Favre II: Not interested in spite

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

Sometimes, the written word doesn't do justice to the spoken word.

After watching the second part of Brett Favre's interview Tuesday night on Fox News Channel, we came away convinced that Favre has no interest whatsoever in reporting to Green Bay Packers training camp out of spite. A partial transcript released earlier suggested that Favre would consider it, but in the televised portion, Favre said, "I don't want to go back there just to stick it to them." That seems pretty clear to us.

More than Monday night, Favre seemed resigned to the fact that his only chance to play in 2008 is through a trade. He sounded ambivalent -- at best -- about that possibility and went out of his way to say that he might choose to remain retired. Favre admitted he hasn't spoken to backup/heir apparent Aaron Rodgers -- but suggested the Packers leaked information about his own situation to deflect public attention from some negative comments about Green Bay fans attributed to Rodgers in Sports Illustrated.

Curiously, Tuesday night's segment didn't include a list of specific grievances Favre apparently provided. They were included in the partial transcript released earlier.

Below is the full transcript of Tuesday night's airing.

Greta Van Susteren: Let me ask you something. Right now are the Packers paying you any money?
Brett Favre: No.

GVS: So you are, quote, retired?
BF: Yes.

GVS: What you want, since they don't want you back, at least they've sent that message to you, they say they've moved on, you want to be released to pursue anything you want?
BF: To play for whoever, you know?

GVS: And they want to, quote, trade you...
BF: Maybe.

GVS: Maybe trade you or put you on the bench. If they trade you, they can basically hide you on a team that they know the Packers won't compete with or doesn't have a Super Bowl chance.
BF: I would say that's exactly right. And they haven't even talked about a trade. It's been, 'We will welcome Brett back. He'll have to understand he'll be a backup.'

GVS: Why not do that? If you look at it, Aaron Rodgers, I hope he's a healthy man, but he hasn't started a game. You've started the last 275 -- I think that's the number. And he's been injured twice.
BF: The one thing in this, I do feel bad for Aaron a little bit. I think he'll do a fine job, to be totally honest with you. I do. He has been injured. The two injuries are not his fault. Couldn't control them. I know this has been tough on him. I think he'll do a fine job. And this has nothing to do with him, this whole deal. If they want to make me a backup ... The thing is, they've been preaching about, 'We want to protect Brett's legacy' ... and we both know what that's about. How does that protect my legacy if I'm a backup? Brett, we welcome you back, we'll play you $12 million but you've got to hold the clipboard and ball cap. That's probably better for them as opposed to letting me go somewhere and me coming back. Then, their legacy, the management, could be in jeopardy. Let me worry about that. You don't worry about my legacy. It's a bunch of bull. That's all it is.

GVS: To think ahead, if the Packers did release you, and let's say a team picks you up that really needs a quarterback. Chicago, Baltimore or even Minneapolis. And I think the thought of that first Monday night game, I think the Packers play Minneapolis. Don't they play the Vikings?
BF: Yes, yes.

GVS: That's also the day they're supposed to retire the Green Bay '4.' To have you run out in a purple uniform will make the fans crazy.
BF: I've never envisioned that. I've heard all the talk like everyone else. It's hard not to. But that's always been our biggest rivalry, obviously with the Bears. Did I ever think of that? No. Did I ever think it would happen? Absolutely not. In my getting a release, obviously it gives you an option. I don't know if other teams would make a play for me. ... It may not work out. We won't know unless we're released. And how am I supposed to trust that they're working on a trade after the things that have been told to me in the past? Teams may have called and said, 'Hey, we're interested.' Well, you know, I mean, they may never tell us. The longer this goes on, the less likely that I am to play with someone because of the time factor.

GVS: Training camp starts, right around the corner. The 27th of July?
BF: For Green Bay. Other teams are probably reporting earlier.

GVS: Let me get this straight. You're now 100 percent certain you want to play football?
BF: Where is a different question, yes.

GVS: 100 percent?
BF: Right. And I very well may not play, Greta.

GVS: But that's your desire?
BF: Well, the circumstance...

GVS: And you're physically ready to do this?
BF: I think so, yeah. I think I'm ready.

GVS: And Deanna is on board, your wife?
BF: Yeah.

GVS: Have the Packers told you you could come back and sit on the bench?
That's what I'm hearing, yes. Yeah.

