Favre's Return To Lambeau: Your Take

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre spent nearly an hour talking to Green & Gold Today hosts Jason Wilde and Bill Johnson earlier this week.  They talked about everything from Favre's days in Green Bay as a young quarterback struggling with addiction and overcoming it to lead the Packers to a championship to Favre's split with the Packers in 2008.  In just a few weeks, Favre will return to Lambeau Field to celebrate his time in Green Bay and see his number 4 officially retired.

We've debated many times, as fans, as to how we feel about Favre coming back and whether we'd cheer or boo.  So many factors come into play:  the split between Favre and the Packers and how each side handled it.  There are plenty of supporters on both Favre's and the Packers' side.  The fact that Favre wasn't able to get the Vikings to a Super Bowl and threw a costly interception at the end of the 2010 NFC championship game to end Minnnesota's chance at an elusive championship berth.  The fact the the Packers, just one year later, won Super Bowl XLV under the guidance of general manager Ted Thompson, head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Let's be honest, if the Packers don't win that championship, there's more vitriol for Favre than there is today by many.

Wilde and Johnson asked Favre a bevy of questions over the hour of conversation and several had to do with his thoughts about how his split with the Packers went.  Favre didn't directly answer the question about what he could have done differently, but he alluded to the fact that he and the team both could have handled the situation differently.  That's anything but news at this point, seven years later.  But it's all part of the healing process.  To talk abaout the situation openly in a forum directed at Packers fans is Favre's first real chance to speak directly to Packers fans and address the 500-pound gorilla in the room.

There are few situations like Favre's departure from Green Bay that we can look back on and say are similar.  Athlete's are often successful at the pro level because of their competitive nature.  Favre was no different.  He still felt like he could play back in 2008.  Given that he said the same thing just a week ago in 2015, it stands to reason that Favre probably did have a year or two left in the tank back then.  And the Packers had to make the unfortunate choice to move on from the legend who was instrumental in bringing glory back to Green Bay in the 1990's.  But it was the right choice.  Thompson has been making the decision time after time since then.  Letting go of legendary players such as Charles Woodson, Donald Driver and solid veterans like Greg Jennings, James Jones and Tramon Williams.

Favre indicates that he's ready to come back to Green Bay and finish this chapter of his life the right way.  By standing before a sold out crowd where he dazzled NFL audiences for nearly two decades and don the green and gold once again and claim his place in Packers lore.  He's not overly apologetic for the past and is still using one of his favorite catch phrases, "it is what it is" when describing what went down between he and the Packers in the summer of 2008.  

The question is, are fans ready to accept him to his rightful place in the team's rich history?  Most have said that they would.  Many have said no.  This is where you all come in and finish this story.  Where do you stand on welcoming Favre back to Green Bay, now that the date is set and it's happening?  There's no questioning the numbers Favre racked up in a Packers uniform and his contributions to finally bringing the Lombardi trophy back to Titletown.  The consecutive starts streak.  The countless highlight reels that came from broken plays that seemed doomed.  There are few like and few that will be like the gunslinger.  Are you ready to welcome #4 back when the time comes?  

Ironically, Favre's number retirement comes in front of a season of high hopes for the current Packers.  They're Las Vegas's top choice to win the Super Bowl in 2015 and Favre's successor, Aaron Rodgers, is coming off an MVP season and at the top of his game.  Perhaps the football Gods align and make for one of the best stories in NFL history:  The Green Bay Packers (now including Brett Favre) bring another Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay after winning Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco, just miles from Rodgers' home town.  It's hard to find a better story to cheer for.  

What.  Say.  You?

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (43)

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

July 10, 2015 at 04:45 pm

I remember the lean years, it did not turn out great at the end but it was sure something in between.

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lebowski's picture

July 10, 2015 at 04:59 pm

Welcome home big guy.

