GREEN BAY, WI – DECEMBER 09: Brett Favre #4 of the Green Bay Packers runs onto the field with teammates during player introductions before a game against the Oakland Raiders on December 9, 2007 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Wisconsin is a wonderful state filled with a lot of good people, but like any rampant football fan they are crazy when it comes to their team. It’s no different for the Green Bay Packers. When they feel the team is betrayed, then that means they were betrayed. Everybody knows it’s extremely hard to forgive somebody after a betrayal.
By now the story has been run over so many times it’s easy to lose count. Brett Favre is traded away in 2008 after returning from retirement in favor of the younger Aaron Rodgers After languishing in New York for a season, he retires again. Then, sensing he still had unfinished business he came back again. This time he got to choose his specific team, and it was no accident he chose the Minnesota Vikings.
Anybody with a brain could tell he was joining a good team with a familiar offensive coordinator, but also a team that would face the Packers that season. Favre was on a mission to show his old team they gave him up too soon. Cheesehead fans meanwhile felt their onetime idol had made a deal with the devil. Their Benedict Arnold had gone over to the British.
The animosity built from there. Favre beat Green Bay twice in 2009, throwing seven touchdowns to zero interceptions, pumping his fist in the locker room after each victory. To this day it remains too difficult to stomach for Packer fans, who continue to denounce him even after he retired for good.
Now things have come full circle. Favre is set to return to Lambeau Field to join the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. Many have chosen to let the past stay in the past, but there remain several holdouts who still aren’t happy about the idea. In truth they must remember Favre is not the first case of a great player going over to a rival. It’s happened a lot over the years.
They have to understand that the man built a Hall of Fame career in that organization. He spent his prime years from age 23 to 38 in green and gold, winning them 173 games including the playoffs, taking them to two Super Bowls and claiming their first Lombardi trophy since 1967. He engineered 39 game-winning drives and 26 comebacks in the 4th quarter.
On top of that he set both NFL career marks for passing yards (61,655) and touchdowns (442). Nobody is saying Favre didn’t get a little selfish when he decided to join the Vikings six years ago, but that is not enough to tear down what he built on the frozen tundra.
He gave Green Bay fans an entire childhood of exciting and often winning football. The time has come to put your burden down and applaud this great football player who will always be a Packer at heart.
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