GVS: Is that unacceptable to you?
BF: I think so. I've had a lot of people say, and you've mentioned that, go back and hold them to it. Well, I don't see it that way. It's tempting because everyone is saying, 'call their bluff,' or whatever. I think it's going to be a circus in itself already, whether I go there or whatever. And I like my teammates. I had a lot of fun with them. I have talked to numerous guys throughout this whole ordeal. I wish them the best. I really do. I hold nothing against those guys. We had a lot of fun together. It was an amazing year last year. I don't want to make it any worse than it is. I mean, I've always been a Packer and always will be a Packer. Will I play somewhere else? Remains to be seen. But I don't want to go back there just to stick it to them.

GVS: When you had that announcement in March, you got very emotional. Is this emotional for you?
BF: Very emotional. The way I play the game, the way I live my life, is very emotional. And I'm sorry. I've got friends that pick on me all the time about crying, not only during that press conference but last year after a Chicago Bears game. 'Hey, Favre is crying again.' And it is a little bit embarrassing to me at times. But that's the only way I know to be. It's real. It's genuine.
Every game I've ever played, regardless of if it was preseason or Super Bowl, meant the same to me. And I laid it all on the line, and I hope people can appreciate it, because I do. And if I don't play again, it's not the end of the world, because I look back and have no regrets. There are some games that I wish I would have won, but I played every game the same way. And so what you see is what you get. I don't know what else to tell you. Yeah, I was emotional. 'He was believable.' I heard that. 'Favre was believable.' Well, it was real. I didn't think I'd play again and still may not. I was giving an honest answer at that time. They didn't make me give that answer. They asked if they could have that answer before free agency and the draft. And I did.

GVS: Have you spoke to Aaron Rodgers at all?
BF: No.

GVS: Were you friendly with him?
BF: We got along fine. He's 14 years younger than me. I know he made some comments here lately. But when I was his age I made some crazy comments, too, so I can't hold that against him. It seems to me that some things were released I think the same day that the Sports Illustrated article was coming out. They're going to probably say that they didn't release any of this info or get the pot stirring. But if they did it was pretty smart, because it deflected a lot of the comments that he supposedly made.

GVS: About the fans having to basically get over you?
BF: Yeah. And I'm sure he's tired of answering questions about Brett Favre.

GVS: It must be hard on him.
BF: It's got to be hard on him. My only advice to him, and I never gave him advice, really, would be that the only way to shut that up, we all know, is to go out and play and play well. And that's not to say that they would forget what I've done. But go out and prove it on the field. That's all I would say. I'm not sitting here bashing Aaron Rodgers. I think he'll do a fine job, and I think his comments are not a surprise. Not only from him, but I might have said the same thing.

GVS: I know you haven't made any decisions, but is going back to Green Bay an option and being the backup quarterback at this point?
BF: Going back and being a backup quarterback? No.

GVS: What about competing for starting quarterback?
BF: Why?

GVS: I'm just asking.
BF: That's what I would ask them: 'Why?' 'Well, Brett, you retired. You know what I mean?'

GVS: Allowing them to trade you so that they get something in return?
BF: It's hard to imagine. But if I'm going to play, I mean obviously I would have to agree to whoever it is. And I'm sure they're not going to do it with a big rival or a competitor or whatever. But that may be our only option. I don't know what else to do.

GVS: If they release you -- which is now your first choice if you can't be the starting quarterback -- if they release you, that at least enables you to make your own decisions.
BF: Why not ask for it? That's what Bus [Cook] and I, we talked about it. Why not ask for it? Do we think we'll get it? But that gives you freedom to sign with anyone. But I'm still under contract, and as far as I know, you can't talk to anyone and they can't talk to you. They have to go through the Packers via the trade scenario. 'Hey, we understand that Brett possibly could be traded.' How do we know that he hasn't talked to someone? I guess he yesterday said that no one has inquired. That may very well be true. But then again, how do we know it's not?

GVS: What do you make of the rallies? There are a couple rallies scheduled to bring Brett Favre back, some of your fans.
BF: Once again, Green Bay is a special place. Wisconsin is a special place. I truly appreciate not only these rallies, but the way they ... you know, I've been booed a couple of times in that stadium, deservedly so. I didn't always play well. I had my ups and downs. But through it all, most people can say, 'You know, I appreciate the way he played, the way he handled himself. I wasn't perfect. Never will be. But I've always shot it straight and honest and played the game that way. I think those people, now, I think they'll hear this side of the story. They can believe what they want. But for the most part, the people that are rallying and know me, think they know me, would say, 'You know, now this makes more sense. That's kind of what we thought.' I'm not here to convince people. I'm here to tell the truth. And I hope the fans know it's not about them. Obviously it's not. Because I can't go nowhere else and get what I've got in Green Bay. Never will. No one can. And I was fortunate through those years to appreciate it, witness it, feel it. There's nothing like it.