Cell phone ring triggers action

Call stems Sherman conference, eliminates Favre access

The ringing of a cell phone during coach Mike Sherman's pre-practice news conference did not go over well with the Packers embattled coach or public relations department. The session was abruptly ended after about 15 minutes.

Since it marked at least the fourth time a cell phone has gone off during a non-game-day news conference involving Sherman this season, he didn't take kindly to the interruption. Before leaving the media auditorium, Sherman said sternly, "I don't understand that. That stuff to me, to be honest with you, is a total lack of respect for each other. Forget me; you don't have to respect me. But respect each other."

In turn, the team's public relations department, which in the wake of the previous incidents beseeched media members to mute their cell phones, resorted to a drastic measure. It called on the offender to come forward by the end of practice Wednesday. Otherwise, the impending weekly news conference with quarterback Brett Favre would be canceled.

Nobody admitted to having the ringing phone, leaving the Wisconsin media without the talkative Favre for a week. It marked the first time a Favre press briefing had been called off during the regular season in at least a decade.

Some players got a laugh out of what went down, citing how there are strict rules in place for them not to have ringing cell phones during meetings.

"That's a no-no. I don't know who did it, but they're in trouble," said linebacker Na'il Diggs, unable to stifle a big smile. "That's happened before (with teammates a few years ago), and it's been addressed before. It's a pretty big deal around here."

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