There was no change of mind or heart this time around. For the first time, quarterback Brett Favre actually went completely through with his retirement, and despite the fact that his name came up every time a team lost its starting quarterback, Favre never truly became a part of the discussion.
The former Green Bay, New York Jets and Minnesota signal-caller says he didn’t miss the game, either. At least not until the final month. Favre admits that he actually burned out mentally before doing so physically and that he enjoyed watching football but not being a part of it.
Brett Favre joined 1340 The Fan in Lubbock with Jack Dale’s Sportsline with Steve Dale to discuss being away from the game of football, his retirement process, what it takes to play in the NFL and his Super Bowl memories.
Were you a little antsy during the week leading up to the Super Bowl?:
“I do. This’ll be my first year removed from playing. I get the question all the time: Do you miss it? I really, in all honesty, have not, but once the playoffs came around, especially [last] week, and in year’s past as well, this is kind of the time the juices get flowing again. Even in past years, when I wasn’t in the Super Bowl, I wished I was. This week was really no different than in year’s past, but as far as the regular season went, I didn’t miss it a bit. … It kind of started out for me, in my career, when we got to play on a primetime setting … that was kind of the start to the Super Bowl lead-up. Just being the only show in town was a big thing for me.”
On looking back at the retirement process:
“It went a lot smoother than the previous three or four years. At the end of last season, I’d said in year’s past that I knew. I really knew this time. I got beat up a little bit physically, but I still felt like I could still do it, but I just felt like it was time. … In my situation, unlike some players who retire because they have no choice, either teams don’t want them or injuries have caused them to retire and they just can’t do it, for me, I really had never thought I would give out mentally before I gave out physically, but I think that was the case. Mentally, I was just burned out. This season, being removed and having a bird’s eye view but not being involved was eye-opening because I didn’t miss it a bit.”
On the mental and physical makeup needed to play in the NFL:
“It is a long season. You can look at it a couple different ways. … Physically, you can not do it for a whole year. You would run out of players. I guess that’s probably the biggest reason why it’s only half of a year. I think for each player it’s different. Position-wise, it’s a lot different, the mental strain that goes along with it. Obviously quarterbacks have to take a lot more. Much is expected at that position. But I think there’s certain players at certain positions that could arguably be equal. I think it comes down, really, to the individual himself.”
Take us back to the memories of playing in the Super Bowl, particularly the won in New Orleans:
“It was a hectic week and I think you’re starting to see or hear more about the preparation that goes into the Super Bowl week. Really, the preparation is the week before, and I’m sure every coach is a little different, but because it’s so hectic once you get there, it really throws your schedule out of whack. … You have all the media stuff during the week. You’re in a different environment. … Everything is now thrown out of whack. What coaches try to do is the week prior to, you try to get all your preparation in, and then every day is almost like a walk-through during the actual Super Bowl week. That was real different.”