Packers spokesman denies retirement story on Web site

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre's retirement lore is becoming almost as popular as his on-the-field heroics.

On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers' official Web site briefly reported he was retiring, but the page under the breaking news section was live for only a few minutes.

"There's nothing to it," Packers spokesman Jeff Blumb told The Associated Press. "People who handle our Web site had set up a dummy page in the event he was to retire. They were asked to take down that page."

A call by the AP to Favre's agent, Bus Cook, was not immediately returned.

Cook told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Favre, in his annual rite of winter, had not made up his mind whether to return for his 18th season. The three-time MVP's decision one way or the other is not expected this week.

Several Internet sites have screen captures of the page that show Favre's picture with a caption saying, "Packers quarterback Brett Favre has announced that he will retire."

The page also had a blank area to enter the story's text and details on general manager Ted Thompson holding a "brief press conference" to talk about the announcement.

This is not the first time a team put major news on its Web site and then promptly removed it.

On Oct. 23, 1999, the news that Don Baylor had been hired as Chicago Cubs manager appeared on the team's Web site and was subsequently removed within hours. The team denied the story, but Baylor was hired on Nov. 1.