Madden '09 cover boy Favre not contemplating NFL comeback
NEW YORK -- Maybe the best proof that Brett Favre is the football icon of his generation came Friday when he became the cover boy for Madden NFL '09.
Favre is the first retired player to have his visage on the video game. And yes, he is retired, despite the rumblings that nothing is final -- the Packers filed papers with the league to make it official on Friday.
"There are always second thoughts, but that's not saying I am coming back," Favre said. "It's never a clear-cut decision. It's something I can't expect everyone to understand. No, there's no perfect time.
"First of all, I won't keep myself in shape. I'm sure after training camp is over and all that hard work is done, it might be 'OK, now.' It might be nice to dream about it, but no."
Favre indicated he'd like to stay close to the game, although he wasn't specific. Perhaps some mentoring for high school players.
"Coaching? Right now, no, but if I ever did, it would be at that type level," he said. "It's the time aspect; it's a lot of time and it's demanding. When you're retired, you don't want to spend that much time."
Favre spent much of his time Friday being roasted by former teammate Sterling Sharpe, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and former Packers quarterbacks coach Steve Mariucci. He also admitted he did not play the Madden game, which is celebrating its 20th year by highlighting Favre on the cover.
But he sardonically noted the current Packers -- at least those in their 20s -- are heavy into the video game.
"I'm not savvy enough to play this game," Favre said. "Most of the younger generation has no idea he coached.
"Some of our guys play Madden better than they play on Sundays. And they spend more time talking about playing Madden."
Favre said of his individual achievements, he was most proud of winning The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award, which he did three times, the only player to do so.
"Just one is enough, to be thought of as the best player in the NFL is very special," he said.
But it's his durability through his 17 years in the NFL that others point to as Favre's defining accomplishment.
Hasselbeck, who spent two seasons backing up Favre -- throwing a total of 29 passes -- has been a close friend of Favre's for nearly a decade. While he kidded Favre about never teaching him anything while they were both with the Packers, Hasselbeck turned serious when talking about Favre's toughness.
"He's hurt every week," Hasselbeck said. "He's just tougher than the other guys."
But not so tough that Favre couldn't get his first facial and pedicure, a fact Hasselbeck readily offered "even though he'll probably kill me for this."
"It was something he and [wife] Deanna did together," Hasselbeck said. "I feel sorry for the woman who did the pedicure."
Favre also appeared on "Late Show" with David Letterman, and saw the Broadway play "Jersey Boys" this week. All of that was fun, but it also made Favre long for something else.
"I'm eager to get home," he said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
BRETT FAVRE SAGA: OVER
After pushing and pushing to keep playing either in Green Bay or elsewhere, Brett Favre's storied career will continue in 2008. The unretired quarterback has been traded by the Packers to the Jets.
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