John McCain on Favre Decision: “Oh, No!”


Senator John McCain weighed in on the retirement of Brett Favre this morning. On his campaign plane in San Antonio, Texas, I told McCain about Favre.

“Did you hear the big news?” I said, deliberately obtuse.  Then I broke the news.

“Oh, no!”

Several other people in the front of the plane expressed shock upon hearing the news. “Brett Favre retired?” McCain, who might be expected to identify with Favre on age issues, thought about it a moment and then said he agreed with Favre’s decision.

“Actually, I’m glad he retired. I was worried he was going to get hurt.”

In his final season, at the age of 38, Favre was statistically a top-five quarterback. Favre, a three-time NFL MVP, is one of the most durable professional athletes of all time. He leaves in the middle of a streak of 253 consecutive starts, a stunning accomplishment made even more remarkable by the fact that he plays quarterback. He is a sure-thing first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback and will be remembered as perhaps the best quarterback in NFL history. He holds most of the individual records for quarterbacks, including: 160 wins as starter, 61,655 passing yards, 5377 completions, 8758 attempts, and 442 passing touchdowns, 22 more than his closest competitor (Dan Marino). Favre also passed for more than 20 touchdowns in 13 of his 17 seasons.

“Physically, I feel okay.” “I know I can still play. I’m just tired mentally.”

As the 2007 season neared an end, Favre indicated that he was likely to play in 2008 and perhaps beyond that. And after the Packers were upset at home by the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game, Favre promised that he would have a decision on retirement quickly. As days and then weeks passed with no word from Favre, many of those close to him began to assume that he would retire.

Favre called the Packers to inform them of his decision within the last 24 hours. It came at the same time that the New England Patriots announced that they had reached a three-year deal with wide receiver Randy Moss. The two announcements were related.

Favre talked to Randy Moss late last week. Chris Mortensen, who seems to have talked to Randy Moss about it, says that Favre committed to playing more if Moss would have signed with the Packers. Mortensen says that in a three-minute voicemail Favre left for him, Favre tried to downplay speculation that the Moss situation was decisive.

Mortensen doesn’t buy it. “If Randy Moss were a Packer today, Brett Favre would be playing football and I guess playing football beyond 2008,” said Chris Mortensen in an appearance on ESPN News this morning.

Still, given how has struggled publicly with his decision over the course of several years, there are some observers who believe he could change his mind.

“I think there’s a chance that he comes back,” said former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Mark Schlereth. “Yes, he said he’s retired but it is March. But July comes around, August comes around and he could come back…I played a guy by the name of Gary Zimmerman who retired every March and came back every July.”


72 Responses to “John McCain on Favre Decision: “Oh, No!””

  1. Huge McCain Gaffe! | Back Alley Media Says:

    […] On Favre: “Actually, I’m glad he retired.” […]

  2. Dave The Patriot Fan Says:

    Farve is the man I respect MOST in football. I will miss his antics, his grit and his playing. We lost a magic season where we had but one game between 19 and 0…it was not to be, and though I credit the Giants I had always said if we lose…I want to lose to Farve.

    Brett Farve…a real mans man in all things. God bless you in everything you do as you have done a lot for football and all who have benefited from you and your wife’s charitable contributions.

  3. Common Sense Says:

    He is definitely a “one of a kind.” He will be missed every Sunday.

  4. Charlie Says:

    Good Luck Brett, you, Dan, and Troy are a special breed. Will we see up there on Fox too?

  5. Dave Terry Says:

    How about Favre for McCain’s VP???

  6. Packer fan in CA. Says:

    Thanks for the memories, Sundays won’t be the same.
    Best wishes Brett.

  7. Scott Says:

    Too bad John McCain isn’t retiring instead of Brett Favre.

  8. Matt Says:

    One of a kind… He will be missed. I wish the best for him!

  9. PaulKirk Says:

    God bless Brett Farve. And, John McCain! Two great Americans.

  10. Carlos Garcia Says:

    A though and excellent contender. He will sorely missed. He leaves a big hole in the NFL, but I am glad he leaves being on top with last year’s performance, and in good health. It is refreshing to see an sport’s start to retire at the right time. God bless you and your family Bret!

