That phrase perfectly illustrates the disconnect between Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
There has been a lot of talk. From Favre. From Bonita Favre, Brett's mom. From Scott Favre, Brett's brother. From Bus Cook, Favre's agent. From Al Jones, Favre's good friend who is a sportswriter in Biloxi, Miss. From general manager Ted Thompson. From coach Mike McCarthy. From President and CEO Mark Murphy. From Chairman Emeritus Bob Harlan. Lots of talk. But nobody is listening from either side.
This week might be the last chance for constructive communication to take place. Unless he backs out at the last minute, Favre is flying to Green Bay to speak on behalf of friend Frank Winters, who is being inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame. Hopefully, Favre and the Packers will utilize this occasion to sit down and discuss the painful situation that has caused anxiety among Packers fans, especially those who hold Favre dear to their hearts for all he accomplished in Green Bay.
Favre spoke for the first time on the issue on Monday night in an interview with Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."
"They wanted an answer before free agency slash draft, and Mike McCarthy called every week after I'd say about a two- or three-week grace period after the season, Mike would call, ‘Hey, how's thing going?' You know, ‘Where are you at with your decision?'
"‘Boy, Mike, I'm kind of burned out right now and just need some time.' I said, ‘Boy, it'd be nice if I could wait until training camp.'
"‘Well, you know, we have a different direction we've got to go in, you know, if you're not going to be here.' … Which is fine. I totally understand that. But I was not ready to totally commit."
Did Favre deserve more time to make a decision? Look at the 2007 season, when he led the Packers to the NFC title game, and you decide.
Favre's completion percentage of 66.5 was the best of his career. Favre's 4,155 passing yards (third-best of his career), 95.7 passer rating (third), 15 interceptions (tied for third) and 356 completions (fourth) were among the best marks of his 17-year career.
Besides 2007, look at what Favre has done for this franchise. Favre holds all of the NFL's top passing records, and has won three MVP awards, been named to nine Pro Bowls, won seven divisional titles, led his team to the playoffs 11 times, won a record 160 games, started a record 275 consecutive games (including playoffs), played in four NFC championship games and two Super Bowls, and raised the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 1997.
So we know Favre would like to come back, as he relayed to Van Susteren a conversation he had with McCarthy on June 20.
"So I say, ‘So that means either you give me my helmet, welcome back; you release me; or attempt to trade me.' And we all know that that's a possibility, but you know, a way-out-there possibility," Favre said. "And (McCarthy) says, ‘Well … playing here is not an option, but we can't envision you playing with another team … either.'
"And I thought, ‘So basically, I'm not playing for anyone if I choose to come back.' ... I'm guilty of one thing, and that's retiring early, and I have an answer for that. … I knew that I would have second thoughts, and I think Mike has even made the comment that, ‘You know, I knew Brett would go through this. I knew that he would have these second thoughts.' Well, I am. And so, I mean, you're telling me playing there is not an option, but playing elsewhere, ‘We just can't … we're trying to protect your legacy.' "Well, thank you, I appreciate that. But apparently now, they want to protect my legacy by bringing me back and having me be a backup. Boy, that, that is really good."
So, the Packers have several choices, and one of them is to sit down face to face with Favre this week and see if they can resolve the sizable differences that are dooming this relationship. To me, that is the only real option Favre and the Packers have. There is blame that can be placed on both sides here. But the biggest obstacle is miscommunication.
As Thompson told The Associated Press on Saturday, "This stuff hurts a lot of people. I mean, it hurts. I'm not talking about physically hurting, but the sensitivity. We understand where the fans are coming from. This is a hot-button issue that surpasses anything I've ever gone through."
The pain won't go away unless the parties involved have a truly meaningful conversation. Face to face. No conference call. Even that conversation might not be able to bridge the differences. But it would be better than the options that Favre and the Packers are now facing.
Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org