It was part of his weekly ritual; Favre would hold court at his locker and supply "Southern wisdom" through tale after tale. If you caught the three-time MVP on the NFL Network for Super Bowl XLVII coverage, you know this hasn't changed.
Well, he's at it again.
During a radio interview on "The Bob and Dan Show" on Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket, Favre was asked about his relationship with Packer fans, his annual retirement contemplations, and when he'll make nice with the team with which he spent 16 years.
"It made for good TV when I came back, didn't it?" Favre said about the summer of 2008 and being traded to the New York Jets. "That's what I was thinking the whole time. Boost the ratings."
On the subject of his annual "will he or won't he" retirement decisions, Favre was adamant that he wasn't trying to gain leverage against the Packers. Favre also disagreed when it was suggested that GM Ted Thompson's drafts from 2005-2007 were intended to compete in the future as opposed to winning now.
"I just find it hard to believe that a GM or a head coach would be concerned about the next era when their job is on the line today. That has happened. I think you do have to look to the future a little bit in, for example, drafting Aaron Rodgers. Perfectly OK with that," Favre said. "But you do have to be concerned about winning now, unless you're looking forward to getting a high pick or whatever."
There's a little bit of revisionist history going on here. Back in 2005, Favre did little to hide his displeasure regarding Aaron Rodgers' selection. When asked how Rodgers might benefit from Favre's tutelage, Favre infamously responded "It's not my job." Even as recently as 2011, Favre was hurling thinly veiled insults at Rodgers, wondering aloud why the Rodgers led Packers hadn't won a championship sooner. But Favre probably wasn't lying about his opinion of Thompson's drafts. Prior to the start of the 2006 season, Favre called that squad "the most talented team I've been a part of as a whole." While that team finished 8-8, it's mostly the same squad that went 13-3 the following year. Favre may have been unhappy that the team spent a premium pick on his replacement, but he wasn't dissatisfied with the final product.
But Favre wasn't done spinning tales. The same day as his radio interview, Favre announced that he grew up rooting for the Dallas Cowboys.
"I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan. I loved Roger Staubach. That was back when teams kept the same players on the roster for a long time. Drew Pearson, Randy White, Charlie Waters, Danny White, Robert Newhouse, Tony Dorsett, Billy Joe DuPree, I could go just on and on. I always dreamed of playing for the Cowboys, playing in the Super Bowl."
This seems pretty believable to me. Favre grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi where the nearest NFL team was the dreadful New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys, who won multiple Super Bowls during Favre's childhood years, probably appealed more to the young gunslinger. Specifically, Staubach's ability to make something out of nothing with his legs was apparent in Favre's play for much of his career.
The perception of Favre has changed significantly since he last played in Green Bay, but when he's in his element it's easy to remember what made Favre so endearing. He was one of the great characters in team history, and with that comes some good and bad. I look forward to the day when Favre's public appearances are about his stories rather than his relationship with the Packers.
Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Co. He has previously written for Lombardi Ave, College Hoops Net, LiveBall Sports, and the List Universe. He is also currently a senior writer for Beats Per Minute, an indie-music webzine. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JBHirschhorn.