  11. MaxPackFan Says:

    Football won’t be the same without Brett. For 17 seasons he’s thilled the fans nationwide. But it was hard watching the young Manning have no problems in the snow while Brett was struggling. The same thing happened during the Bears game when Brett seemed to literally freeze up.

    Brett has earned all those records, and it was a wonderful ride watching him over the years.

  12. Nate Says:

    If McCain put Favre on his ticket he’d win Wisconsin guaranteed speaking as a Wisconsinite.

  13. Steve from San Diego Says:

    He is a tough guy on and off the field. He’s made a tough, good decision to retire on top. I hope he has the wisdom to stick with it. It’s going to be rough when he see his buddies taking the field on a perfect fall day. A McCain VP? I sooner see him come back as a figure skater than a politician.

  14. John McCrap Says:

    Favre is MY MAN!!!

  15. Marcos Says:

    From a lifelong (and now suffering) Dolphins fan:

    Brett, thank you for being an excellent sportsman, athlete and competitor. God bless. May you be as successful in your next endeavour.

    All the best,


  16. Will Says:

    Brett Favre is not leaving in the middle of a 253 game streak. He’s leaving at the end of a 253 game streak!

  17. FaithfulWeb Says:

    Good for Brett. He’s retiring on his own terms after a strong season. And the timing allows the Packers to start getting his successor ready.

  18. Tbone Says:

    “Scott Says:
    March 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Too bad John McCain isn’t retiring instead of Brett Favre.”

    Scott, look in the mirror and ask “What have you done in your entire miserable life that’d equate to one of John McCain’s days in Hanoi Hilton?”. It’s called “sacrifices”.

  19. Mike Says:

    Favre was a mediocre quarterback that played for a long time because he had to try very hard to be mediocre and people loved his effort. Take a look at his overall stats and you will see this to be true. Many mediocre players would surpass Favre’s records if they were given the chance to play as long as Favre did, but most people get sat down after playing mediocre for so long. When you beat the interception record and the touchdown record, it is evident it was only time that got these for Favre. He should get credit for not getting injured.

    The only thing McCain and Favre have in common is that they like “the bomb” play.

  20. Jeff Says:

    Living in Chicago Area, of course I am a Bears fan. But I have always, ALWAYS have been a fan of Bret Farve. If he doesn’t make the Hall of Fame on his first try … something is wrong. I only wish he would of been able to leave with a final Super Bowl ring … but at least he is leaving on his own terms. And he is leaving behind a legacy and remarkable career.

    Good luck, Bret!

  21. dtodeen Says:

    As a life long Viking fan I was able to watch this respected man his whole career. I am ever thankful for that! A guy that went out and did it right!! See Ya Brett

  22. Matt Says:

    Now he will join Bradshaw on tv.

  23. Scott Lucas Says:

    John McCain and Brett Favre — the two toughest guys I know of. We’ll miss ya, Brett.

  24. Dennis Doetsch Says:

    To Scott: There’s always one smart Ass in the crowd, and you’re it today. get a life loser!

  25. lydia Says:

    Mike your a horses a$$.

  26. Jack Trenton II Says:

    Keep Farve, forget liberal, adulterer McCain. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul, support the Packers and save this great nation.
    Last link (before Google Books bends to gov’t Will and drops the title):

  27. Brian Says:

    Mike, you are such a loser. What are you, about 23? If you had followed Favre over his career with the Packers, you’d see just what a stupid remark that was. He made amazing plays that no other QB ever has, or likely ever will. To say he was “mediocre” shows just how little about football you really know.

  28. TheOtherSteveJobs Says:

    Brett Favre was not the best quarterback in NFL history… while i would argue he was the best FOOTBALL PLAYER in NFL history, i don’t think its fair to call him the best QB.

    That may sound incongruous, but think about it before you poo-poo it.

    Montana and Brady are probably the best QBs ever… Brett is in the top ten QBs. But i dare you to name a football player that better exemplifies what a professional football player should be – in every single aspect, he’s what every football player should aspire to.

