Favre: "I'm Not Out for Revenge"
Brett Favre on the Vikings web site. | Photo: minnesotavikings.com
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- One minute, Brett Favre sternly insists he isn't out for revenge against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night. The next, he says it's only human for him to feel like he has something to prove to the team that traded him.
In his first extended interview session with Wisconsin-based reporters since well before his unretirement saga went public last summer, Favre reluctantly revisited his departure from Green Bay. He also awkwardly backpedaled from previous comments that indicated a grudge against Packers general manager Ted Thompson.
Favre will be wearing the purple uniform of the Packers' bitter NFC North rival at the Metrodome on Monday night, but said his career moves over the past year aren't based on revenge.
"Never was motivated for that reason," Favre said in a conference call. "No. That has nothing to do with it."
But when reminded of his comments to si.com in February, in which Favre said part of his motivation for coming back last season was "sticking it" to Thompson, Favre acknowledged he did want to show the Packers he still belonged in the NFL.
"It's human nature to feel, I didn't use the word revenge, but to prove that you still could play," Favre said. "To prove someone wrong, or prove a group wrong. So you can call it what you want."
Packers coach Mike McCarthy wasn't about to step back into a controversy that caused a major disruption during last year's training camp before Favre was traded to the New York Jets.
"I'm not going to comment on his thoughts and his words or anybody's thoughts or their words in Minnesota," McCarthy said. "We're really looking forward to playing the game, like we do every year. There is definitely added juice to it, no doubt about it, so we'll just leave it at that."
Favre said his main motivation for signing with the Vikings as a free agent -- after retiring for a second time following a season with the Jets -- was to win a Super Bowl.
"I'd like to win it all," Favre said. "I don't feel like I need to prove anything to anyone, first of all. I'm very proud of my career."
But if he's not out for revenge on the Packers and still wanted to play, why didn't he just stay with the Jets? Favre said at the end of last season, he wasn't willing to have the surgery he'd need on his torn right biceps tendon to continue playing.
"I knew I had an injury that would require surgery if I chose to play," Favre said. "And as disappointed as I was, I chose to go home and not have it and they chose to go in a different direction. That's how it evolved."
OK, so why did he ask to be released from his Jets contract when he retired?
"None of that matters now anyway," Favre said. "What matters is this game Monday night, and that's all the matters. This team has welcomed me here. It's been a lot of fun, it's been a lot of work, but I'm having a good time. And that's all that matters."
Favre reiterated he still considers Green Bay a "special place," but said he understands that some Packers fans have turned on him.
"I'm proud of the career I had there," Favre said. "So if there are people at this point that have picked sides, I'm not surprised by it. But you can't take that away. So it is what it is. But I can't control that."
And while tensions remain high between Favre and the Packers, Favre says he can envision a reconciliation with his old team sometime down the road. Packers officials have said they still intend to retire Favre's number sometime in the future.
"I'm sure it can (be healed)," Favre said. "Right now, that's not on anyone's mind. Their intentions are to win this game, as our intentions are. We'll deal with that later."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)