Not too long ago, Brett Favre said that once he officially retired from the game of football (and actually stayed put for once), he would go down south and disappear to the point where nobody would hear from him for a while. Since he announced his retirement after a season finale against the Detroit Lions during the 2010-11 season well, Favre has done just that.
Of late, Favre has been making some rounds on the internet after giving his opinion through a video in his home regarding quarterback Johnny Manziel –also revealing his Jesus like beard, and Mississippi-farm-like-guns -- and his former team the Green Bay Packers, along with his former subject, teammate Aaron Rodgers. This week on Sirius XM radio, Favre explained a bit more about those things, and what he truly misses about the game of football since hanging up his cleats…for good this time.
"What I miss most is what guys like Reggie White had told me after he retired." Favre said while talking with hosts Bruce Murray and longtime NFL signal-caller Rich Gannon. "You’d think you’d miss the games, or plays, or something related directly to the game itself. What I miss is the comradery that you had. Just fun things that seemed to happened. What I miss is the guys, and the comradery that you had with ‘em. Sitting in a TV time out, sitting in the huddle, and cracking jokes and telling stories or something. Just those moments that you again think of the least."
The Packers moved on from Favre and began their new era with current franchise quarterback and then first-round pick Aaron Rodgers instead. Rodgers previously sat behind the Packers legend for the first three seasons of his career before getting his opportunity to play in 2008.
"I’m no idiot," Favre explained. "I know that there’s always someone who’s going to replace him. The fact that he was drafted in the first round, it was time to give him a shot. And so when I did retire, he became that guy. And I understand that. I have no ill feelings or animosity towards Aaron. In fact, I thought we got along well. We watched tons of film together, I offered whatever I could to help him along the way. I got a tremendous amount of respect for him, and I’m not surprised a bit by the way he’s played."
It made headlines, and after Favre came out of retirement again, he continued his NFL career with a shoulder-injury-plagued single-season stint with the New York Jets before moving on to the Packers’ hated-division rival: the Minnesota Vikings. Favre made his return to Lambeau Field on the national stage during Sunday Night Football and received a strong amount of boo’s as he ran out of the opposing team’s tunnel. Something he never envisioned would ever happen.
"I never envision that that would happen," Favre said. "Traveling from Appleton to Green Bay on game day on the bus as an opponent, it never crossed my mind, but it was an awesome experience and I say that because I got to see it from the other end. It’s a tough environment, but it’s such an awesome environment."
Favre had arguable his best season as a pro with the Vikings during the 2009 season, passing for 4,202 and throwing 33 touchdowns at age 40. The Vikings were eliminated on the road that postseason by the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game which eventually became known as the prime platform of New Orleans’ bounty gate situation. If you watched the game itself, you remember the agonizing hits Favre took that night in the Superdome. Brutal.
The following year, the Vikings went 6-10 (5-8 with Favre at the helm) and for the first time in his career, the 41-year-old gunslinger finally understood the reality that his career was done. He was concussed, his body physically had taken the last of whatever was left inside, and his body language said everything else for him. He was finished. Even though that season became a wasted one for the Vikings, Favre has no regrets on returning to Minnesota that next season because he only would’ve wondered about the possibility of going back if he never chose to do so.
"There’s never one that I’m more sure about the right decision than the last season," said Favre. "Was it a good season? Absolutely not. But I know this, and I think we all can agree, had I not gone back and played that second year, not only would you guys periodically be talking about it, but other people would be saying to me, ‘well had you gone back, y’all would’ve won it. Y’all were so close the previous year.’ And of course I would’ve thought, ‘maybe they’re right?’ We know now, that’s not the case. It wasn’t meant to be. I’ll never have that doubt in the back of my mind that I made the wrong decision."
During his career, Favre came out of retirement so many times that it became a telling joke every offseason. He officially retired from football twice, with the most recent scenario for Favre somehow almost occurring last season if he wasn’t thinking straight. The St. Louis Rams reached out to a man who is currently 44-years-old (and was at the time) to take over the reins when starting quarterback Sam Bradford suffered an ACL tear against the Carolina Panthers in week seven. Tim Tebow held his head in shame (and probably still does).
Favre has not returned to Green Bay since he last played them wearing a purple and gold uniform in that ’09 season. Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said earlier this year that he hopes the team will retire his jersey before his Hall of Fame induction in 2016. Courtesy of Packersnews.com, Murphy said, "I do anticipate that we will see that sooner rather than later."
"The relationship is much better," Favre said. "I think everything is going to be fine, and in my opinion, it is now. Honestly, I don’t want to push anything. I don’t want it to come across as me trying to get my foot back in the door because that’s not the case. You know when the time is right, and so we have that communication."
"In my opinion, things are much better. Time heals a lot of things. When you’re playing for the rival team, things are going to change. There’s no better history than there is in Green Bay in tradition and people love their team there. "Favre said.
The Packers are now getting set for mandatory minicamp next week before heading on summer vacation leading up to training camp. Throughout the entire ordeal, Favre knows the big picture of everything going on and hopes to not become a distraction for the team.
"It’s not about me, it’s not necessarily about them, it’s about the fans."