  29. kathy Says:

    my VOTE will go to john mccain

  30. Neocodone Says:

    Brett Farve’s Mother suffered greatly through hurricane Katrina. She had to be rescued from her home while her son was carrying out his “duty” playing a game. What a hero. It would seem like he would have used his money and influence to help the needy instead of gettin high off vicodin.

  31. Tim Says:

    Hey Mike, to bad your sports mind is as blind as your poitical mind. You should stick to ice skating! Much safer liberal venue.

    Brett Favre won a Super Bowl and managed to play every Sunday for 253 weeks in a row. McCain managed to live everyday for six years in a prison camp, return and serve his country ever since.

    My guess is your greatest accomplishment in life would be mediocre compared to these men.

  32. Conrad Says:

    This seems about a good a time as any to post my Brett Favre for President ’08 video.

    Enjoy, Packers fans!

  33. Aaron Says:

    Mike –

    Mediocre, eh? Yeah, lots of mediocre players have three NFL MVP Awards.
    Oh wait, that’s right – NO OTHER PLAYER IN HISTORY has done that.


  34. Barney Frank Says:

    I think Favre is overrated. Now Brady “I’m Kind of Busy on Sundays!” Quinn, there’s a quarterback.

  35. drew Says:

    he’ll be back.

  36. Major Mike Says:

    Favre was always entertaining. Not brilliant like Joe Montana. Sometimes he would throw the dumbest pass imaginable, but he always showed up and played.
    I think he will change his mind and be back for another season. Football death is forever, and Brett’s not ready for it yet.

  37. octoslash Says:

    Hey Mike, Babe Ruth held the home run record AND the strikeout record. Was he mediocre, too?

  38. Aaron (Patriot fan) Says:

    Dave The Patriot Fan Says:
    March 4, 2008 at 2:40 pm
    “Farve is the man I respect MOST in football. I will miss his antics, his grit and his playing. We lost a magic season where we had but one game between 19 and 0…it was not to be, and though I credit the Giants I had always said if we lose…I want to lose to Farve.

    Brett Farve…a real mans man in all things. God bless you in everything you do as you have done a lot for football and all who have benefited from you and your wife’s charitable contributions.”

    Dave- I agree 100% with what you said. The Super Bowl wouldn’t have been as painful of a loss if it was Green Bay. We could have at least said, “At least Favre got his ring.” He was a great quarterback, I am axious to see what he does next. I wonder if he will be a commentator, I bet he would be very entertaining.

  39. Mike Says:


    No Brian, I am not 23 (two years shy of double). I grew up with John Hadl, Lynn Dickey (who could thread a needle if he had time) and Majik. I remember when Majik got hurt. He was a lot like Favre in that he tried to make things happen and often did, thus the nickname I loved how Favre played the game. He never gave up, kind of like a “Rudy” the movie, not the politician. But the facts speak for themselves. People loved him for his effort, his smile, and the fun that he had. Yes he had some good games, but he always got the credit for great catches from his poor passes and never was given the blame for his interceptions. Even now they aren’t talked about this, even though he holds the all-time record. His last pass? Yes, go ahead and say it, “the receiver ran the wrong route”, OK Brett. I am excited for next season!

  40. John, Las Vegas, NV Says:

    As a lifelong Packers fan, I can only say that the game lost it’s very best sportsman and competitor today. Watching Favre was just plain FUN.

  41. Tommy G Says:

    Enough with McCain already! This is a tribute site to Brett Favre, an incredibly talented and entertaining QB who always made me sit down watch a Packers’ game, even when I had pressing matters at hand. After Montana retired, Favre was the one player I most loved to see in action, even on bad days, because I knew if he was capable of pulling off the most amazing miracle to save the day.

    Oh, by the way, Obama for president. Brett for Secretary of Offense.

  42. LittleOrby Says:

    There’s a lot difference between McCain and Farve Tbone . . . Farve was a great passer . . . McCain was a BAD pilot

  43. Chris, NYC Says:

    McCain & Favre, two dudes that rock! I hope Favre comes back, but you’ve got to admit, it’s better to go out on a high note.

