"Boy, it'd be nice if I could wait until training camp (to decide whether to play a 17th season for the Packers)," Favre recalled.
The line drips of ego, drips of a player who has lost touch with reality, drips of a player putting himself before the team.
Not that the Packers are absent from blame in all of this. Not that general manager Ted Thompson hasn't shown a big ego by believing the team he has built will keep on rolling, even without the services of last year's MVP runner-up. It's a huge role of the dice to butt heads with one of the most beloved athletes in the history of sports. If Thompson is wrong, his name will forever be Mud in Packer Nation.
But at least you can argue Thompson has the good of the team in mind by steadfastly going forward with Aaron Rodgers. What better time to move forward than now, with Favre retired — and then refusing to walk through the door the Packers had opened for his return — and a talented supporting cast surrounding a young quarterback with only two yeas left on his contract.
For Favre to seriously think the Packers could wait until the start of training camp for a decision borders on lunacy. Imagine the pickle the Packers would be in had they waited for Favre, only for him to announce his retirement right about now?
Rodgers has had five weeks of practices to physically prepare himself and four months to mentally prepare himself for the enormous challenge that awaits him. His teammates have had the same amount of time to adapt. And, of course, the Packers drafted a pair of quarterbacks in April. Those are all things Favre enabled the franchise to do by announcing his retirement in March.
So now, four months later, Favre wants the Packers to chuck all of that out the window to accommodate him?
It drips of selfishness, which is hard to believe is coming from a player who played through injuries and the death of his father — all times when nobody would have thought twice had Favre decided to take a day off.
They say love in blind, and, oh, how we loved — and still love — ol' No. 4. But maybe our affection for Favre blinded us to his warts. Or, more likely, the years of being coddled by Mike Sherman gave Favre a sense of entitlement, and when Thompson and McCarthy took away that sense of entitlement — and began treating Favre like just one of the 53 players on the roster — perhaps Favre took it as an insult.
And while you can take Favre to task for his flip-flopping and his apparent need for fawning from management, Thompson could be open for criticism — or much, much worse — if his stance in the controversy turns out to born of stubbornness, not decisiveness.
When Favre retired, there were questions about who would replace him as the face of the franchise. Perhaps it's better nobody claims that title. It's never good when one player becomes bigger than the franchise. Especially when a pair of egos start butting heads and the ones who feel the most pain are the fans.
Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at email@example.com