A couple of thoughts on the Favre story
Brett Favre's news conference Wednesday should mark the end of a media brouhaha about his month-old conversation with former Detroit president/general manager Matt Millen. Unless Favre lied during a televised news conference, we now know that Millen initiated a telephone call that lasted no more than 25 minutes. Based on Favre's account, Millen received no proprietary information.
Pointedly, no NFL rules were broken on either side. But two key points jump out from this episode:
1. Fair or not, there is a public assumption that Favre holds a grudge against Green Bay and is determined to damage the franchise. This perception is based mostly on the sides' ugly divorce this summer and is the primary reason last Sunday's Fox report gained so much public attention.
Had Favre departed Green Bay under more peaceful terms, the phone call would have been perceived as the type of conversation that frequently takes place between NFL friends. Instead, many people were ready to connect the call with a vendetta. Even Favre himself acknowledged the circumstances didn't look good.
"I'm well aware of the perception and of what's going on," Favre said. "Aren't you? Isn't everyone else?"
But on multiple occasions Wednesday, Favre insisted he has moved on and doesn't have the energy to sabotage the Packers.
"I'm trying my best to help this team win, the New York Jets," he said. "I'm spending no time trying to make sure the Packers lose. I've got enough on my plate, believe me. I wish those guys well."
Favre acknowledged the nature of his departure was "unfortunate." But there is a big difference between lingering distaste and carrying out a vendetta. Despite perception to the contrary, there is no evidence Favre has crossed that line.
2. It's interesting that no one has discussed Millen's role in this fracas. According to Favre's account -- which remains the only on-the-record statement about the call -- it was Millen who initiated the call and invited him to his Pennsylvania farm before segueing into a conversation about the Packers offense.
The Lions have since fired Millen for much more significant reasons. But his attempt to capitalize on a friendship to steal a cheap edge seems a bit lame, if nothing else. If this was Millen's idea of pro scouting, it's no wonder his teams performed so poorly in Detroit.
Like many others, Millen assumed Favre would have a vested interest in seeing the Packers fail. Unless we're missing something, that doesn't appear to be the case.
Mike Golic discusses Brett Favre's contact with Matt Millen prior to the Detroit-Green Bay game.