By: David Folzy
There has been a problem in many ways over the last few years since the ugly breakup in 2008 following the “retirement” of Brett Favre from the Green Bay Packers. That is the possibility for Favre to have his jersey retired at Lambeau Field after wanting to be traded instead of backing up Aaron Rodgers, and the drama that ensued after. For those that wonder what the backstory is to this let me refresh you:
Shortly after NFC Championship loss in 2008 (2007 Regular Season)- Favre announces retirement from football and isn’t heard from for a long while.
July-August 2008: Favre announces he wants to return to the NFL but with training camp underway and the Packers already in mode to move on, Favre and Packers begin bitter dispute to see where their future lies. It ends up with the Packers trading Favre to the New York Jets. Favre plays the 2008 season with the Jets, leading to an 8-3 start, but a torn rotator cuff ruins the rest of the year and the Jets missed the playoffs. The Packers struggled with defense all year, and limped to a 6-10 record in Rodgers’ first year.
Shortly after 2008 season: Favre unofficially announces second retirement, Jets release Favre.
July 2009: After much thought to join the Minnesota Vikings, Favre does in hopes of seeking revenge twice a year on the Packers.
2009 season: The Vikings dominate most of the year, including two wins against the Packers and Favre provides himself some self-respect to beat the Packers twice in the regular season and beating the Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs en route to their first title game since the 1997/1998 postseason. The Vikings went 12-4 and the Packers rebounded from 2008 to finish 10-6 and make the playoffs, losing to Arizona in the Wild Card Playoffs.
NFC Championship game: The game now looked back at for the Saints bounty scandal, the Saints pummeled Favre high, low and side all night long. Sometimes even late, the hits kept coming and eventually bloodied Favre and getting at his ankle. Favre has a shot to win the game at the end but throws a last second interception and in overtime the Vikings lose on a Garrett Hartley field goal and the Saints advance to the Super Bowl, eventually winning.
Off-season/2010 season: The off-season was one of getting healthy for Favre. He had the ankle injury bother him throughout the off-season and training camp. On top of that, the Packers had a better team for most of the season and Favre was absolutely lost in his second year in Minnesota. That was obviously in Favre’s second trip to Lambeau and the Packers coming away with a 28-24 memorable win. After the Packers thrashed the Vikings 31-3 in Minnesota in Week 11, Favre’s team dropped to 3-7 and were practically out of playoff contention. Following a jarring hit against Buffalo, and another crushing hit from the Bears, the longest consecutive games started streak for Favre ended at 297. The Packers rebounded late to make the playoffs. Favre’s career officially ended with a whimper, if even that, not playing three of the final four games and the Vikings lost their season, going 6-10. To add to the intrigue, the Packers won Super Bowl 45, with Rodgers being the game’s MVP, something Favre never did in his career.
Since then, Aaron Rodgers has become one of the best Quarterbacks, winning the NFL’s MVP and leading one of the best offenses we have ever seen. Favre meanwhile is down in Mississippi coaching high schoolers but has said he has no relationship with the Packers. The reason this is even a big deal is the thought of retiring Favre’s number. With Favre and the Packers having no relationship, it seems to be realistic that when the Packers retire #4, Favre will not be attending this occasion. The situation was sad due to a couple things. The Packers have since been widely respected for the decision for trading Favre in hindsight, but the thing I did not agree with was trying to buy out Favre for 20 million dollars to stay retired. Otherwise, they handled the situation the best they could. For Favre, he had everything he could to get back at GB and did so for a year, but you wonder at what price will it eventually pay for him? In the wake of his phone text drama with Jenn Sterger, to the entire 2010 year being a bust, not just Packers fans but many fans had grown tired of Favre talk and were well ready for him to retire. Great player, but also the drama late in his career may outweigh what was a historic career. Most of his records will no doubt one day be broken, possibly by Peyton Manning or someone else.
But for Favre he has to quit the drama of holding a grudge against a team from nearly 5 years ago. The Packers should also open up the door to Favre’s jersey being retired, as well as inviting him to it. The Packers Hall of Fame invites him to their inductions every year, to which Favre doesn’t show up but that is a separate entity. If the Packers openly pursue Favre for this and want him around for it, then they cannot be faulted if Favre doesn’t show up. If Favre does show up it means he swallowed his pride and his own self-respect to put together a decent image. Look, Favre doesn’t have to like this occasion, he just needs to smile for 3 minutes, leave the field and never be heard from again, unless ESPN wants to show him endlessly like they used to. That’s really all this ceremony will be; a quick jersey retirement, about 10 minutes then fly out of here and live the rest of your life. If Favre cannot set aside his grudge, then sorry but he is a little child who can’t get his own way and the Packers will move on without him in the ceremony as well they should. It has been a mystery for a long time but in the final couple years, we may have seen the true colors of both Favre and the Green Bay Packers organization.
Now the final question to the last chapter of this story is: Will Favre and the Packers come together for a 10 minute ceremony or will Favre’s ego like it has for the last 4 years take charge of the situation?