This has been on my mind for some time. Then recently, Story First Media made ‘Last Day at Lambeau’ available for online consumption. This documentary is a must-watch for all fans of the Green Bay Packers. It’s a bit lengthy at just over an hour and twenty minutes. But with a narrative that rivals any of the “Who shot JFK?” documentaries the producers do a superb job of rehashing the events that led to Favre’s departure from Titletown.
The film’s slant seems to lean in the direction of the Packers organization and does make Brett look to be a bit villainous. Or maybe not. Was Favre acting purely in his own self-interests?
The truth will probably never be known.
I will say that at the end of the film I felt conflicted and torn. Brett Favre is arguably the greatest player ever to wear the Green and Gold. He was largely responsible for resurrecting a franchise that was running on the fumes of Vince Lombardi’s Glory Days for over 20 years. Favre’s play on the field and larger-than-life persona transformed the Green Bay Packers. But the way he departed and ultimately continued his NFL career will never allow fans to hold him in the same regard as the other great players in Packers history.
As they say, time heals all wounds. Heck, even Curly Lambeau, the guy whose name is on the stadium, departed the organization he founded, under tumultuous circumstances.
The rub with the Green Bay Packers v. Favre divorce is Brett Favre seemed hell bent on sticking it to the Packers. And that kind of left a bad taste in the mouths of the Packers faithful. The innocence of the devotion to a football player, one who many Packers’ fans followed from their youth into adulthood was tarnished. The perception of Favre changed from hero, to an egocentric individual who thought he was bigger than the Packers organization.
From the outside looking in it appears Favre shrewdly crafted a plan to make himself a member of the rival Minnesota Vikings. After joining the Vikings in his introductory press conference he was asked how concerned he was about fans feeling a sense of betrayal.
His response was odd, Favre said, “Well I think if you are a true Packer fan, um, you’ll understand.” Reading between the lines one would have to believe that Favre felt wronged by the Packers. Favre also said, “It’s America, it happens all the time.” And he was right in that sense, alluding to the fact that people leave or are dismissed from one company and go to work for a rival all the time.
Embracing Favre and a return to Lambeau to have his number 4 retired stirs the emotions of Packers Nation. On one hand, during most of his career with the Green Bay Packers he brought fans immense joy. On the other hand, fans feel like the love Packers Nation showered upon him was taken for granted. Bringing him back into the family creates a situation where the fans, the people who loved him unconditionally, must forgive him for turning his back on them.
Favre on the other hand moves forward without retribution.
Nevertheless, it is time. Brett Favre may have played for the Jets and the Vikings, but at the end of the day he is a Green Bay Packer.
Favre is woven into the fabric of Packers Nation and the Packers’ organization. I
t is time to move forward and to cordially invite Brett Favre to Lambeau Field for his number retirement and rehabilitate his place in Packers history.
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