NEW YORK -- Maybe the best proof that Brett Favre is the football icon of his generation came Friday when he became the cover boy for Madden NFL '09.
Favre is the first retired player to have his visage on the video game. And yes, he is retired, despite the rumblings that nothing is final. The Packers placed Favre on the reserve/retired list on Friday, although he has yet to file his papers with the league. Favre can be reinstated from the list on to the active roster at any time by filing with the league.
"There are always second thoughts, but that's not saying I am coming back," Favre said. "It's never a clear-cut decision. It's something I can't expect everyone to understand. No, there's no perfect time.
"First of all, I won't keep myself in shape. I'm sure after training camp is over and all that hard work is done, it might be `OK, now.' It might be nice to dream about it, but no."
The transaction by the Packers, announced by GM Ted Thompson, effectively means that Favre no longer counts against the team's 80-player roster.
"The NFL does not require a letter for a player to be placed in a reserve/retired status. Brett has announced his retirement publicly and this is simply a personnel transaction made to develop a roster opportunity for the Packers."
Favre announced his retirement from football at a March 6 press conference.
On Friday, he indicated he'd like to stay close to the game, although he wasn't specific. Perhaps some mentoring for high school players.
"Coaching? Right now, no, but if I ever did, it would be at that type level," he said. "It's the time aspect; it's a lot of time and it's demanding. When you're retired, you don't want to spend that much time."
But he sardonically noted the current Packers -- at least those in their 20s -- are heavy into the video game.
"I'm not savvy enough to play this game," Favre said. "Most of the younger generation has no idea (Madden) coached.
"Some of our guys play Madden better than they play on Sundays. And they spend more time talking about playing Madden."
Favre said of his individual achievements, he was most proud of winning The Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award, which he did three times, the only player to do so.
"Just one is enough, to be thought of as the best player in the NFL is very special," he said.
But it's his durability through his 17 years in the NFL that others point to as Favre's defining accomplishment.
Hasselbeck, who spent two seasons backing up Favre -- throwing a total of 29 passes -- has been a close friend of Favre's for nearly a decade. While he kidded Favre about never teaching him anything while they were both with the Packers, Hasselbeck turned serious when talking about Favre's toughness.
"He's hurt every week," Hasselbeck said. "He's just tougher than the other guys."
But not so tough that Favre couldn't get his first facial and pedicure, a fact Hasselbeck readily offered "even though he'll probably kill me for this."
"It was something he and (wife) Deanna did together," Hasselbeck said. "I feel sorry for the woman who did the pedicure."
Favre also appeared on the "Late Show" with David Letterman, and saw the Broadway play "Jersey Boys" this week. All of that was fun, but it also made Favre long for something else.
"I'm eager to get home," he said.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press