EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Brett Favre doesn’t want to talk about any subject but the Green Bay Packers, while the NFL is seeking more information about allegations he sent suggestive messages and lewd photos in 2008 to a woman who worked for the New York Jets.
Speaking on a conference call with reporters in Green Bay ahead of Sunday night’s Vikings-Packers game, Favre called the NFL’s investigation into his alleged behaviour a “league matter.”
Minutes later, he also declined to answer a series of questions about the situation in his weekly Wednesday news conference with Minnesota media.
“That’s a league issue,” Favre said, “that I just have to leave at that.”
The Vikings quarterback met with NFL vice-president for security Milt Ahlerich on Tuesday about his alleged advances toward then-Jets game emcee Jenn Sterger two years ago, when Favre played for New York.
Favre brushed off a question about whether the situation has weighed on him, insisting it was instead the “front five for Dallas” that weighed on him last week.
He said this week his “focus is solely on Green Bay.”
Asked why he hasn’t denied the allegations, Favre said:
“The one thing I’m going to say is that’s something that’s within the league, and I’ll just have to leave it at that — let that process work itself out.”
Sterger has hired lawyers but has not commented on the allegations, which were posted on Deadspin.com without her co-operation.
The website paid a third party for the texts, voicemails and graphic photos, said to be of Favre, that it posted in a video.
Sterger has not commented on the website’s report.
Lawyer Joseph Conway said Wednesday his firm will advise Sterger “and pursue any potential remedies that may exist.” He confirmed being contacted by the NFL, but said nothing had been decided on a possible meeting between Sterger and the league
Sterger is now a TV personality for the Versus network. Her manager, Phil Reese, said she’s had no discussions with Favre representatives about a possible financial settlement stemming from the allegations.
Deadspin posted an email Wednesday that it said it received from Ahlerich, asking to set up a meeting with the editor to talk about “sharing any and all details you … may have on this matter.”
Favre appeared relaxed at the podium inside Minnesota’s practice facility. While refusing to acknowledge concern about the investigation and insisting he’s only worried about the Packers, Favre took time to mention their multiple-formation defence, the pressure of facing his old team and the magnitude of the game given a tight NFC North race.
Then, with a touch of self-deprecating humour, he poked fun at his age and questioned his ability to hold up in Green Bay.
“I look old, grey and weary, with crows feeding on me and that stuff,” Favre said.
Asked about the reaction he’s expecting from the Packers fans, Favre cracked a slight smile.
“I’d like for it to be a better reaction than last year, but I can’t be concerned about that,” he said. “I know what I did there, the legacy that I left behind, the commitment I had to that team, the way I played. And it was a long, long time. So I’m proud of that. And I’m not going to really think about it.”
The Vikings played one of their best all-around games of the 2009 season while beating the Packers 38-26 at Lambeau Field last Nov. 1, and Favre’s current teammates are eager to again lend their support.
Kicker Ryan Longwell, one of his closest friends, said he’s spoken to Favre in the last few weeks even more extensively than usual.
“I can tell by looking at him. I can tell by what he’s talking about and his words and what he’s feeling,” Longwell said, adding: “I think Brett’s in a really good place right now. If anybody can compartmentalize over the years, he’s certainly one that can do it with the best of them.”
This wouldn’t be a Packers-Vikings week without at least one reference to Favre’s retirement plan. The 41-year-old was asked by the Green Bay media on his conference call why people should believe this will be his last season, as he declared upon reporting to the Vikings in mid-August.
Favre said, yes, that’s still his plan, though he stopped short of making it official.
“Just hold your pen. We’ll see what happens,” he said. “Let’s get through this game, and we’ll figure out what happens the rest of the year. But I plan on ending it.”
Favre also took one more opportunity to praise the place where he became a star.
“Not once did I ever step in that stadium — it was obviously different last year — that I did not respect and feel very privileged to be on Lambeau Field,” he said. “Every touchdown I’ve thrown in that stadium was as joyous as the next. So I’ve always savored the moment. I never took it for granted. This will be no exception. But, yes, unless we were to go back in the playoffs, this will be it.”