Movie Quote of the Day:
Ah, yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.”
Rafiki, The Lion King (1994)
At long last, Brett “The Gunslinger” Favre is getting inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and is having his #4 retired. The former quarterback spent 16 seasons as the Packers signal caller. Favre racked up 61,655 passing yards, 442 touchdowns, and had a completion percentage of 61.6 during that span of time. Favre broke all kinds of records, including most career passing yards, career passing touchdowns, and the most consecutive starts of 251 (in only Green Bay). He won the organization’s first Super Bowl in almost 30 years in 1996. Favre was also an 11x Pro Bowler (1992, 1993, 1995-1997, 2001-2003, and 2007-2009), 3x First-team All-Pro (1995-1997), and 3x Second-team All-Pro (2001, 2002, and 2007). Lastly, Favre won three straight NFL MVP awards, the only quarterback in NFL history to do so (1995-1997).
This week has been dubbed “Favre Week” by the NFL community. “Favre Week” has been much more emotional for me than I thought it would be when this induction was originally announced a few months ago.
The single reason that I became such a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan was because of Brett Favre. I have my mom to thank for that. When I was about ten years old, I started to become heavily interested in football. Everyone in my elementary school, at the time, was playing football and started to form “fanhoods” with certain teams. I was already a WVU fan, but I lacked an NFL team. I wanted a team to cheer for, and I remember asking my mom to name off some good players in the NFL.
She named off names, similar to Mark Wahlberg in the movie Ted when trying to guess the white trash name of Ted’s new girlfriend. She said Brett Favre, and for whatever reason I felt the urge to ask my mom to tell me more about him. She explained Favre to me, and my obsession began. Every Sunday after that, she would put the TV on whatever channel the Green Bay game was on, if they were on TV (which didn’t happen often living in Alabama).
Favre quickly grew to be my favorite player. My first NFL jersey that I ever owned was Favre’s. My love for Favre led to my love for the Green Bay Packers, especially when my family moved to Green Bay for a year and a half. I remember when I played football for De Pere Middle School in Green Bay, and the players got the opportunity to pick our own jersey numbers. I chose #4 because of Favre.
“Favre Week” has brought back so many memories from my childhood. Here’s a short list of some of them:
– Week 16, 2003: The opponent was the Oakland Raiders on Monday Night Football. Favre’s father had passed away the day before. I didn’t watch the game because it aired past my bedtime, but I remember watching the highlights the next morning. It was his best performance, hands down. Favre threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in just the first half, beating Oakland 41-7.
– Week 16, 2004: The opponent was the Minnesota Vikings, in the Metrodome. The game was for the NFC North division title. Favre led Green Bay back from a double-digit deficit to win on a game-winning field goal as time expired. At the time, Minnesota was the team that I hated the most.
– Week 4, 2007: The opponent was Minnesota, again. This was the game that propelled Favre past Marino on the all-time career passing touchdowns list. I didn’t watch this game because we didn’t have the game in Alabama. I remember watching whatever NFL game was on and the network cut to the highlight of Favre throwing the touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. I remember screaming and cheering at the TV after I saw the play.
I still have a bitter taste in my mouth that his final play as a Green Bay Packer was an interception, eventually leading the New York Giants kicking a game-winning field goal in overtime to punch their ticket to Super Bowl XLII. I had been grieving from that loss, and my heart sank even further when I found out Favre retired a few months later.
I’ll be the first one to admit that when Favre wanted to come back to Green Bay in 2008, I said no. Most probably don’t believe me, but honestly, I didn’t think it was right. The organization had stuck by Aaron Rodgers, and I stuck by the organization. I had doubts and I didn’t enjoy giving up on my favorite player, but I was ready for the Aaron Rodgers Era.
I’ve tried to block out the memories of Favre playing for the Vikings (and the Jets, for that matter). I felt betrayed when he signed with the Vikings in 2009, but I’m not sure I ever cheered against him. I silently cheered for him when he was in Minnesota, and I was happy to see him do well. However, obviously, I never cheered for the Vikings and was overjoyed when the Saints beat them in the NFC Championship in 2009.
Favre’s retired number ceremony will be held during Thanksgiving night’s game against the Chicago Bears in a few months. I CAN’T WAIT! I’m going to buy a Brett Favre jersey just for the occasion.
This week has been special to me; it’s been a blast from the past. Favre was my first ever-favorite NFL player. That led to me becoming such a huge cheesehead and being a fan of the best franchise in the NFL. Even though Favre hasn’t been with the Packers in eight years, I have not forgotten the greatest player in Packers history. I know the break-up between Green Bay and Favre wasn’t pretty, but this induction has taken too long. He finally gets immortalized amongst the likes of other Packer greats like Bart Starr, Ray Nitschke, Don Hutson, Vince Lombardi, and Reggie White.
Congrats on finally getting inducted, Brett! GO PACK GO!
Next stop: Canton, Ohio
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