I thought I had already cleared my slate of Brett Favre, believing I had drained my reservoir on the subject.  It turns out that with #4, there is always something more to say.

Until this week, the thought of Favre playing against our beloved Green Bay Packers was just an abstract.  But as we are confronted with the prospect of Favre donning the purple of the Minnesota Vikings against the Pack on Monday night, I find myself revisiting my feelings on the matter.

It’s understandable, if not entirely rational, for fans to be emotionally invested (in the case of Packers fans, sometimes overly so) in their teams and the players that compete for them.  What surprised me this week is that where Brett Favre is concerned, apparently that sentiment isn’t the exclusive province of the fans.  Former Packer players from Willie Davis and Jerry Kramer (in print earlier this week) to William Henderson and LeRoy Butler (late  this week on radio) expressed exasperation at the reality of Favre playing for the Packers most hated rival. 

Psychologists define the 5 stages of grief as being denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  Personally, over the last couple of years I’ve gone from disappointment to disgust, later bemusement and now indifference to the journey that took Favre to Minnesota.  As I’ve written previously, for me what set Favre apart as a player was the sense that he was “one of us”.  As it happens, he can also be as petty, vindictive and selfish as the rest of us.  While that may not make him worthy of contempt, neither does it merit sustained adulation.  

What amazes me is the number of people who continue to show fealty to an individual when there is ample evidence to suggest that loyalty isn’t reciprocated.  Specifically I refer to those who are compelled to attend Packer games wearing #4 Vikings jerseys.   The best explanation I can offer is that most of them didn’t start rooting in earnest for the Packers until Favre came to Green Bay.  Therefore, it would be reasonable to assume that their allegiance is as much or more to Favre as it would be to a franchise that had a long and storied history well before his arrival in Wisconsin.  The NFL is no doubt happy to feed into that with the marketing of multi-colored Favre jerseys.

As Butler himself said on Friday’s Jim Rome radio show, “there’s nothing wrong with being a Brett Favre fan.  But don’t try to say that you’re a Packer fan and you want Brett to do well.” 

As a final word, that about sums it up well as anything.


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  • Patty Boskin

    All this talk about how Favre betrayed the Packers, how he turned his back on us, drives me crazy. He played for my team for many years, and was a delight to watch. He gave us last minute miracle wins, scrambling and hitting his target with impossible passes that made me laugh in amazement.

    This is a guy whose entire life revolves around football. He’s a person who, by November, realizes that he is really too old to play the game any more. But come summertime, he can’t imagine his life without the game. So he tries again. Just like the woman who gives birth to that second or third child, by the time July rolls around, he’s forgotten how excruciatingly painful the game can be.

    When he tried to come back to the Packers, McCarthy and Thompson did not want him. Favre’s too old, and we have a great quarterback ready to play in Aaron Rodgers.

    I don’t particularly wish Favre well or ill, and the same goes with other star players – the Manning brothers, Steve Smith, Adrian Peterson or Julius Peppers. I just want to watch some good football and see the Pack end up on top at the end of the game. And with Favre at the Minnesota helm, and Aaron Rodgers piloting the Pack, that’s what I expect to see tomorrow night.

  • BigSnakeMan

    As I readily admit, I, like many other Packers fans, was emotionally invested in his career for 16 years. That may not make sense logically, but it’s part and parcel of being a fan. And it’s a hard thing to ignore after such a period of time.

    This wasn’t just about Favre continuing to play football. If it were, it wouldn’t have made any difference to him if it was with the Jets or whomever. And he would be happy to put in the offseason work required of every other player in the NFL. It was about him wanting to play football on his own terms.

    Obviously, Favre is free to do as he pleases. But there comes a time in every athlete’s career when he has to hang it up. Those who try to prolong that beyond it’s natural time inevitably end up looking sad. It’s a scenario that has been repeated time and again and one that I would have preferred being spared with Brett.

    After all the time he spent in Green Bay, he can’t be oblivious to the impact his playing for the Vikings would have on Packer fans. As he himself advised this morning, it’s time for fans to ‘get over it and move on’.

    I appreciate what Favre did for the Packers and was glad I got to witness much of it firsthand. But, as a Packer fan, I cannot wish for him to do well with Minnesota as they stand in the way of where the Packers need to go.

  • http://www.retaggr.com/page/crichar3 Chris

    I am selfish about Brett Favre. I want him to fail in MN not only because it is better for the Packers if he does, but also because I want the memories of his greatness to be linked to what he did in Green and Gold, not what he accomplished for some other team.

    Last night he was excellent for MN and that hurt on two levels. The better he is for the Vikings more his Packer legacy is tarnished, at least in my mind.