Favre will try to be laid-back at Lambeau
Favre will try to be laid-back at Lambeau
The former Packers QB expects to hear both boos and cheers in his return to Green Bay.
By CHIP SCOGGINS, Star Tribune
Last update: October 28, 2009 - 11:43 PM
VIKINGS AT GREEN BAY
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Video: Brett Favre press conference
The first time Brett Favre faced the Green Bay Packers, he was as emotional as he has been before a game -- including his Super Bowl appearances.
And that was for a home game.
The Vikings quarterback will make his first trip to Lambeau Field as a visitor Sunday, returning to a place where he built much of his Hall of Fame résumé over 16 seasons. Now that will truly be an emotional experience, right?
Favre (wink, wink) tried to downplay that angle Wednesday during his weekly press conference. He referred to it as "one of 16" games and said he doesn't believe he will be overcome with sentimental feelings.
Except everyone understands this is not just another game. Despite feeling ill since last week, Favre admitted he hopes to enjoy this experience.
"What I was a part of there in the past will never be taken away, and I'm very proud of that career and the fact that it was with Green Bay," he said. "This is a totally different year, and I have no idea how this will unfold. But there's no sentiments really one way or the other. We need to win this football game."
The magnitude of the game almost assuredly will get lost in the hoopla. Favre's return to Lambeau will attract a national audience curious to see what kind of reception he receives.
He expects a mixed reaction.
"I think that's probably more intriguing to everyone else," he said. "It's OK to pull for your team, I guess, but I can't make anyone cheer or boo or whatever. It's a big game for a lot of reasons, but from the standpoint of playing there with another team is obviously something new to me. Being welcomed there for so many years was special and will always be special, but my focus is on winning this game."
Asked if he's prepared to be booed, Favre pointed out he heard boos in Lambeau when he played for the Packers.
"I didn't play every game in that stadium very well," he said. "I played a lot, but there was some times where we struggled and that was kind of a kick in the stomach hearing those boos. It wasn't often. There were way more cheers. And I suppose there will be a little bit of both this week."
Favre has said repeatedly that he can't control how Packers fans view him now and that "true fans" will still support him.
"Packers fans, as you know, are like no other," he said. "If you're a true Packer fan, you want the Packers to win. If you're a Brett Favre fan, then this week obviously you don't want me to win, but for the most part, [it's] 'Hey, hope this guy does well but hope the Packers go all the way.'
"Now the people that have jumped ship or whatever completely, what can I do? And I'm not going to concern myself with it. We have gotten a lot of letters and responses from people, not just this year but the last couple years, that are very supportive, still very supportive of the Packers but that I call true fans. ... There was always Brett Favre haters out there and that will never change. I really and truly don't think about it that much."
Favre did find some humor in all the hoopla. When a reporter asked about his fan mail and whether he looks to see if the return address is Green Bay, Favre joked that he should "check for something ticking [or] white powder."
Favre's emotions didn't get the best of him in the first meeting. He earned NFC offensive player of the week honors after completing 24 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
Favre said he got the personal aspect of facing his former team "out of the way" in the first meeting Oct. 5 at the Metrodome. But as much as he wants to downplay it, he knows that's not possible this week.
"I'm well aware of the stuff that goes along with it, but I can't let that affect me or creep into our team," he said. "We have to focus on the job at hand.
"What's been done there in the past from an individual standpoint and from the team standpoint once again speaks for itself. I don't have anything to prove to anyone, except helping this football team get to where we want to be. That's it. Hopefully I can do that."