Favre looking forward to football

Brett Favre says he still loves to play the game of football. On Tuesday, he again strongly hinted that he plans to play for Green Bay beyond the 2005 season as long as the Packers want him. The future Hall of Fame quarterback was interviewed on ESPN while he was in New York to help promote "Smiles for Success," a charity that provides dental care for homeless women.

Favre said that he seriously thought about retiring from football after the Packers' loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the first round of the NFL playoffs last January. His wife, Deanna, was undergoing treatment for breast cancer at the time. Last September, Favre's brother-in-law died in an ATV accident. In December of 2003, his father, Irvin, died of a heart-attack.

Favre, 35, admitted that the past two seasons have been a struggle for him and his family. But now that the dust has settled in his personal life, he has had time to thing about extending his career and has been encouraged by his family to continue playing football.

"I did my best to let time just kind of take its course and not make any quick decisions," Favre said while on ESPN's "Hot List" show. "Once my wife got a clean bill of health, she was adamant about me coming back and playing. As she has said, for selfish reasons. She didn't get to enjoy this past season. To be honest with you, I really didn't myself. We were dealing with some personal issues and it kind of took away from football. Football's not the most important thing, but I've been playing a long time and know that football is a lot of fun. You don't always have to win to have fun. The last two years have been very difficult on myself and my family. I've thought about it and felt, ‘Maybe if I come back next year, it will be fun again.' There's no guarantee that you'll win a Super Bowl or great things happen, but sometimes you don't have to win Super Bowls and have great things happen to enjoy it. There is a lot of fun in the game itself and I enjoy playing it. The last two years have been a struggle, so that's really what my decision boiled down to."

Favre said that Deanna never suggested he retire. In fact he said that his wife and relatives want him to "play forever." With an record consecutive starts streak for a quarterback at 225 games (including playoffs), it almost seems possible. But Favre was sincere when asked how much longer he'll continue to play football.

"I'm taking it year by year, really game by game, which is a good thing," Favre said. "I'm not looking past anything. I'm trying to enjoy ... I mean when I was younger there were times when I'd think, ‘OK, we play such and such five weeks down the road. I'm anxiously awaiting that.' Before you know it, you've missed the four games leading up to it. You play in 'em, but it's no different than when you're in grade school and you cannot wait to get out. I can't wait to move on and get out of this house. Then once you move away, you realize that it wasn't quite as bad as you thought it was, and you wish you could go back.

"I'm trying to enjoy the moment. At the end of the season, if I have played well and if my team is competitive and if the Packers still want me, there's a chance that I'll come back. But I am in my 15th year. That's a long time. I've been very fortunate to play every game. Hopefully injury does not play a factor in my decision-making, but you never know. I've taken it as it comes." Favre, entering his 15th NFL season, also indicated in early June after his celebrity softball game in Appleton, Wis., that this may not be his final season in Green Bay. With that in mind, he said Tuesday that he was hoping the Packers would use their first round selection on a defensive player, instead of selecting Aaron Rodgers.

"I was hoping that we would get immediate defensive help, or someone other than a quarterback, no offense to him," Favre said. "He's really in a great situation. He'll get a chance to play at some point. He'll get a chance to watch and learn right away and not get thrown into the mix too early. From what I can tell in the little bit I've talked to him and been around him, it seems like he's a great guy."

More Favre quotes
Favre also on Tuesday joined James Brown on The James Brown Show on Sporting News Radio. Favre addressed teammate Javon Walker's possible holdout and also talked about life after football in the broadcast booth.

On Javon Walker's hold out:
"The sky is the limit for this guy. He's got tremendous potential. We drafted him in the first round. For a lot of people who don't know a lot about him, he had, I don't know, 89 catches for us last year in his third season. He has two years remaining on his contract, and this off-season has announced he is going to hold out unless he gets a new deal. We went through that with (former Packers wide receiver Sterling Sharpe), I think, in my third year. Sterling ended up not missing a game, but kind of put us in a tight spot. In Javon's situation, I have a lot of respect for the guy. As I've said, the potential is just off the charts for this guy. He's got a lot of years left. But, to put your team in a tight spot when you have two years remaining and say you're not going to come back and play until they give me a new deal, I think is wrong. Because if you give in to him, what's to keep the next guys from lining up to get a new contract? If teams give in to guys, there's no telling where this game's going to go. People say, 'Well, it's easy for you to say, Brett. You've made your money and you make a lot of money.' But I've always earned it. If I ever had an issue, I would always address it behind the scenes. I think that's the way to do it. I went to the Pro Bowl my first year in Green Bay; I didn't go in and ask for a new contract. I played the next two years under my existing contract. Whether I'm right or wrong, it's my opinion. I'd love to have Javon in camp. He's critical to our success."

On whether he sees a broadcasting role in his post-NFL career:
"Honestly, I don't know. My wife thinks I would be good at it. I'm not big on travel, and I know that would require me traveling week in and week out. First of all, I don't know until that time comes what I want to do. But it may be something that I give a try, and if I like it, and if they like me doing it, maybe I can be the next Don Meredith or something . Crack them up in the booth."


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