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The920Sports's picture

July 10, 2015 at 05:09 pm

At this point and time I think everyone just needs to let it all go. Few people realize that without Favre, there is no Reggie White signing with Green Bay. For all we know the team may still be stuck in the continual losing season run that happened so often in the 70s and 80s. For that matter there may not even be a team in Green Bay. Everyone should just look at Favre for what he accomplished, not how he left town. Go Pack Go!

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 10, 2015 at 05:35 pm

It's time... I suppose.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 10, 2015 at 05:40 pm

"the Packers had to make the unfortunate choice to move on from the legend who was instrumental in bringing glory back to Green Bay in the 1990's."

That's one thing that still bugs me. No. No they didn't. Brett made that choice for them, when, you know... HE RETIRED!

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jasonperone's picture

July 10, 2015 at 06:02 pm

Fitz, I meant after he tried to come back during the summer. Agree completely he started the ball rolling with his first retirement.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 11, 2015 at 04:00 am

Gotcha.

Off topic but, I hope with this new merger, perhaps some site upgrades will be following. Specifically, I want to be able to see what needle-dick unliked my comment... I've never had a comment that deserved anything but praise. ;-)

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 11, 2015 at 04:03 am

Unless of course it was you, Jason... disagreeing with my take on your take. If that's the case, I fully understand.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2015 at 05:38 pm

LOL. I got you to even on the like/dislike.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 11, 2015 at 06:10 pm

Haha, thanks!

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Since'61's picture

July 10, 2015 at 05:58 pm

Favre saved the franchise and he gave us everything he had on the field. His off field antics still boggle the mind. But I give him the benefit of doubt (too generously maybe) because possibly his poor decisions were caused by the many untreated concussions he played with and through during his career. Maybe they had an impact on his behavior. In any case, let's celebrate his on field career, enjoy the day and move on. Thanks, Since '61

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

July 10, 2015 at 06:23 pm

Its how I view it we have had many leave in years past and as a kid then in the 60s I was like what your going.

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NickPerry's picture

July 11, 2015 at 07:23 am

Excellent Since '61, I've always thought and said the same thing. I imagine several of our fellow fans here might not remember what it was like to be a Packers fan in the 70's and 80's. What was worse was they could never seem to build a winner, even after finishing 5-11 most seasons. Ron Wolf came and the first thing he did after signing a top coaching candidate was trade for Favre and the rest is history.

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 11, 2015 at 07:57 am

Agreed. Brett was a big part of turning those awful decades around. His Super Bowl victory made the previous 29 years worth every day of loyal fandom. Devine's name should never be mentioned in Green Bay.

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DrealynWilliams's picture

July 10, 2015 at 07:43 pm

Get it over with.

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Allan Murphy's picture

July 10, 2015 at 07:48 pm

Chilax !

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 10, 2015 at 08:21 pm

"it is what it is"

Actually, I agree with him. Both sides could have done things differently but what's important is that they've figured out a way to resolve their differences and put the thing to bed. I'll be glad to see it happen and call it over regardless of who I personally feel was more in the right.

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4thand1's picture

July 10, 2015 at 08:25 pm

If you can't say anything good about anybody, don't say anything. He came, he won, he left. I appreciate everything he did in GB. If you want to rip someone, rip Dan Devine and the Packers brass in the 70's. It took 2 decades to recover. We've now enjoyed 20+ years of winning. Favre had a lot to do with it. TY#4

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NewNikeShoes's picture

July 11, 2015 at 03:24 am

Yeah, I agree.
He gave us some of the best years of his life, yet people only remember the messy divorce. Honor the man for what he did to the team, the community, and the game as a whole.
Forgive him for his mistake, albeit a stupid one.
Welcome Home.

