It only took me 18 months before I broke down and wrote about Brett Favre. I joined Jersey Al’s team in August of 2012 and until recently, it was pretty easy to avoid the topic altogether.
Over the past year, however, Favre’s name has been tied more closely with the Green Bay Packers and a return to Titletown is not far off for old #4. During that span, our team has penned a few pieces about Favre, most recently of which was done by Kris Burke last year in June.
Favre retired after the 2010 season and three seasons removed from being the Packers starting quarterback. For many fans, those three years seemed like a decade. The year in New York with the Jets was kind of like being at a preseason game. The game is going on and it looks like football, but who really cares? The last two years of Favre’s career were a much different story.
For those with some time to spare, about an hour and twenty minutes, to be exact, here is a link to the film “Last Day at Lambeau“. It chronicles the time between Favre’s first retirement from the NFL and the Packers to his last game at Lambeau Field as a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.
I remember Favre’s signing with the Vikings in August of 2009. Whether he orchestrated his departure from New York in order to land in Minnesota or if the stars just aligned that way, I hated the football Gods. It wasn’t that I was worried about Favre beating up on the Packers, because I honestly didn’t think he could. I just didn’t want to deal with all of the attention and build up.
2009 came and went and the Vikings got the best of the Packers in both games that season. Favre and the gang were within his merely falling forward to give themselves a chance to go to a Super Bowl that year. But in true Favre fashion and almost as if it were scripted, a vintage interception ended the Vikings’ run and 2010 would turn out to be a disaster (literally, as Mall of America Field was rendered inoperable by massive snow build up).
When Favre announced that he was done with the game, I could almost hear “what took you so long?”. And let’s be honest, who didn’t think there was a chance that he was going to turn up at a training camp somewhere in August of 2011? Cats and their nine lives were envious of Favre.
So here we are, over three calendar years since Favre took a NFL snap. The Packers have won a Super Bowl in that time along with three straight division titles. They’re set at the quarterback position, likely for at least another five years. They have seen over two decades of top-flight quarterback play and have barely skipped a beat of the success that returned to Green Bay when Favre came to town in 1992.
Packers president Mark Murphy has said that he wants to retire Favre’s #4 before he is enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016. That would mean that the Packers plan to do just that at some point this season or perhaps during next year’s offseason.
For a player of Favre’s magnitude, I would be utterly shocked if the ceremony didn’t take place at Lambeau Field during a game. It’s there that Favre forged a career and his legend. It is there that Favre nearly single-handedly brought glory back where it belonged: 1265 Lombardi Avenue.
The question is, how ready are fans for that moment? Jason Wilde and Bill Johnson somewhat asked that question to their listeners on Green and Gold Today show earlier this week, although in a different context. They asked if fans expected Favre to receive the same type of ovation and support as Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun did in his first game back from suspension this week.
The replies were the same as they have been over the past few years. Divided. There will always be those who love Favre and never held a grudge for a single second. There will always be those who disliked Favre for leaving the Packers but are now ready to accept him back and there will always be those who will never forgive Favre and will turn off their TV sets when he takes to the Lambeau turf someday soon.
With just five months until the 2014 season begins and the potential that Favre’s return happens before this year’s end, are you ready? Where do you stand and what are likely to be your emotions when that day comes?
While Wilde and Johnson’s question involved both Favre and Braun, the situations are obviously not very comparable. Let’s keep the commentary about Favre and your sentiments towards him.——————
Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.comFollow Jason Perone: