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 talks about returning to Lambeau

Posted by: under Packers, Super Bowl, Vikings players, Brett Favre Updated: October 28, 2009 - 2:22 PM

Brett Favre held his weekly press conference before a large media contingent today and not surprisingly, he tried to downplay the emotional aspect of returning to Lambeau Field on Sunday.

Favre called it “one of 16” games and said he’s not all that concerned with what kind of reception he will receive from Packers fans. Favre admitted he’s felt ill since last week but he said he will enjoy this week.
 
Here is part of his question-and-answer session:
 
Q: Do you think you will you be as nervous as last time you played the Packers?
Favre:  "I don't know. I don't think it'll be as bad, but I don't know that."

Q: How much time have you spent thinking about this game?
Favre: "Not as much as you may think. In fact, it's exciting. It's exciting because of where both teams are, first of all. But that was the last reason to come back. When it's brought to my attention -- family, friends, you guys-- that's probably when I think about it the most."

Q: How curious are you to see the reaction?
Favre: "I think that's probably more intriguing to everyone else. I think there'll be a mixture of both, understandably so, but as I've said before: 'What I've accomplished there and was a part of, you can't take that away.' You know, it's OK to pull for your team, I guess. But I can't make anyone cheer or boo or whatever. It's the game of football. It is what it is this year. It's a big game for a lot of reasons, but from the standpoint of playing there with another team is obviously something new to me. Being welcomed and all that stuff for so many years was special, and will always be special, but my focus is on winning this game, however we have to do that."

Q: How have you channeled your emotions in huge games in the past?
Favre: "I wish I had a secret, because in all big games I would have played that way. We're all human and we make mistakes or make plays sometimes. At least for me, I look back and say, 'Wow. I don't know how I did that.' Or I look back and say, 'If you had just held it a little bit longer for this or that.' To me, being able to focus, being relaxed, kind of seeing things clearly as they're happening, is a much better and more productive way to play. And I think I said it after the first game, that being nervous and having anxiety and things like that, I don't think can be a plus when you're in a decision-making role. But in that case (Favre-Packers I), and in my father's case, I don't know how it was done. And there were other games. The first Super Bowl I played in, I almost forgot all the plays we were running, I was so excited. But I also think that that's such an important ingredient in my career, that every game, although some might be bigger than others, and I understand that some games you might have more excitement than others, but they have all been fun. I have been excited about them and enthusiastic and none of it has ever been faked. And I don't want to take that away. At any point in my career, if I thought that, so what, we're playing in the Super Bowl, this is a big game, who cares? That in itself is a sure sign that it doesn't mean anything to you. But trying to hold those things in check is a different story. And also being excited and the leadership part of it and all those things that go along with it, I don't want to take anything away. I don't have a secret formula."

Q: Will you enjoy this week or do you just want to get through it?
Favre: “Well, I think I'm going to enjoy it. But actually I'm not feeling all that well, starting back since last Friday. So that doesn't help. People may say it's a stressful week, but I think every week at this position is very stressful. Obviously, we want to win the game. I don't care how we do that. The bye week will be coming at a good time. But I do want to enjoy this week.”
 
Q:  How is your fan mail and do you look at it?
Favre: "Some, but there is no way I could ... why, did you send some?"

Q: You don't look at the return address to see Green Bay?
Favre:  "There probably is. There is probably some from Mississippi, probably Hawaii. But check for something ticking. White powder."

Q:  How does your family feel about this trip? I assume they're going?
Favre: “No, there's only two going. I heard that we booked 40 rooms or something, but I'm way too cheap for that. And the people who know me know he's telling the truth. But they've handled it about as good as you would expect. I mean there's anxiety and nervousness and all that stuff, but for the most part it's been fine."

Q: In your heart of hearts, are you hurt or not by any Packers fans who aren't fans of yours anymore?
Favre: “No because in my opinion, if you're a true fan you're a true fan. Maybe this year... Packer fans as you know are like no other. If you're a true Packer fan, you want the Packers to win. If you're a Brett Favre fan, then this week obviously you don't want me to win, but for the most part, 'Hey, hope this guy does well but hope the Packers go all the way.' To me that's... Now the people that have jumped ship or whatever completely, what can I do? And I'm not going to concern myself with hit. Because we have gotten a lot of letters and responses from people, not just this year, but the last couple years, very supportive, still very supportive of the Packers. There was always Brett Favre haters out there. And that will never change. I really and truly don't think about it that much. Because I know once again what I've done, what I was a part of, and I'm proud of that, and I think that speaks for itself."

Q: Are you prepared if you do hear boos?
Favre: “I've heard boos in that stadium before. Honestly, numerous times. That was obviously different. As a player there, you don't expect to hear that in your home stadium. But I didn't play every game in that stadium very well. I played a lot, but there was some times where we struggled and that was kind of a kick in the stomach hearing those boos. It wasn't often. There was way more cheers. And I suppose there will be a little bit of both this week."

Q: What does this mean on personal level?
Favre: “ That part, if you want to call it that, that part of it is over the first game. Yes, going back to Lambeau where it all started, I'm well aware of that. That's part of my thinking as far as how I feel about it from an emotional standpoint about this week in general. It's kind of out of the way. The way they're playing, the way we're playing, both teams are vying obviously for the No. 1 spot. That's the only thing that's important to be quite honest with you. There's always a chance you lose, just as much as you win. No different that last week and the week before. I'm not going to ever put all my eggs in one basket, although the only game that's important to us is this one. I'm well aware of the stuff that goes along with it, but I can't let that affect me or creep into our team. We have to focus on the job at hand. That's truly what my focus is. What's been done there in the past from an individual standpoint and from the team once again speaks for itself. I don't have anything to prove to anyone, except helping this football team get to where we want to be. That's it. And hopefully I can do that. It's one of 16 and we need to win it and go into the bye week and kind of regroup and get healthy.”

 

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