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 11, 2015 at 04:12 am

"yet people only remember the messy divorce"

Not true for me. I remember the good, of which there was plenty, but I also remember the playoff choke-jobs, of which there were too many. I really think Brett could've retired with 3, maybe 4 rings, but, the 6 INT's at St. Louis, the inexcusable OT INT at Philly, and the OT INT to Webster in '07 are burned in my mind. He was a helluva talent, but he sure shit the bed at some inopportune times as well. The divorce is a big part of it, but after '97, it seemed like the guy really slipped in the playoffs.

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WKUPackFan's picture

July 11, 2015 at 07:51 am

Fitz, the Rams game I can handle, kind of. That game seemed to slip away from the very beginning (like the Falcons/Vick playoff game). The Philly INT? OK, that could dismissed as Brett being Brett. The '07 game is the real problem for me. Judgments from watching TV are inherently suspect, however, Brett sure looked like he didn't even want to be on the field that day.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2015 at 05:46 pm

Fitz, I agree that Favre could have retired with multiple rings. I ascribe his failure to do so to Holmgren leaving. Favre needed a strong coach. MM improved Favre but it was too late in Favre's career in GB.

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NickPerry's picture

July 11, 2015 at 07:39 am

Exactly!!! That fricken John Hadl trade still haunts me!

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Turophile's picture

July 11, 2015 at 12:30 am

Forget the 'faults on both sides' argument. The blame for the bad feeling when the two sides separated was entirely and squarely on the one party that behaved worse than a five year old spoiled child. That was Brent.
Nowadays people like to forget just how acrimonious that split was.

Yeah, I'll never forget, uh, who was that again.

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BRinMilwaukee's picture

July 11, 2015 at 04:29 am

Favre gave us 16 years of thrills and spills, and for that I will always be grateful. He went out badly, but I never forgot those wonderful years. I hope he gets a loud and positive ovation.

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the real russ letlow's picture

July 11, 2015 at 07:47 am

Has anyone or any issue ever fractured the fan base like BF? I'm with Drealyn - lets get it over with. I'm ready for training camp!

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4thand1's picture

July 11, 2015 at 08:31 am

Here's what people are missing. For 2 decades you have a losing franchise that no player wants to play in. You get a GM that trades a #1 pick for a guy who's name nobody can pronounce. Then they start winning, and winning more. Then they reach the top of the mountain. Now everyone knows his name, and the legand is born. Then he becomes worshipped by the fans and can do no wrong. He becomes to big for the game in the end. You can blame the Packers, media, Favre, and the fans, take your pick. The divorce, like all divorces became messy and ugly and only time can heal all wounds. IT IS TIME.

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Bearmeat's picture

July 11, 2015 at 08:56 am

I guess. It has to be done. But he'll be forever tarnished in my mind for the playoff chokes (at least 3 that were squarely his fault here - 02, 04, 07), his annual waffling, and the way he left.

If he had shown real remorse, it'd be different. But he's just shown sadness for "the way it turned out" - he's never owned his problems. I will be happy to see him get his bust in Canton, his place in the ring of honor, and his number retired. But there will be no standing ovations, tears or other over the top emo activity like there was when Reggie passed and when Harlan retired.

BF deserves respect for being arguable the biggest single piece in the Packers renaissance (at least on the field). But ARod is a better QB and a better leader of men.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

July 11, 2015 at 09:04 am

I can only upvote this once...

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D.D.Driver's picture

July 12, 2015 at 11:24 am

The question posed is whether I am ready to accept Favre's *rightful* place in Packer's history.

I am. But his rightful place is arguably the as second best QB in Packer history, and by the time Rodgers is done, probably the third best QB in Packers history.

Hearing all of this "Greatest Packer QB" and--even "Greatest Packer Player" of all time--crap is nauseating.

And I KNOW, I am in the minority on this one, but I DON'T think Favre should have his number retired. He absolutely belongs in the Ring of Honor, but having your number retired is the ultimate honor. All the other players with retired numbers are (or were) arguably the greatest player of all time at their respective positions in the history of the league. There is no legitimate argument that Favre is the greatest NFL QB of all time. The Packers have sooo many great players in the team's history. (Look at Jim Taylor's accomplishments.) Not all of them can have their numbers retired. We would run out of numbers. Favre should not have made the cut in my book.

