GREEN BAY, WI—The Green Bay Packers addressed questions concerning the current status, future plans, and whereabouts of recently retired quarterback Brett Favre by announcing Monday that they had sent him to the country to live on a beautiful farm with a very nice family.
"We know you loved Brett Favre, but he wasn't happy here. He couldn't stay here," Packers general manager Ted Thompson told hundreds of quiet but tear-streaked Packer fans assembled at the televised Lambeau Field press conference. "And he loved you, too—he loved you very much indeed—but he needed to go someplace where he could run and jump and throw his favorite football around. And he couldn't do that here anymore."
"So we took Brett out behind the Don Hutson practice facility last night, and we… Coach McCarthy and I, we… We gave him one last hug, and we said goodbye to him, and Brett went away forever," Thompson said, his voice breaking several times. "Those loud banging noises you heard were probably the truck backfiring. He went to the farm in a truck, you know."
Thompson then unveiled an artist's conception of Favre frolicking in the fields at the lovely farm, which he said was "a very, very nice place where they do not have winters or telephones" and "believe me, absolutely not Favre's farm in Hattiesburg, Mississippi."
"Don't be sad," Packer head coach Mike McCarthy told fans, many of whom began crying audibly, shaking their heads, or turning away at the news. "You should be happy for Brett. He is in a much better place now. He has many of your other favorite Packers, really great Packers like Reggie White and Ray Nitschke and Max McGee, to keep him company. And he even has a coach—Vince Lombardi is on that farm, too."
Although Packers officials gave no specific details of the farm, its location, or the family who will now take care of Favre, Thompson confirmed that it is "far, far away, beyond the football fields we know, in a very happy place where Brett will never be cold or get sacked ever again."
"There are no winters there, and no injuries, and no interceptions, and even though people will play football with Brett all day, they all have so much fun that no one remembers who won or who lost," McCarthy added. "Brett loved Green Bay, and it is a nice place, but this farm is even nicer. It was just time for him to go there."
Although many fans were upset that Favre had to leave to go to the farm even more suddenly than he retired, most seemed to understand that their quarterback was old and tired and needed to rest.
Team officials gently but firmly refused all fan and media requests to visit Favre on the farm.
"Someday we'll all join him there," Thompson added, avoiding the eyes of fans and reporters while seeming to look past them at something far in the distance. "Someday. But not for a long, long time. Right now, just be happy for Brett. Wherever he is now, what he wants most is for you to be happy."
Thompson also confirmed that Favre's jersey was still available from the Packer Pro Shop and that as long as Favre had gone to the farm, the $1.6 million outstanding on Favre's contract would not count towards the salary cap and be returned to the team.