  44. Sundance 44 Says:

    The Green Bay Packers can lay claim to having employed two of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Bart Starr and Brett Farve.

  45. Daniel Says:

    Another Giants fan who wouldn’t have been broken up if we lost to Favre and the Packers. I only hope that at his hall of fame induction Warren Sapp runs up to him and they go jaw to go.

    A man, a competitor, a great player. A tip of the hat to you, Brett, whatever you decide.

  46. DeeInHouston Says:

    Jack Trenton II Says:

    March 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm
    Keep Farve, forget liberal, adulterer McCain. Unfortunately it took segregationist Governor Wallace to reveal the truth that “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between” Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats willingly went along with the War in Iraq, suspension of Habeas Corpus, detaining protesters, banning books like “America Deceived’ from Amazon, stealing private lands (Kelo decision), warrant-less wiretapping and refusing to investigate 9/11 properly. They are both guilty of treason.
    Support Dr. Ron Paul, support the Packers and save this great nation.


  47. Barney Says:

    The trouble with McCain is he sometimes suits up in the other team’s jersey.

  48. AJ Says:

    I hope he REPLACES Bradshaw on tv. Thanks for the memories from a Saints fan living in NJ.

  49. Adam Says:

    As a life long Bears fan I have to say…. ABOUT TIME!

  50. AirborneSaint Says:

    Brett Favre’s retirement is the end of an era for me personally. The first “great” quarterback I remember seeing was a man named Roger Staubach, then Joe Montana. And being a Broncos fan I always enjoyed watching Elway. Marino and Young were great as well. But to me Brett Favre was the last of the old school players. I can’t really explain it or describe it. I cried when Elway retired, I was saddened by Barry Sanders retirement, I was anguished when Montana hung it up, and when Jerry Rice decided enough was enough. I watched Reggie White and Lawrence Taylor retire, and many other NFL greats. But Favre’s retirement has done something to me. I feel sort of adrift I guess.
    I wish him the best of luck and a life of contentment and happiness.

  51. obama Says:


  52. Moishe Godlstein Says:

    Hate to see him GO!

  53. TommyTD Says:

    While Brett was fun to watch due to his unique style of play, his longevity and early years are what made the player. His overall book of business since 1997 has been very average. He is the all time INT leader and has consistently lost big games since 1997. Like someone mentioned earlier, without that early success, he would have been dumped by most teams a long time ago. Thanks of the memories Brett!

  54. Jeff Says:

    You made the DRUDGE REPORT!!!!

  55. Brian Says:

    Mike, I am your age. I’ve seen or listened to nearly every game Favre played with GB. There is absolutely no way he was “mediocre” and to say so is patently ridiculous. You need to put his interceptions into perspective, too, and look at the number compared to his completions. Percentage wise, he is about the same as Marino and Manning.

  56. K Martin Says:

    lol obama

    As a Falcons fan, i’m happy to see that the biggest mistake ever made by our franchise is finally coming to an end!

    Brett Favre – superb on the field, but wow, his on-screen talents are pathetic! That cameo in “Something About Mary” is perhaps the worst piece of acting I’ve ever seen. Good thing he was able to scrape by and earn a few pennies playing in the NFL!

    miss ya #4

  57. Kevin Says:

    All the best to Brett!

    Football will not be the same. Even if you were pulling for the other team, you couldn’t watch Brett Favre play football and NOT find yourself hoping he could find a way to pull it off; one more time. As a Cowboy fan, I’ve pulled for the “other guys” often while watching Favre play, but for some reason, it was easier on the ego to lose when Favre was the “other guys'” quarterback.
    You don’t really have to like football to like watching him play. I kinda think watching him play used to make God smile.

  58. joe Says:

    Jack Trenton II, you are a moron

  59. joe Says:

    from a physical stand point, i thought brett was still very active and quick. still had a good arm. he just didn’t get a lot of support (besides this year) he’ll make a good espn analyst.

