When should Packers fans forgive and forget?
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
In an unforeseen shocker, Brett Favre this week took partial responsibility for his broken relationship with his former team, the Green Bay Packers. OK, Packers fans, all together now: Duh.
During an interview with WGR 550 AM in Buffalo, the three-time MVP told the show’s host, Joe Buscaglia, “I was at fault.”
Gee, Brett, you think?
In recent months, the fire beneath the long-running feud that began with Favre’s un-retirement prior to the 2008 season has begun to cool. Nevertheless, it’s about time he took some responsibility for that ridiculous mess.
Honestly, though, it’s still difficult to believe those words really came out of his mouth, or even that he would use “I” in the same sentence with “fault.” Now, that said, he didn’t take full responsibility.
NFL former quarterback Brett Favre said something we thought he’d never say. Chuck Cook – USA TODAY Sports
“I feel that both sides had a part in it,” Favre said on the show. “If you can go back would I or them have done things differently? I’m sure both sides would have, but you can’t.”
Fans who sided with the team and not the quarterback when that ugly affair went down always believe Favre was at fault. By the end of his NFL career, Favre had become a selfish, me-first prima donna. He had a separate dressing room from his team, he played selfishly, he womanized and he generally turned into a narcissistic jerk.
Those who sided with Favre seem to forget that for several seasons in a row, Favre contemplated retirement, only to hold the team hostage during the off-season before making a decision. Front office leadership grew understandably impatient with it.
When the Packers brass finally said, “We need you to decide before the draft,” Favre then “retired” – and then proceeded to play the victim, later suggesting the Packers forced him to bid a premature farewell to his NFL career.
I remember sitting on my couch in tears as Favre, the man who’d brought the Packers back to relativity, made his emotional announcement. Even after I denounced him following that bone-headed pass that cost the Packers a Super Bowl appearance (I will never forgive him), I was emotional. It was sad to see that incredible career come to an end, even if it had plenty of ups and downs.
Brett Favre as a Packer – during the good times.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph
In my mind, after all I’ve seen since, the whole retirement thing was a show. By that point, he’d become so self-serving that it now seems it was largely a way to gain public sympathy. Just weeks later, he made a spectacle of training camp, showing up and demanding his spot back, before the Packers sent him, well, packing to New York for what ended up being a third-round draft pick (Note: Ted Thompson packaged that pick in 2009 to trade up for a kid out of USC named Clay Matthews. Score.).
A season later, Favre manipulated his way (and by “manipulated,” I mean “played terribly and allegedly texted a photo of his pee-pee to a Jets employee”) off the Jets and onto the hated Minnesota Vikings. I don’t even want to conjure those two years in my mind, so I’ll leave that part of Favre’s “legacy” alone for now.
But now both sides seem to be slowly making amends. I, for one, hope that happens and everyone kisses and makes up. I do not, however, think that in any way the Green Bay Packers organization owes Favre an apology. Thompson and his staff knew Aaron Rodgers was ready, they were tired of Favre holding them hostage off-season after off-season, and Thompson made a business decision. Period.
So far, it’s worked out OK. Well, for the Packers, at least.
So at what point do jilted Packers fans forgive and forget? Is Favre’s partial acknowledgement of his selfishness enough, or is more healing necessary?
What percentage of Packers fans are ready to take him back into the family?