Brett Favre wants to make one thing perfectly clear: He's not a wishy-washy, high-maintenance, selfish diva who can't make up his mind.
This, of course, is the way the Packers, the team he carried on his broad shoulders for some 16 years before the Jets New York Jets traded for him last month, spun the tale. And this is why Favre has felt the need to defend himself.
With the regular-season opener looming next Sunday, Favre, in an intimate sit-down with the handful of reporters who cover the Jets regularly, was candid about this and a number of other topics.
The following are some highlights from the interview ...
BULLET: Did he make any sort of agreement with Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum to commit to more than one year in New York?
"I'm in a game-to-game mode,'' Favre said. My last four years has been season-to-season. When I talked to Mike about coming here we never discussed it. He was just trying to get me to come at first.
"And then, once we knew the deal was going
to be done, he would've liked to have a two-year
commitment and I said, 'Mike, let me
give you the best year I can possibly give you, and let's go from there.'
"I said, 'I've been down this road. At the end of this year you guys may say, thanks, it was great having you, it just didn't work out, and we'll move on.' I don't know.
"To sit here and even think about next year with what's in front of us right now, is way premature.''
BULLET: How affected has he been by the PR hit to his image throughout this process?
"I was getting ripped from every angle,'' Favre said. "I'm not going to say I didn't get (ticked). But if you sat every one of those (Green Bay) players and coaches down separately and they knew their job was not in jeopardy and you asked them, 'What kind of guy is Brett,' I know what they'd tell you.
"I'm confident in how I've treated people and how I've respected not only on the game but the guys I've played with. (Those in Packers management) were throwing daggers to make themselves look like they were in the right.
BULLET: How does he feel he treated the Packers?
"I could have told them, 'I'll come back,' even though at the time I didn't want to,'' Favre said. "But then July rolls around we start camp or whatever and I go, 'God, I need to walk away.' To me, that was worse than saying, 'Guys, if you want an answer right now, I'm not 100-percent committed and because of that, I'm retiring.'
"The day I told (Packers head coach Mike) McCarthy I was going to retire, he said, 'Are you sure?' I said, 'No, I'm not sure, but you want an answer so I'm giving you an answer.' I told him, 'I'm not confident in this decision.' I was second-guessing it from Day One.
BULLET: How does he feel about his decision to come back as a Jet?
"Mike has done a great job of acquiring players, some veteran leadership, some proven guys that I think and he thinks and I'm sure Eric (Mangini) thinks will be quick to gain this chemistry we're looking for, Favre said. That was really a big seller for me. As has time passed by, I've still got the fire. I know I made the right decision to come back and play.''
BULLET: On his odd relationship with Packers boss Ted Thompson.
"I always liked Ted and I don't want to say I dislike him now, I'm just disappointed,'' Favre said. "He's a very quiet guy. He's always been that way. First seven years I was in Green Bay, he was there as a scout and when he came back really nothing had changed in his personality.
"Just because he's quiet, doesn't mean he's good, bad or indifferent at what he does, but I look at (Jets GM) Mike Tannenbaum - and I'm not saying Mike's a better GM or whatever _ but you have to be socially (adaptable), in my opinion.
"Ted had a plan, Packers had a plan, a lot has changed over the years and I understand that. I made my point on why I retired, no one held a gun to my head. Because at first I was portrayed as, 'No one told him to retire; it's his fault.' To a certain degree, yes. Because once again, no one said, 'Either retire or come back, one of the two.'
"But you just have to trust me on what I was hearing and what I was not hearing. I never heard from Ted and I was also portrayed as 'Ted's got to get on his knees and say, Brett we'd love to have you back.' No.
"The only time I talked to Ted Thompson throughout this process was the day after the draft, he flew to Mississippi. He called several days before and asked if he could come down, wanted to talk to me. And I said sure. My wife said, 'What do you think he's coming for?'
"I said, 'Probably asking me to come back. What else is there?' She said, 'What are you going to say?' I said, 'I don't know.'
"So he came down and we had lunch at our house. He stayed an hour 15 minutes exactly. And, as usual, he didn't say (much). I had to initiate every conversation.
" 'How'd the draft go, Ted?'
" 'Ok, it went fine.'
" 'You like the players?'
" 'Yeah, they're OK.'
"Then he kind of gets quiet and says, 'We want to do something special for you, and what do you think if we ...' and these were his words exactly, 'dismantle your locker and send it to you.'
"I was like, 'What the hell are you talking about?'
"I was like, 'Um, ok Ted, great.'
"He said, 'It's going to be your locker, we'll send it to you. Now, it's going to be in a box.'
"I'm thinking, 'Way to get my ass out the door.'
"That's the craziest thing I've ever heard of. What the hell am I going to do with a locker? So I just said, 'Oh, OK, Ted, that's great.'
"So we talked like 10 minutes and he's like, 'Well, I gotta get going.'
"I walked him back to his truck and said, 'You know Ted, I just don't want to surprise you if I decide I made the wrong decision and want to come back. I just want to give you a heads up now. I'm not insinuating anything, but I'm having second thoughts each and every day. So, have a plan.'
"Those were my exact words and he said, 'Oh, don't worry about that.We'll take care of that.' And that was it.''
"So from that point on, I never talked to him again until like a week and a half before we had a conference call, I maybe talked to (PAckers coach Mike) McCarthy like twice before. I talked to him June 20 and I told him, 'Hey, I think I'm coming back.'
"When he picked up the phone, he actually dropped it, I heard it rattle, and he said, 'Oh God, Brett, you're putting us in a tight spot.' I said, 'Just let me go.'
"He said, 'Playing here's not an option.' Those were his exact words.
"I was like, fine, and I wasn't mad, I really wasn't. I said, 'I totally understand, I didn't ask you guys to wait for me to begin with, but I retired, you guys moved on. Fine.' But I had my option to return and I know if I'm going to return, it better be now as opposed to two years from now. He was like. 'Oh man, Brett.'
"I said, 'Well, look Mike, you have three options. You welcome me back, give me my helmet and say, 'We're glad to have you back,' you attempt to trade me, or you release me.'
"He said, 'Well, we really can't see you playing anywhere else, I mean you're legacy is so importand to us.' I said, 'Don't worry about that. Let me worry about my legacy. I may go somewhere else and stink it up, I have no idea.'
"He told me about Joe Montana in Kansas City and how it didn't work out and I'm like, 'I think he went to the championship game if I remember correctly.'
"He's like, 'Yeah, but his legs had given out and everything.'
"He was trying to talk me out of it, which in his case was the best thing, and the best thing for all of them was I just walked away and stayed away. But it wasn't like all of a sudden I woke up in June and said, 'What the hell am I doing? I'm coming back.'
"Right or wrong, that's the way it unfolded.''