When Brett Favre was acquired from Atlanta by Packers General Manager Ron Wolfe in 1992, no one could have guessed how much benefit that trade would bring to the entire Packers franchise and its fans. Thus began the “Favre Era” which would see 12 playoff seasons, two super bowl appearances, a super bowl victory, and the rebuilding of Lambeau Field (the house that Brett built). Many players contributed to the success of the team during those sixteen years, but it is doubtful that any of the above accomplishments would have come to pass without the iron man from Mississippi. That said, as a Packer fan, I’m glad that Brett is now wearing a New York Jets jersey and gone from Green Bay.
When, after 16 years, your quarterback has started 275 consecutive games (most ever for an NFL quarterback) and holds virtually every NFL career passing record, along with most wins as a starting quarterback, it is easy to be a Packer fan. It is also natural to do anything in your power to make a fellow like Favre feel wanted. For the last sixteen years it’s been “all about Brett” in Packerland. Despite his “aw shucks, country boy persona”, Brett has eaten it up. He lives on publicity and the idolatry of his fans. Who would blame him?
In spite of his great performance on the field, after the 2004 season, Favre remained elusive about whether or not he would retire. His indecision caused a flood of speculation in the media. Just a few weeks prior to training camp Favre finally indicated he would return. The same “retire or not retire” scenario occurred after the 2005 and 2006 seasons, with Favre keeping Packer management, fans, and the media on pins and needles until the last minute. Oh, the satisfaction Brett must have been experiencing! When Favre finally retired after the 2007 season, it isn’t surprising that some people doubted his intentions.
Finally, Packers General Manager Ted Thompson decided that it was time to move on, and do what was best for the Packers in the long run. “It’s all about Brett” time was over. The Packers forced the trade of Favre to the Jets, where he will get plenty of publicity, and enjoy every minute of it. With Brett gone the talented Packers can get on with preparations for their 2008 season.
God bless you, Brett. Every Packer fan loves you. As you said in your press conference in New York, you’ll always be a Packer. Over time the hard feelings over the past few weeks will abate. You’ll enter the NFL hall of fame as a Packer and history will honor you in the green and gold. As Packer fans, we know that you have served us well, but as much as we love you, you’ve also toyed with us one season too long. It’s time for both you and the Packers to move forward. We wish you the greatest success in your final years in New York!