STATELINE, Nev. -- Football conversations have dominated the driving range and putting green this week at the American Century Golf Championship where I'm broadcasting my live Sirius Radio show with Tim Ryan. It gives me the feeling that NFL camps are already open.
There are celebrities from all the professional sports here but the NFL seems to lead the way, especially with quarterbacks -- both retired and active -- sitting down with us and talking football. It doesn't take long before the conversation turns to Brett Favre, who was supposed to be here but dropped out in the days leading up to the event.
Was he going to be here as a retired quarterback with the likes of Joe Theismann, Jim McMahon, Vinnie Testaverde, and Mark Rypien? Or was he going to be here with the active quarterbacks like Carson Palmer, Trent Green, and Jay Cutler? Those were question no one could answer but everyone was willing to talk about. There were also strong opinions on the topic from coaches and media people here to play golf.
Unsolicited, Lou Holtz walked over to our set and said, "I have a minute and I want to talk about Brett Favre." Holtz went on to say that he would welcome Favre back in Green Bay only if Favre understood he had to compete with Aaron Rogers for the starting job. Holtz wondered how Favre would handle the role as the backup if he lost the competition. I returned the comment with the same point but the names were reversed. Could Aaron Rogers handle the idea of losing the competition and returning to the backup role?
Broadcaster Al Michaels thought the return of Favre would be a big story, but he was quick to point out that if Favre returned with another team it would probably tarnish his legacy. Michaels was quick to make an analogy to Willie Mays, who probably shouldn't have finished his career away from the Giants organization. At the end of the conversation, Michaels said he would love to be broadcasting the Monday Night Football game in Week 1 if Favre were to come out in a Vikings uniform.
Joe Thiesmann and Jim McMahon both feel Favre should walk away from the game. McMahon said he couldn't wait to retire at the end of his career. Theismann brought up the idea of Favre possibly getting injured because he wasn't prepared and had shut it down for a few months. Both of these great leaders were physically beat up at the end of their careers and Favre is in very good health and highly productive.
Vinnie Testaverde, who retired after 21 seasons, instantly reminisced about how long he played and how good he felt when he was Favre's age. Testaverde said he thinks Favre should play if he wants to, no matter what anyone else says about him changing his retirement plans. Testaverde went on to say that playing for a new team at this point in his career could "energize" him. Mark Rypien shared a similar opinion that Favre should play if he has the urge, and that he would have said yes to an opportunity years after he retired.
Trent Green spoke about how he has been criticized for staying in the game after his bouts with concussions. "After I did the research about the risks involved I zoned out the opinions of others except my wife's and made the choice to come back," Green said.