Turn back the pages to the year 1992, when Brett Favre ruled Packers Nation.
He started out good enough, then as time moved on he showed his moves. Things looked better. Within a year, they all loved him. He was leading them back into the seldom seen NFL playoffs, with the likes of John Madden informing the Cheeseheads and the United States that Brett Favre had what it takes to go places in this league. So keep an eye on him.
Sure, there were a few pretty good ones in life A.S. (After Starr), such as John Hadl, Lynn Dickey, Don Majkowski, who Brett Favre replaced, and was injured enough to move on, out of football soon afterward.
Brett Favre thew the football many ways on his way to the winning MVP years, division, conference and SuperBowl championships. He played football as Madden would say, “…with more ‘Heart’ than any football player ever …” and that’s what separated him from the rest.
Not only did Favre play to win, he won. Brett was one of the most exciting fun players to watch – ever. He threw the ball sideways, off balance, off the wrong foot, while sitting on his rear end, left- or right-handed, after catching his own pass, and pushing the football with his palm like volleyball foul, in the grasp of two tacklers … but he could win games. As he parted ways with the Packers, what did he get? He was spat upon, that is what!
TURN THE PAGE
So, Favre talked positive to reporters again this week. He touched on a few good things such as, that he had not been to Green Bay since his last game there on Oct. 24, 2010, after his being fired by the Packers, in a game he should have won and played well enough to beat the Packers. He indicated he would return to Green Bay to retire his number, but was uncertain when, and was waiting to hear from the team once more.
Things were still somewhat sour between the two sides. Fans were up in arms and we had to continue reading the “mudslinging” coming from both directions, with the most disturbing, disgruntled bloggers, not well guided in etiquette or versed in English, prevailing slang barbs in the blogs back then.
This was one of the lowest events in Packers history, on par with Lombardi leaving for Washington, or Jim McMahon getting picked up and dumped well after the whistle. The all-American hero was fired! It happened to many other of the “greats” including Joe Montana. The days of retiring with one team like Starr or Unitas are gone in the world of salary caps.
In fairness to both sides: An inside report indicates Favre displayed such an unruly personality within the team ranks, it was said he “acts like he owned the team.” On this note, (coaches, MM included) were disgruntled with Favre for overriding their decisions, even after they approached him. When this got up to Mark Murphy, it was determined he would not be returned and Aaron Rodgers will be the next offensive leader. On the other hand, Brett was a team man, he had extra meetings with the team to arrange his contract to suit cap rules and in that took a cut in his own pay to structure the deal. He played to win, even risking changing plays, and got results much more often than making a fool of himself.
The Packers’ moves at the time of his release could have been handled more professionally. After all, this was a 16-year vet, who came to Green Bay when some of the players were in Kindergarten. He held more records at quarterback than anyone, at any time, ever.
Next to Ron Wolf, he was more responsible for the winning tradition being re-established in Green Bay than anyone else. As Vince Lombardi was to the 1960s, Brett Favre was to the 1990s and into the new millennium. On the same two legends: Vince Lombardi went on to remain an NFL legend that grew into an almost a god-like hero in the NFL.
The shock of hearing the news that day took time to sink in. On first read, hearing Brett Favre would not be back, it was a mistake, or some reporter mistakenly sent to press! What gives?
Some thought it was the team’s way of getting Favre in for all of training camp, not just coming in a few days before the season began, as he had done during Mike Holmgren’s reign, which wasn’t allowed later on. But Brett somehow managed to continue the extra rest time.
The days and weeks that followed the initial shock that hit the front page charged up a debate among the team people and fans, even reporters. Things became heated between Favre and Ted Thompson. As time turned weeks into months, and the reality began hitting home, fans who took side with Favre began saying, “See, Rodgers is no Favre and never will be …”
Then the second wave came in, just like the great Japan typhoon. Favre had dirtied himself, sending lewd images to another woman he met on the road. Some fans screamed to take him to the gallows, others just wanted him playing again, and many displayed belligerence toward the entire drama.
Brett has been upbeat and positive in recent comments to the press. He said time will heal all things and he thought things were going much better. He has forgiven and forgotten as much as he ever will need. Mark Murphy also reiterated that he will have Brett in to retire the number 4 before Favre is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
Why wait, Murph?
As much as it is demanded that I write free of prejudice, I was the one who watched all the Lombardi games up through the 1967 season. After that there was Bengston, Devine, Starr, Gregg and Infante. Winning seasons were few, division titles were even fewer, and championships between Lombardi and Holmgren were none, zero, zip, notta.
That is twenty-three years between championships. Holmgren had today’s player type figured well. That is what separated him from the rest. They won a Super Bowls under Holmgren. The Packers were winners year after year once more, after a long long wait.
In The End
Mike Holmgren deserves much credit in holding the ship together. Two others also were a huge part of the winning tradition returning to Green Bay. Ron Wolf, expert in talent within the NFL, finding college or walk-ons who could excel. The other guy, wore number 4 back in ’92, year after year, up until 2008. The guy who threw passes complete every kind of way there is except off his chin.
The guy who broke more passing, scoring, and attendance records than anyone, anytime, including Montana (As much as you gotta’ love him) And I could go on and on with details, but let’s take one look at the worst. Yes, this was the guy, who was a man, yet, he played America’s top sport like a Superman.
And yes, this was the man of the flesh, who became weakened in a world that is full of drugs, liquor and whoreish women. As a man, he became lost in his priorities, taking pleasure before the commitment his marriage brought to him. He acted on this, and paid dearly for it. Isn’t it time to accept him for his merits? He’ll be eligible for the NFL Hall in little time, and there still are the ignorant souls screaming for his hide, just because like the millions before him, he took a turn into a cheap thrill.
It’s time Murph! We know you’re busy, but the way the team handled Favre back in 2008, the team owes an apology to the fans and the man who changed the team’s fate.
Round up Ted Thompson, prepare the right words, and get the press. How about the two of you put together an invite? Let’s say in Green Bay on Nov. 9, when the Bears come to town. If that doesn’ work out, try Oct. 2 against Minnesota, sounds better yet to me, or Dec. 28 the last home game of the year, and if that does not work, how about whatever home game Brett wants?
In giving in, you are getting things back. Things like peace and harmony in Green Bay, and for Brett Favre. Love him for his great contribution to the team, and do not hate him for his manly shortcomings.
Cut the world a break. Settle the long needed peace it will bring in giving Brett Favre one more day in the Packers spotlight, destined to put his “4” aside, and his jersey up on the wall.