Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thanks, Brett (Part Two)

I couldn't have been more nostalgic on the day Brett Favre announced his retirement from the NFL. The man who had been the quarterback of my team for 2/3rds of my life was hanging up the cleats for the final time, and the Packers as I knew them would never be the same. It was a hard day for any Packer fan, as we were forced to move on after 16 years with Brett Favre at the helm.

But as we moved on, the picture became less clear. There were hints Favre was thinking about coming out of retirement, hints that he may come back and lead the Packers for a 17th season. Ultimately, nothing seemed to happen, and the Packers went ahead with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback.

That's when things got interesting. Favre was now all of a sudden dead set on returning to football, even if it meant doing so in something other than the Green and Gold. The Packer organization, as well as their fans, were conflicted on how to react. Do we move ahead, or do we welcome back one of the greatest players in Packers history?

The Packers decided to move on, and Favre's future was in limbo. It was a little after 11pm Central Time, when I was eating chicken wings at a bar in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I turned my head to face one of the TV's near the bar and saw the following headline:

Breaking News: Brett Favre Traded to Jets.

At first, I admit, I was joyous. Brett Favre was out of the division, out of the NFC, and he was no longer a worry of the 2008 Green Bay Packers. The team could focus on the 80 guys they did have on the roster, not the one guy who was on the roster but would never again play for us. I envisioned his career as a Jet being short-lived, an afterthought to an otherwise great career.

That's when ESPN decided to run the Top 10 moments in the career of Brett Favre, and once again, I became nostalgic. Even though the Packers really haven't won anything in 12 years, and his recent career has been less than stellar, he was still Brett Favre. I grew up watching the guy, living and dying with the results that came after the ball left his arm. Suddenly, it hit me. Brett Favre was no longer a member of the Green Bay Packers.

Sure, he will always be remembered as a Packer, but we're living in the present. For a 4th round pick, that could be eventually be a 1st round pick, Favre is off to New York. Am I glad that the saga is over and that Favre won't face the Packers this season? More than you know. But even still, even with all that has happened this summer, even though I'm in full support of Aaron Rodgers, it's hard to say goodbye.

The cynical part of me says this is perfect for Favre. He's in New York, the media capital of the world, and we all know how much Favre loves attention. But the Favre fan in me is happy he's getting the chance to play, just sorry it will be for a less than spectacular team in the Jets.

Like any Packer fan right now, my emotions are mixed. I have no problem if you root for Favre this season, or even if you root for the Jets. But there are a couple of ground rules we need to establish.

1) No wearing Jets Favre jerseys to Packers games - I have no problem if you buy a Favre Jets jersey, I'm sure it will be a hot seller. I'm even guilty of buying an Antonio Freeman Eagles jersey, so I can understand why you might want the new Favre jersey. But please, don't be one of those fans that wears the jerseys to Packers game. It will only make you look stupid. Wear the Favre Packers jersey all you want, just please wear the Jets jersey in the company of your own home.

2) Don't boo Aaron Rodgers. - It's not his fault he was drafted in 2005 because the Packers were unsure of just how committed Favre was to the Packers. He did not force Favre out of town, and your anger that Favre is gone should not be taken out on him. As Packer fans, we need to rally around our quarterback, even if he's not wearing the number 4.

3) Let's remember, we are PACKERS fans - I wish Brett the best of luck, I really do. But still, in the best interest of the future of this team, this was the move that had to be made. Let's remember the good times, but let's also be ready for an exciting year of Packers football.

It won't be easy seeing Favre step out in a Jets uniform for that first time, just like it wasn't easy seeing Reggie White in a Carolina Panthers jersey (does anyone even remember that?). But Favre wanted to play football, and the Packers wanted to move on without. This was the best solution the two times could come up with, and we should be supportive of both.

Brett Favre may in fact be a New York Jet, but he'll always be a Green Bay Packer.

Best of luck.


Anonymous said...

You still could be right about Favre not playing this year. The trade conditions are based on how many plays Brett plays. I think the Jets are protecting them selfs if at some point this year he decides it was a mistake that he came back. I have a feeling this saga may not be over just yet. Thank God its over for the Packers.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'd be willing to wear the jersey to the game in the off chance that Ted Thompson would see it. No matter what you say, there's no denying that ol Teddy wanted his boy playing and by drafting Rodgers, he was showing Favre his hand. This was as sloppy as things can get and management is hired to handle these things and make them tidier and more private. Thompson made it personal and fucked this all up. I'm sorry, but while I've always been a little curious about what AR could do and I think Thompson has done fabulous in the drafting arena, his bedside manner is appalling and I worry about the Packer's future under his eye.

Anonymous said...

I really love the fact that he was traded out of the division and to the AFC, but I wish we could have got a veteren qb in return. I mean if A-Rog gets hurt, which has happened before, do you really feel comfortable with Brian Brohm taking the lead? I know I don't. Hopefully we can sign a free agent. I'm happy that all this shit is done and I can finally get excited that football season can start. Go Pack. I still hate Ted Thompson PR skills, learn how to speak in public or hire someone to do it for you, you sound like a retard.

rory said...


I felt the same way. Initially, I was relieved, and I am glad he went to NY rather than Tampa. But after watching Favrecenter and seeing that Top 10, my nostalgia went through the roof.

It's sad, for if Favre never retired, he would never have been a Jet. Worse: I really think Favre will struggle in NY--that team is just not that good.

With a weaker supporting cast; a young, incompetent coach; and him not putting in the effort he did in the 2007 off-season, I truly feel he is set up for failure.


Anonymous said...

The people who are booing Aaron Rodgers before his first regular season as starting QB is underway are Brett fans first, Packer fans second. They're a ghastly, mutated breed of homers who should really try to stay sober each day until at least noon.

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell how much I agree with this last poster. Right on brother, there is ZERO reason to harp on Rodgers, none of this is his fault. And anyone who claims they are a diehard fan but hopes they lose so TT gets pushed out should be berated by true fans who through thick and thin stick by the team.
If you for one moment think that Favre cares for the fans as much as the fans have cared for him over the years you need to seriously put your life into prospective.

Anonymous said...

Ted Thompson is a great GM. I'm glad he finally held ground and told Brett he's not pulling this I'm retiring/not retiring bullshit one more season. This has gone on for the last 5 seasons. This year he actually decided to retire. Im sorry but Im just sick of all the shit Favre pulled throuhout the years from chasing JWalk out of town to calling out Mike McKenzie and running him to the Saints to threatening to retire when we didnt sign Moss. The guy thinks he's better than he is b/c he's only spent time in Wisco and Mississippi where ppl think he's God. I cant wait til his first terrible game and he has to face the NY Media. Sorry bout the rambling but I've had issues with favre for years and I'm glad his ass is gone. I actually use to be the biggest Favre fan. That underhand toss across the line in the Playoffs against Minnesota showed me he's not in it to win it anymore. Favre may get you to the playoffs but he doesnt have the drive to win the big games anymore.

Peace. IM out.

A-Rodg in 09' BAAAABy.

Anonymous said...

Ok, aside from the Jim Douchebag clone, you CANNOT deny that, on paper, Favre would have given the Packers the better chance to win.

Look, getting Walker out is a fucking BLESSING...look at him now! Plus, Greg Jennings has much more upside and he's grounded, competent and intelligent. And as far as MikeMcKenzie is concerned...what's he doing now? After the year CW had last year...I'm happy.

I love watching Brett Favre because he took the chances to win instead of boring, dink and dunk football that is Trent Dilfer and pre-Randy Moss Tom Brady.

ruffian96 said...

Thanks for a very fair even handed post that addresses both sides of this whole thing.

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