Favre taken aback by questions about life after football

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Brett Favre has faced demanding questions from the media for 20 years, never more so than this season while he has been embroiled in a messy NFL investigation and struggled mightily on the field for the Minnesota Vikings.

When he finally does decide to hang up the pads, which he insisted Wednesday will happen for good at the end of this long and trying season, the 41-year-old quarterback said he could look to turn the tables.

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"Might be a reporter," Favre quipped. "Ask some tough questions."

He answered a few more of them Wednesday.

After the Vikings fired coach Brad Childress, who had a well-documented history of butting heads with his QB, some figured the old man would change his mind again and decide to play in 2011. After all, Favre confidante Leslie Frazier is the team's interim coach.

"I'm done," Favre said, his voice hoarse from being sick for the past week. "I'm done."

The way this season has gone, it's hard to blame him.

The investigation into allegations that he sent a game-day hostess inappropriate text messages and photos while both worked for the New York Jets in 2008 has dragged on for two months now.

An NFL spokesman said Wednesday that the investigation is continuing, and Favre said he hasn't been summoned by the league for another meeting and has no idea when it will reach a conclusion.

"To be honest with you, I haven't even thought about it," Favre said. "My focus is on this team, which is tough enough as it is. I'm not concerned about that (investigation)."

Favre also has been battered on the field during the Vikings' disappointing 4-7 start. He is playing with two fractures in his ankle and has dealt with tendinitis in his elbow, stitches in his chin and stiffness in his throwing shoulder, among other injuries and ailments.

"Now it's malaria," Favre jokingly said. "Got bit by a mosquito last week."

After putting together one of his best seasons in 2009 -- a 33-touchdown, seven-interception masterpiece that led the Vikings to the NFC title game -- Favre is having one of his worst in year 20. He leads the league with 17 interceptions, and his 71.0 passer rating is 30th, ahead of only Arizona's Derek Anderson, Oakland's Bruce Gradkowski and Carolina rookie Jimmy Clausen.

Is that the way Favre wants to go out?

Favre knows that his history of waffling about the end of his career has left many doubters. Even some of his teammates won't believe he's done until they receive a text from him while he is watching the 2011 season opener from his couch in Mississippi.

"I'm sure that will be the talk of the whole offseason," cornerback Antoine Winfield said with a hearty chuckle. "We'll wait and see what happens."

Favre spoke glowingly of the way Frazier handled his first week as a head coach, which ended with a 17-13 win at Washington on Sunday.

"He's just so unassuming. Half the time, you really don't know he's there," Favre said. "But a lot of the guys have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his philosophy, and it shows. The guys, I think, think the world of him."

His respect for Frazier aside, Favre sounded reflective as he pondered what is waiting for him when he finally retires. Even though this season has been such a struggle, he has no regrets about returning to play. He will start his NFL-record 297th consecutive game Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and holds every major passing record in the books.

"As I said when I came back, I'm here to win a Super Bowl," Favre said. "We had big expectations. It hasn't gone the way we hoped up to this point, but again, my career speaks for itself. I think it's been a great career. I don't know how the remaining games will unfold, but that's it."

One of the savviest athletes to ever take a podium for a news conference, Favre was taken aback a little bit when asked if he was mentally ready to be done playing a game that has defined him for two decades.

"I wasn't expecting that question," he said. "That's kind of deep. I don't know. I know when I look back and maybe it's next year people say, will you watch games? I'm sure I'll watch some. But, for me, everything that could possibly accomplish, I've accomplished, which is amazing."

With nothing left to prove -- Favre has a Super Bowl ring to go with all those records and beat the Green Bay Packers twice last year to show general manager Ted Thompson that he still had something left in the tank -- he said he can head home to Mississippi without looking back.

Favre isn't sure what he'll do next. The long hours of coaching in the NFL make that idea a nonstarter, and he isn't immediately interested in joining the ranks of past stars who become television analysts.

When he raised the idea of becoming a reporter, someone suggested that he ask the questions at his last news conference of the season.

"I'd come in here with a long list of them," Favre cracked.

Or maybe his first interview could be Randy Moss.

"Moss?" Favre asked. "Ehhh, that'd be a tough interview."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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