Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Favre's farewell news conference

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Packers, Super Bowl, Vikings fans, Brett Favre Updated: January 2, 2011 - 4:33 PM
DETROIT -- Brett Favre did not play Sunday in what he said was his final NFL game but he did address the media after the Vikings' 20-13 loss at Ford Field. Here's a transcript of what the 20-year veteran had to say.
 
Opening statement
 
I just want to thank the NFL. I want to thank the Vikings. My teammates. Fans. It’s been a wonderful experience for me. This year did not work out the way that we would have hoped, but that’s football, and I don’t regret coming back. I enjoyed my experience here. Again, I enjoyed my teammates. It goes without saying the fans have been absolutely wonderful and I said this, it seems like it was two or three weeks ago, kind of had this same conversation with you guys -- it’s been a wonderful ride for me. One game, one season does not define me. They will be saying, ‘Hey, it’s a shame he went out that way’ or this or that. I am truly grateful for the opportunity. By the grace of God, I got a chance to play this game and play it at a high level. I’m honored, and so I hope that people admired the way I played, my passion for it, because I hold no regrets. And I can sit here and thank over and over again so many people, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the Green Bay Packers, the fans. It’s kind of tough to say that and thank Vikings fans at the same time. It was special, and so … wonderful experience, wouldn’t change it for anything, and it was special. I don’t know what else to say. I think to play 20 years in the National Football League for a kid who had always dreamed of just playing in the NFL -- not a whole lot different than most kids to have -- accomplished the things that I was able to accomplish individually and from a team standpoint, way more than I’d ever dreamed of. So, again, I just … God has blessed me from the start, and I hope that people appreciated the way I played the way I appreciate the game. That’s basically it.
 
Q. What were your emotions through last day in NFL?
 
A. "Well, I had kind of prepared for it. Couple weeks ago, last couple of years. I would have liked to have played. The wise choice was not to play. We discussed that briefly before the game. First time in my career I had been knocked out was Chicago. It was 10, 15 seconds. Just too risky, in my opinion, and didn’t pass my test up until a couple days ago. Just as much as I would have liked to have played, just didn’t think that it was [wise] -- for any player, quite honestly -- to play. I’ve played 300-plus games and one more game, had I gone out and gotten hit again and done further damage just … so I had prepared for that and was OK with it. I was OK with it. I knew that that was the wiser choice as I decided last week and several weeks ago. So, I’m OK with it."
 
Q. What makes this time different?
 
A. "Physically, I’m not … if you just talkedabout head injuries, and there’s been lots of discsssion on that this year, it wouldn’t be worth it anyway. But it’s time. I know it’s time. And that’s OK. It is. Again ... I hold no regrets, and I can't think of too many players off hand that can walk away and say that. Individually and from a team standpoint -- way more than I ever dreamed of, and I played with some great, great teammates over the years nad was honored to play with them. And I just know it’s time."
 
Q. What did you say to your teammates?
 
A. "It’s ongoing. We had a brief prayer and then in passing guys were very respectful as I was with them, and that will, I’m sure, through [Monday], that will continue. But great group of guys. Didn’t work out this year, but great group of guys. And that’s the things every player, former player that I’ve talked to … they’ll tell you that’s what you’ll miss is the guys, the fellowship, bus rides, locker rooms, winning and losing together, celebrating together. That’s the things you’re going to miss, and if I sat here and told you I would not miss that, I’d be kidding myself. From a playing standpoint, there's nothing else left to do, and you can never get back that fellowship with the guys and that closeness with the guys. So those will always be great memories, not only with this year’s team, but last year’s team and all those years in Green Bay. We were able to win a Super Bowl in Green Bay and win a lot of games, played with some great teammates and so I’m just honored that I got the chance to play and was able to play at a high level for a long time. It’s truly a blessing."
 
Q. What about for those who are skepitcal?
 
A. "I don’t know if, for me, it’s ever easy. I’m sure throughout this year, the comment has been made that we’ll wait and see in August or Setpember. But it’s time. I’m OK with it. it’s never easy, in my opinion, it’s never easy for any player. But … people will, they’ll say wait and see, but that’s OK."
 
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