Former Favre teammates expect him to become 'ghost' in retirement Print
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Sunday, 09 March 2008 07:12
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 GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -Even in retirement, Brett Favre is still looking for big game.
The Green Bay Packers icon apparently spent the first days of the rest of his life hunting wild boar.
Former Favre teammate and close friend Frank Winters said Favre sent him a text message during the hunting trip he took after holding his retirement news conference Thursday - a preview of the laid-back life former teammates expect Favre to settle into now that he has hung up his helmet.
While the idea of Favre going to work for a television network is popular, Winters and others think he's simply going to disappear for a while.
``I really don't think he'll really get into that stuff right now,'' said Winters, who was in Green Bay on Saturday for the Packers' annual fan fest at Lambeau Field. ``Maybe a few years from now. Who knows?''
Favre cited fatigue as the reason for his retirement, and said he didn't have any plans for the future - other than to rest and get out of the spotlight.
Favre's favorite receiver in recent years, Donald Driver, laughed when he heard the quarterback bring up the idea of coming back to Green Bay for a ceremonial pregame coin toss next season.
``First thing I said is, 'He ain't coming back for no coin toss,''' Driver said. ``He's going to be a ghost. That's the thing - he has to get away from the game for a little while.''
New Green Bay Packers president and chief executive officer Mark Murphy said Favre hasn't officially filed his retirement paperwork with the NFL yet, but only considers that step a formality.
And while Driver wouldn't completely rule out a Michael Jordan-style comeback for Favre - ``I don't know,'' Driver said. ``It'd be hard to say.'' - his hunch is that Favre is finished with football.
``I think in his mind right now, he's probably said, 'If I ever leave the game, I'm done. I'm not coming back,''' Driver said. ``And we make jokes all the time. He said, 'When I'm done, you'll be the only one that can find me,' because I know exactly where he lives at.''
Murphy, a former All-Pro safety for the Washington Redskins, said retirement can be a tough adjustment for athletes.
``I think he really wants to take some time to just kind of get away from everything,'' Murphy said. ``And as a former player, I think the transition away from playing professional athletics and playing in the NFL, it can be difficult. And every circumstance is a little bit different. But I think the hardest thing will be those games in the fall.''
That's when retirement hit Murphy the hardest.
``I didn't really miss training camp, didn't really miss the minicamps,'' Murphy said. ``But when the games came around in the fall, that's when it really becomes difficult to see your teammates and friends playing. But people have gone through it. And he obviously thought it through. He really knew that it was time for him to step down.''
Former Favre teammate Marco Rivera said Favre might struggle to come to grips with the ``weird'' notion of not having to live within a regimented NFL schedule, but that feeling will fade.
``After a few months, you start to settle down,'' Rivera said. ``You kind of just relax and say, 'OK' - start making some phone calls, get in touch with some of the people you knew in the past and move forward.''
Driver was surprised when he heard of Favre's decision because he never saw any sign that the NFL's only three-time MVP was fatigued during the season.
``He never showed it toward us,'' Driver said. ``Every week, he was preparing himself for the best game he can play. I never saw it, sitting next to him, talking to him.''
Driver was in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, celebrating his anniversary when he heard the news last week. Driver hasn't spoken to Favre yet - but did talk to him after the final game of the season, just in case.
``I told him before he left after the last game, I said, 'When my time comes to retire, I just hope I have the same respect from the media, the fans, and everyone else around the world that you have,''' Driver said. ``He smiled and said, 'You think I've got a lot?' I said, 'You have plenty.'''
Winters said Favre wouldn't have much trouble finding other things to do in retirement - like ``knocking down trees and stuff'' on his tractor.
``Sooner or later, you feel enough is enough,'' Winters said. ``No matter how much money you make, you want to get away from it.''

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