Brett Favre: Green Bay Packer ‘4ever’


Brett Favre and Darrell Bevel. Favre referred to the photograph during his acceptance speech.

Brett Favre, with his favorite stamp of humility firmly in place, thanked the fans, the coaches and mostly his teammates for his recognition and induction into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame tonight as he first addressed the world from the 50 yard line at Lambeau Field and then thanked everyone from inside the Atrium.

Favre said one of the most important things he has learned recently was humility as he appreciated the honors, but went out of his way to thank everyone who was a part of his life while he was a Green Bay Packers.

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That included everyone from God to the janitors who cleaned up after him.

Introduced to those assembled at this historic event was none other than Frank Winters, the former center said he wasn’t a public speaker. Winters then went on for another 10 minutes with touches of humor and stories that amused the crowd and set the stage for the man of the hour – Brett Favre.

Speaking honestly about himself and so many other people, Favre said that he was pleased to be welcomed back to Green Bay and that it was the people who have been instrumental in his personal life who were also those who helped him to become one of, if not the best quarterback in franchise history.

Lambeau Field is filled to capacity for the return of Brett Favre. Jim Oxley photograph

Tonight’s love fest went both ways: Favre praising Green Bay, the Packers fans, the administration and even the janitors. Not to be outdone, the fans filled Lambeau Field and gave Fave a homecoming that will be considered one the most raucous and respectful of any player in Packers history.

“Playing at Lambeau Field, running out of the tunnel, throwing a touchdown at Lambeau Field, there’s noting like it on Earth,” Favre said. “Believe me, I ahve played elsewhere, there is absolutely nothing like this place. Where else can you get this many people in a stadium when there’not a game? All I can say is I hope it was as much fun for them watching me as it was for me to do it every week.

Brett Favre addressed the 67,000 fans who filled the bowl of Lambeau Field tonight for Favre’s return and induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. Jim Oxley photograph

Did Favre have any regrets?

Well, the closest to that notion involved his relationship with coach Mike Holmgren.

“One of the only regrets I have is that I didn’t get to play with Mike longer, which I can put that blame off on him, but he and I both know – because wevé talked about this numerous times – the had we had a chance to play and he coached me for more years, then I think there would have been, I truly believe there would have been more championships.”

Brett Favre makes his way onto the field at Lambeau. Jim Oxley photograph

On the idea of a legacy, Favre admitted he hadn’t thought much about it.

Äs you get older, you find things that really mattered don’t really matter at all. What we did, I know, is very special. It’s not four Super Bowls, but in my mind it’s equally as important because … a resurgence, if you will, of this organiztion.”

And though Favre only mentioned Ted Thompson‘s name once and referred to Mike McCarthy a couple of times … Favre did give his respect to all people within the organization.

“There are a lot of reasons that make Green Bay special, but the No. 1 reason is the people,” Favre said.

Coincidentally, Favre did not mention Aaron Rodgers by name, but the question is really whether he needed to do so.

This was a night about Brett Favre and the Packers that rose from the ashes and once again became one of the elite franchises in all the league … mainly on the body of work registered through the years by Favre.

Don’t worry, Aaron Rodgers will have his day.

Whether it’s one like Favre had – induction into the Packers Hall of Fame AND having his number retired. It had never been done before and may not happen any time soon.

Favre’s day was special … but we’re not done.

Favre will be back in Green Bay on Thanksgiving when the Packers host the Chicago Bears on national television.

His job that night will to be on hand for the unveiling of his name on the Packers ring of honor.

Follow that up with his anticipated first ballot induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame set to take place in summer 2016.

Next: How will the Packers do in 2015?