  60. ronbo Says:

    Brett Farve always avoided scrutiny on making some of the worst judgments a professional QB could make. Whereas Johnny Unitas won by calling his own plays and “taking what a defense gave him”, Farve always thought he could do what he wanted on the field, and it resulted in him throwing more interceptions than any QB in the history of the NFL. As recently as two years ago, he led the league in interceptions (Ryan Leaf numbers), and his interceptions went UP the longer he played, not down, the normal trend of a “veteran” quarterback. How appropo that his last “completion” in the NFL was an interception that led to his team’s loss. Longevity garnered him a lot of records, but if he were a young QB coming into the NFL today, and started putting up the interception numbers that followed him his whole career, I doubt he would have remained a starter very long.

  61. Dave Says:

    My son is almost 16. Favre is the only Packer QB he’s every known. When I think of Favre, I think if a person who overcame addiction. Fortunately, for Brett, his wife is a very strong person — kind of the iron lady of the NFL. In Wisconsin, the Favre’s will be missed for their charity work, as well as Brett’s play on the field. God bless you and your family in retirement, Brett!

  62. Mark Packer fan since t6he Ice Bowl Says:

    God bless you Brett and family for the years of sacrifice you all endured, while electirfying football fans around the world. You always gave your best no matter what you were going through.

    You are one of the few professional athletes (Walter Payton, Barry Sanders to mention a couple others.) that play more for the love of the game, instead of the dollar and cents athletes that most sport seem to be saturated with.

    Thank you


  63. DigitalBob Says:

    A great player and a great guy. I wish him well.

  64. Jack Kennedy Says:

    Mike is the guy the brett put of of a job or maybe his name is danny m.

    3 mvps?

    Favre, Elway, Unitas, Namath, Starr, Staubach.

    The best is gone, its over!!!!

    Football with the pansies (manning, romo, brees, etc.) aint making it.


  65. Ron La Canne Says:

    My first Packer game was at Marquette Stadium in Milwaukee. I remember the Lyle Backborn team. I remember Vince and the 60’s. I remember all the quarterbacks. It is virtually impossible to compare quarterbacks of eras gone by with todays players. The game was slower in the past. The game was tougher in the past. The players didn’t whine about everything in the past. Often, players played both offense and defense. Bret was kind of a throw back in a way. A tough quarterback. The toughest I’ve seen since Tobin Rote.

    You judge a player on his record. Bret has won more games than any other quarterback in history. Certainly, longevity had something to do with that, but if that is so it also relates to the interceptions. Wins are the most important factor. That’s why Johnny U was rated higher than Y A Title.

  66. Tim Says:

    To Ron La Canne: Couldn’t have said it better myself and thank you for the historical perspective. You would really have to have chip on your shoulder (Mike) to not appreciate the excitement, fun loving and carefree way Bret played football. Even this year I said on several occassions to my 9 and 7 year old kids that #4 is Mr. Football. He plays for all the right reasons. He loves the game like a fan and delivered excitement and wins more regularly than anyone else over the last 15 years as a quaterback.

    I personally will miss #4 and wish that there were more role models like Bret for kids to watch. Like I said, he played for all the right reasons.

    Good luck to Mr. Football and his family. Your spunk will be missed.

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  68. becomeselfmade Says:

    Thanks for the memories Brett! Sundays won’t be the same without you!

  69. big bruno Says:

    He is simply the best ever!!! His mturity over tough times has made him a great individual as well. His attitude towrards his “work” is like none other in football. I think if all american workers approached thier work like Brett we could solve many problems. I wish only that he was younger and could play another 10 years.

    4 ever

  70. Favre Tributes « packergeeks Says:

    […] Packer fans and others — from around the country. I highly recommend checking them out here. Add your own if you haven’t […]

  71. Newsweek: McCain Won’t Talk About Favre « packergeeks Says:

    […] Newsweek notes (now that’s a good memory), PackerGeeks asked McCain about Favre’s retirement the morning it was first reported.   After his initial […]

  72. Michael Guinn Says:

    I can’t stand listening to anything John McSAME says- but the words he uttered regarding Brett’s retirement were the same as mine. #4 has been an inspiration to me and my family for YEARS! Thanks Brett!

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