McCarthy on Favre affair: ‘Disappointing'

The coach hopes the relationship can be salvaged; hopes fans respect decision; offers different interpretation of June 20 conversation with the quarterback

Coach Mike McCarthy met with reporters for 32 minutes on Saturday, two days before the Green Bay Packers hit the practice field for the first time. Much of the conversation centered on retired-for-now quarterback Brett Favre, with McCarthy calling the turns of events "disappointing."

"I don't think this is necessary, why we're here today and just the course it's gone," McCarthy said.

Pressed further, McCarthy hinted his once-strong relationship with the iconic quarterback has been strained, and said this was the toughest issue he had gone through as a coach.

"It's about winning football games," McCarthy said, alluding to all the time and energy spent on the controversy was doing nothing in propelling the Packers toward that goal.

McCarthy said he was hopeful the relationship can be salvaged.

"There's two sides to every relationship," he said. "I know how the Green Bay Packers feel. They are very strong as far as the commitment to the people who work here, the traditions of the Green Bay Packers and the legacy of the players that play here. I know there's a very strong respect and a willingness to continue that relationship."

Recently, Favre was on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta VanSusteren," where he recalled a June 20 conversation with McCarthy in which he told the coach he was ready to come out of retirement and rejoin the Packers. According to Favre, he was told by McCarthy that the door was closed on that scenario.

"My recollection of that conversation is a little different," McCarthy said. "The things that were said in that conversation were, No. 1, in the best interests of the football team. When I talked to Brett on June 20, it still wasn't confirmed that he wanted to come back. That really was the essence of the conversation that was important to me. ... It's not like Brett Favre called me up and I said, ‘No, you can't come back.' That wasn't the case."

While the "situation" — McCarthy's word — between Favre and the Packers has grown bitter, McCarthy was proud of how the team has handled it.

"We've taken the high road through this all process, for as difficult as it's been," he said. "We've always operated in the best interests of the Packers and also with the utmost respect for Brett Favre.

"And that's the facts."

McCarthy sympathized with fans, who "don't have all the facts (and aren't) privy to all the conversations," but said the Packers have to do what's in the best interests of the team, even if a portion of the fans disagree vehemently.

"I just hope that they respect that we're going about this in a positive manner," McCarthy said. "They can disagree. That's OK. The disagreeable part of that when you're trying to move forward, that's what holds you back. I respect their passion, I respect everything about our fans. ... My father told me a long time ago that not everybody's going to like you. Get over it. That's life."

Bill Huber writes for Packer Report. E-mail him at

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