Brett Favre says goodbye to NFL at press conference

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Favre played for the Green Bay Packers for nearly all of his career.

After playing 17 seasons in the United States' top professional football league, quarterback Brett Favre of the National Football League's (NFL) Green Bay Packers bid a final farewell to the sport in an emotional press conference at Lambeau Field on Thursday, saying he is "not up to the challenge" of another season.

"I know I can play. But I don't think I want to, and that's what it really comes down to," the 38-year-old Favre said.

Favre, who officially retired on Tuesday, dressed for the hour-long event in an untucked button-down shirt, blue jeans, and days worth of stubble. "It is on my terms, which is a good way to go out," he said of his attire. He thanked the Green Bay Packers' organization, his family, and his fans for their support throughout his career, but reluctantly admitted it was time to move on.

"I’ve given everything I can possibly give to this organization and I don’t think I’ve got anything left to give," he said, as tears welled up in his eyes. "What matters is it’s been a great career for me. It’s over. As hard as it is for me to say, it’s over."

His retirement came as somewhat of a surprise to the Packers, who expected he would return for another year. Favre refuted the notion that the Packers did not do enough to get him to return, and assured the organization that nothing they could have done would have affected his decision.

Cquote1.svg It's only gotten tougher and something told me 'You know it's gotten too hard for you.' Cquote2.svg

—Brett Favre

"I know there's been comments and issues in the press lately about why I'm leaving, whether or not the Packers did enough, whether or not Ted or (coach) Mike (McCarthy) convinced me to stay," Favre said. "None of those things have anything to do with me retiring, and that's from the heart."

He instead offered a simpler reason for his departure: the stress of the job was getting to be too much "I don't think it would get easier next year or the following year," he said. "It hasn't up until this point. It's only gotten tougher and something told me 'You know it's gotten too hard for you.'"

When asked about his future plans, he replied, "Nothing." This is a new phase in his life, he explained. "I am going to stick to that until I want to do something else." He and his wife, Deanna, said they will be putting all public events on hold for a year, because, as Deanna said, "Honestly, we both are really tired." He says they will still be involved with charities in the future, but not as extensively as before.

Favre holds NFL records in most wins by a starting quarterback, most passing yards, most passing touchdowns and most consecutive games started. However, he says that "the statistics part wasn't that important. I was never really a statistics guy. I hope my legacy is a lot more than that."

In 2007, he led the Packers to a 13-3 season, but lost in the NFC championship game to the eventual champion New York Giants. The final pass of his career was an interception that resulted in the Giants' game-winning field goal. Still, Favre believes he is "going out on top", and he could "care less what other people think".

"One play, one game, one season, doesn't define me," he said. "It has been a wonderful career."


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