McCarthy pelted with Favre questions

About half of the questions Mike McCarthy received on Monday centered around Brett Favre. Welcome to the start of Vikings-Packers week, an extended edition this time because of a Monday night game.

The Packers week of preparation for the Vikings is underway and, while the Vikings side of the Minnesota-Green Bay rivalry is understandably excited about Brett Favre being on the Vikings side of the rivalry for the first time, it's the opposite on the Green Bay side.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy held his weekly postgame press conference Monday and was deluged with questions regarding Favre. If he had hoped to avoid a distraction centering around the former Packers star, he could guess again.

When asked if he thought it would be fun to play against Favre because of the Packers' knowledge of his ups and downs, McCarthy said the game itself would be the calling card, not who the quarterback will be for the Vikings.

"I think it's going to be a lot of fun when the game starts," McCarthy said. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun because it's going to be a very competitive football game. It was definitely that type of game when he was on this side, so I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Now, outside of the pure football, me personally, answering all the questions and things that I feel that have nothing to do with the game, that's not something I wake up every day and am excited to do. But that's part of the deal; it's part of our business."

Even though he tried to avoid some of the Favre questions, they were relentless. He even had to address the fact that when Favre decided to come back out of retirement in late July 2008, his desire was to be released and play for Minnesota.

"Nothing surprises me in this business," McCarthy said. "I've been around it long enough that there are no surprises. I know the last time we talked face-to-face, he had a desire to play in Minnesota, so yeah, I'm not surprised by it."

After a while, it was clear that McCarthy has had about enough of the Favre talk. His answers during his press conference got shorter and he refused to speculate when reporters began asking hypothetical questions centering around how things would be different if Favre had stayed with Green Bay. McCarthy said he appreciated what Favre meant to the organization, but no longer takes time to dwell on what could have or would have been – much less meeting him for the first time.

"I was not concerned about if we were going to play him, when we were going to play him," McCarthy said. "That was not part of my thought process during that time. Frankly, I was more focused on getting back coaching my team because of the amount of time that I was pulled away from the team during training camp dealing with that scenario."

When asked if Packers fans may cheer for Favre even though he's playing for the enemy, McCarthy said that's up to them and he won't be paying attention to what the fans are doing because he'll have his hands full dealing with the Vikings.

"I think that is the beauty of our business," McCarthy said. "You have ones that are with you and ones that are not. That's all part of the deal. That's why you have two different colored jerseys, in my opinion. You have them and us. I'm not concerned about it. I'm with the green and gold."

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