MILWAUKEE -- Brett Favre's growing rift with the Green Bay Packers could lead to a few awkward moments for the three-time MVP this weekend.
Favre is scheduled to present former teammate Frank Winters at the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame induction banquet at Lambeau Field on Saturday night. Winters, former Packers defensive tackle Gilbert Brown and video director Al Treml will be enshrined in the Packers' Hall of Fame.
Should Favre keep his commitment to Winters, his close friend and former center, his return to Lambeau will come a little more than a week after formally requesting to be released from his contract -- and only days after expressing his distrust of Packers management and insisting that the team pressured him into making his retirement decision in an interview with Fox News on Monday.
Favre could see some of the same folks he criticized in his trip back to the place he played for 16 seasons. He also might run into Packers offensive line coach James Campen, a former teammate who was dragged into the middle of the controversy this week.
In an unaired portion of Favre's interview with "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren," Favre apparently said Campen recently made an unexpected visit to his home in Mississippi and said he had "an answer" for Favre regarding his desire to unretire.
"He says, 'You know, I know they told you they're moving on and playing there's not an option,"' Favre said, according to a full transcript of the interview obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Playing here in Green Bay is not an option, which that's what they want. They want to move on. But I'm telling you, if you reinstate or you force their hand, back them in a corner, they feel like they have no other option, they're going to accept you back."'
"And he said, 'Just telling you.' And I said, 'OK."'
The Web site for Van Susteren's show said more Favre clips could be aired Wednesday night, and the full interview eventually would be posted online.
In an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy chastised the Favre camp for putting Campen in a "tough spot."
McCarthy said the Packers told Campen to visit Favre as a friend, not on behalf of the team, once they had heard Favre was having second thoughts about retirement earlier in the offseason. McCarthy said it was Favre and his representatives, not the team, who turned Campen into an "intermediary" between Favre and the front office.
"I think he's totally, wrongly been illustrated in this," McCarthy said. "Ted would not even talk to Campen about this. He said, 'Hey, your personal relationship with Brett Favre is bigger than this, so don't ever put yourself in that position.' ... James was put in a tough spot. He was put in a situation that was purely personal."
While Favre's comment isn't likely to get Campen fired, it certainly didn't do his old buddy's career any favors. Would another team consider hiring Campen away for a more prestigious job if it seems like he's capable of undermining their front office?
McCarthy said Saturday that Campen would not be available for interviews.
Meanwhile, members of the Packers' management team could face a few awkward moments of their own next week, as the Packers hold their annual shareholders meeting at Lambeau Field July 24.
A movement to rally fan support for Favre has fizzled so far -- a rally in Green Bay drew fewer than 200 fans Sunday, and Monday's rally in the Milwaukee suburbs drew only 30 fans despite widespread local media attention -- but shareholders supporting Favre could call attention to the issue.
Shareholders aren't given the chance to ask questions during the meeting, but Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy and general manager Ted Thompson are expected to be present in the Lambeau Field Atrium area to mingle with them and answer their questions afterward, along with other members of the Packers' staff.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press