Sailing the Seas of Cheese: Time Heals All Wounds…Or Not
Eventually, he’ll come back into the fold. We are going to retire his number. He deserves that for what he did as a Packer…
Mark Murphy, Packer President and CEO
Sigh. Here we go again. In an off season that should be the victory lap for the Super Bowl XLV champions, we not only get the longest work stoppage in NFL history, but we yet another round of Favre Drama. Yays. Here’s my excited face. Just about time for the Will He Come Out of Retirement watch to start as well. It would be just icing on the cake for me. Anyhow, despite the lockout, it appears that the Packers are trying to still have a little victory lap to share the love in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the Upper Penninsula (oh, quit belly aching haters, the UP is culturally more akin to Wisconsin than it ever will be with the breed of Trolls Under the Bridge in the Lower Pennisula.) And during the midst of the lovefest at middle schools in Spooner and Ashland, Mark Murphy announced that despite the angst, rending of the garments and frustration that Brett Favre and his Four Inches of Text Messaging Glory will be honored by the Packers and his number 4 will be retired.
Suddenly it becomes All. About. Favre. Again.
Why does it have to be news NOW? We aren’t the same team and nation of fans that had to endure the dreaded Forty Years in the Desert where we wandered aimlessly without a Super Bowl victory (yes, I know it was thirty years, not forty, but there isn’t a metaphor of thirty years of mediocrity) that needed a prophet and savior to lead us to the promised land. Oh sure, back in the 80′s and the early 90′s all we had was warm fuzzies from the Lombardi era to get us through the darkest nights of football purgatory. We had to cling to memories because it was much more rewarding than the product we had on the field.
But we don’t need to cling to the victories of days gone by any more. The Packers are the reigning World Champions of the National Football League. We don’t need a grizzled messiah that we deify in order to remember how good things used to be. And we certainly don’t need Brett Favre to continue to cast his long shadow over Lambeau Field and the current team. We have a current quarterback that has put us on in the highest eschelon of greatness and made Green Bay Titletown once again.
Last time I checked Aaron Rodgers is not a groundhog, and it’s high time he has to stop worrying about any damn shadows. This is the Rodgers era, not the Post-Favre era. He isn’t Favre’s ignored understudy that’s lucky if he gets a scrap of tutelage from the starting QB. (Oh wait, it’s not Favre’s job to mentor unless you’re Cam Newton, and in that case there’s a coat tail to hop on.)
In case anyone forgot, Rodgers is a Super Bowl MVP. Don’t you think he should have his time in the sun without having to worry about sharing it with anyone other than the current Green Bay Packers? After all of the attention Favre has garnered over the years, don’t you think we owe it to Rodgers to afford him the same kudos and respect?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not about rewriting Green Bay’s past and redact everything that Favre has done for the team. After all, he did get us through those Forty (Yes, Thirty) Years in the Desert. But I’m having a hard time getting excited to celebrate Brett Favre right now. That said, I was all set to retire the jersey. Had tickets to that September 8, 2008 game against–oh the irony–Vikings and everything. Only Favre didn’t retire and decided to start casting shadows on Lambeau. Does anyone remember what happened Aaron Rodgers was announced as the starting quarterback for the home team? There were just as many boos as there were cheers.
And pardon me if I can’t get excited about a guy who made it a vendetta to stick it to the Packers when he couldn’t crowbar himself back into the starting lineup after the leadership respected his wishes to retire and moved foward with full faith in the new starting QB. Oh, sure he said it wasn’t about vendettas. Only it was about sticking it to the Packers. After everything was said and done, Favre admitted his motives and desires to play for either the Vikings or the Bears:
Maybe that was a little bit of vindictive nature, or whatever, competitive nature, whatever. I think in the end, that was probably the wrong motive and I realized that was not going to happen [until he retired from the Jets and finally got his wish...]
Right before the Super Bowl this past February, Favre seemed to hop on the bandwagon at the last minute and wished the Packers well, announcing that the Pack was the best team in the playoffs and that he hoped that they would be victorious. He’s even rebranded himself as a Packer quarterback decked out in Green nd Gold on his website. Does he think we’re stupid or that gullible? He wasn’t on the bandwagon as the regular season was ending. In fact he was actively rooting for the Packers’ demise and telling Julius Peppers that he hoped that the Bears not only beat the Packers but knocked them out of playoff contention.
Yeah, that’s really being the epiotome of Packer People. Pardon me while I roll my eyes.
He wants to be a Packer when it’s convenient for him, and that is something I take exception with. Sure, I think there is a time and place to acknowledge his accomplishments as a Green Bay Packer. But right now isn’t the time. It’s not that easy. He doesn’t actually think a few conveniently placed sound bytes will make everything better, does he? It’s time to celebrate what the Packers became without him. It’s time to show that we don’t have to be mired in the past. Yes, he owns just about every QB record out there. There is no questioning his place in history. But he surrendered any adoration on his terms. It needs to be on the Packers’ terms now.
I have no problem retiring his number 4. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the best time to retire it is some time after Aaron Rodgers is enshrined at Canton and before Hell freezes over. I was willing to give him time applaud him in 2008. Not so much now. It isn’t the right time. Maybe in a handful of years later after the dust settles. In the mean time, I’m happy celebrating the current and future success of the team. I want to embrace what the team is now and what it can be. It’s time to rally behind players like Rodgers, Matthews, Woodson and Jennings. It is their team and they are currently the Champions of the World.
It may not be time to Brett Favre’s number, but is sure as hell time to retire his shadow.