We now know what's on Brett Favre's mind after the media had been our only means of communication on what was going on from his camp.
Favre sat down with Joe Buck on "Joe Buck Live" on HBO Monday night, in the show's debut.
Buck started with the most obvious question, is Favre considering coming back to the NFL? Bet you are shocked to hear that he answered, "Maybe."That seemed to get quite a bit of laughter from the crowd gathered to watch in studio.
Favre then followed that up with a, "Yes. I am considering it." He was then asked by Buck about surgery and the three-time MVP quarterback confirmed that he indeed had the operation.
"About 2 1/2 weeks ago I had surgery," Favre said. "Dr. [James] Andrews did the surgery and he said more or less, ‘Four, five weeks you should know if it was completely successful.’ I can throw and I could throw before the surgery. But I couldn’t throw…and that’s what happened to me late in the year. I would throw it there and it would go there."
As for contact with the Vikings, Favre also confirmed that, along with talking about the health of his arm.
"I knew I needed surgery and I didn’t want to have it and I ended up having it," Favre said. "If it feels better, I’m rehabbing, doing what I need to do to get it back in shape. Have talked with the Vikings. Nothing other than, ‘Are you interested?’ Vice versa. I’ve had the procedure, which they know and it’s more or less how my arm feels and we’ll go from there."
With all of the reporting and rumors that have been flying around, it was nice to finally get a confirmation from the man himself.
Buck asked about the latest report saying that Vikings coaches had traveled down to Hattiesburg, Miss. to talk with him and check on his progress.
"Not true," Favre said intently. "I met with their trainer yesterday and all it was about was to go through some exercises that could help with the rehab. That was it. Different stretching and band work."
When asked if the Vikings were the only team on his radar, Favre said it was and talked about the most helpful perk of going to Minnesota, the offensive system.
"That’s all I’ve talked to, yeah," he said. "It makes perfect sense as far as coming back because it’s an offense that I ran for 16 years. I could teach the offense."
He then elaborated on the offense and also commented on the strong running game that the Vikings have.
"It’s like the terminology with the offense," Favre said. "It makes a lot of sense because the pieces are in place. They do have a great running back, they have a great running game. If I go there, I mean there’s no guarantees. We all know that. I went through that last year with New York."
That is when his comments got interesting. When referring to the Vikings and the offense, he used "we" and not "they." It seems like we have another statement from Favre where three or fewer words can change the whole meaning.
"I think every player should think that he’s a difference maker," he said. "I think you have to believe that. I think in that situation understanding what is expected of you, knowing your team, knowing that as long as we can run the ball and complete passes when needed we should be pretty good."
As far as him signing with the Vikings, the key is his arm and it's health.
"I think first and foremost, I don’t think you can go past anything more than the arm," Favre said. "If that’s not up to par, and it’s not up to par when the time comes, then I can’t play. I went through it last year and I’ve gutted it out or whatever but it affected me and it affected our team and I don’t want to do that again and I won’t do it again."
"So that was why I went ahead and had the surgery. I didn’t want to wait and wait for this tendon to pop or whatever and be mid-season, then it’s too late. So I had the procedure done. As I rehab and continue to throw and things, if it ever gets to the point where it feels like it did before it started hurting, then that…the biggest question mark is out of the way."
Then Favre did his best at proving the media's reports wrong again, this time touching on the deadline that head coach Brad Childress had reportedly set for Favre on making a decision last week on whether or not he was coming back.
"No. It’s not like I’ve talked to those guys every day," he said. "They knew I had surgery. Coach Childress had asked if I would come to OTAs. Not that I would have to participate and I totally understood that side of it."
"I chose not to and you can pick sides on this and I think both sides are right. He wanted me to be there to be a part of the team and things like that, knowing that there’s not guarantee my arm will be like it was before."
So why did he not show up at the organized team activities that Childress wanted him to attend?
"I chose to stay away because I figured there would be a media frenzy if I was there and there would be a media frenzy if I couldn’t play, if we had to say three weeks later, ‘You know his arm is just not up to par, he can’t play so we have to …’ I said, ‘Why not just have one media frenzy?’ And that would be later on. But it wasn’t anything to do with practicing or anything like that. It’s either all or nothing to me."
Buck brought up former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton and his comments on Favre, which included that he wanted Favre to fail if he came to Minnesota. He also asked about the fans of Green Bay and if he thought his legacy has been tarnished to his indecisions on coming back to the NFL.
Favre said that Tarkenton hasn't been the only person in his life that has wanted him to fail at playing, and there is nothing he can do to change that.
"I think the 16 years that I spent in Green Bay speaks for itself," he said. "This whole process and what’s happened in the last couple of years—and I was talking to Chad [Johnson] backstage just a little while ago—and I truly believe this."
"There are those people who are in your corner no matter what, you can’t do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And then there are those people that no matter what you do they are going to dislike you and that’s not going to change. And then there are the rest that don’t give a shit."
Asked if Favre could still do it physically, he admitted that he had his doubts. He also brought up his family and the role they play in his decision making.
"At 40 years old, which I will be in October, we’re not getting any younger," he said. "And believe me, I wake up every day and I go, ‘Why am I even thinking about playing?’ Obviously things that you think about at 39, you didn’t think about at 25, even at 30."
"Obviously, I have a family and as much as I ask them what I should do, I get the same response, ‘Whatever you want to do dad.’ I’m like, ‘That’s not what I wanted to hear.'"
One of the final questions asked by Buck was what Favre thought about wearing a Vikings jersey into Lambeau Field and the fans reaction to that. He said that he wouldn't be the only famous Packers in franchise history to leave Green Bay and head somewhere else.
"I don’t know what to tell them," he said. "Vince Lombardi went to the Washington Redskins when he left. His name’s on the [championship] trophy. We give that trophy out every year. I don’t hear too many people saying, ‘That damn traitor, he went to Washington.’ Time heals a lot of things and I have nothing but the highest regard for Green Bay and I mean that sincerely.
"Did some things happen there that may have ruffled the feathers for both sides? Yes. But, once again, the 16 years I spent there you can’t take away. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world."
"They chose to go in a different direction and that’s OK. I chose to play again and that’s OK. Just because I had former players, friends of mine, I had family, I had friends that said, ‘I can’t picture you playing anywhere but Green Bay. I can’t do it.’ It’s football. It’s not life or death."
So, where does that leave Vikings fans and the Vikings organization?
Well, the future Hall of Famer pretty much summed it up: If his arm heals like it is supposed to, he will most likely sign with the purple for the 2009 season.
It has to be a relief to fans to finally hear him speak and he gave us some good information on Monday night.
So as Favre continues to rehab his throwing shoulder, be prepared to stay patient. This story will probably wind into July.
After all, straight stories from Brett Favre would just not be norm.
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