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4thand1's picture

July 11, 2015 at 12:09 pm

How many teams can boast of having 3 QB's like Starr, Favre and Rodgers? Throw in Dickey too. He was so banged up but he threw a beautiful football. The Packers of the 80's had a putred defense.

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Bearmeat's picture

July 11, 2015 at 01:32 pm

I agree with you regarding BFs place in history. But I DO think he should have his number retired. He was instrumental in turning around 25 years of football hell.

That, and as great as Tony Canadeo was... His number shouldn't be retired either.

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A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

July 12, 2015 at 10:30 am

I have to disagree about the other retired numbers - I'd argue that each player was not necessarily the greatest of all time at their position in the history of the league. But each certainly had a tremendous impact on the team's success when they played.

Be that as it may, I'm not a fan of retiring numbers. Name & number in a Ring of Honor? Absolutely. But actually retiring numbers ends up putting a team in a bind eventually when they run out of available numbers, as you yourself point out. Especially at the QB position.

So the question becomes what is enough to warrant putting a player's name in the Ring? Before the parting of ways, I think most (nearly all?) fans felt that Favre's name & number would end up in the Ring. Time & distance can alter the view, certainly, and for some of us the post-Packers off-the-field stuff further affected our perceptions & attitudes. towards the man. (In hindsight he wasn't exactly a choir boy while in Green Bay, either, but we didn't have social media covering every little indiscretion like they do nowadays...)

Is helping resurrect the franchise, achieving a winning record more often than not, and adding a SB win enough to make it onto the Ring? That's the real question. For me, the Favre Packers were by and large fun to watch and made me proud to be a fan, so I guess my answer is Yes.

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D.D.Driver's picture

July 12, 2015 at 11:34 am

Hutson, Starr, Nitschke, and White could all make a case for the greatest of all time at their positions when their numbers were retired. Canadeo might be a stretch. You could *still* make a strong case for Starr, White, and Hutson.

This things are subjective. Not saying a player must be the GOAT, but they should be in the conversation. Great players like Favre that don't meet that criteria--you absolutely put them in the ring of honor--but you don't retire their number. Like I said, I realize I hold the minority position on this one.

Even before the divorce, I was against retiring his number (for the reasons stated above). At this point, by retiring Favre's number its almost guaranteed that the Packers are going to have to retire #7 (especially if Rodgers gets another ring or two).

The Packers organization should take more time before making these decisions. Wait at least a decade (maybe two) before deciding to retire a player's number. That way if the player's replacement turns out to be even better, you aren't forced to do a two-for-one. A little distance will help everyone put a players career in more context.

The point is: this is the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have one of the richest histories in all of sports. Maybe if is Favre played for the Bengals or Buccaneers: retire the number. But with the Packers, I think we should hold players to a higher standard. The most elite of the most elite. Up until the millennium, there were only four numbers retired. Now we are going to be up to 6, and likely 7.

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joeblowinski's picture

July 11, 2015 at 09:16 am

My dream scenario would be for the whole stadium to stand when Favre walks out and whole heartedly boo for about 5 seconds and THEN begin cheering. I've long ago forgiven Favre and can't wait to welcome him back home. But I wouldn't mind a couple of seconds booing him first before I go back to loving the guy. That would be complete closure for me. ;-)

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FITZCORE1252's picture

July 11, 2015 at 06:15 pm

That would actually be great.

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HankScorpio's picture

July 11, 2015 at 10:37 am

For me, it all boils down to that Favre was good enough to break the career record for being intercepted. It recognizes the good, the bad and ugly that came with him...and there was plenty in each category.

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vj_ostrowski's picture

July 11, 2015 at 01:45 pm

Beyond all that's been said about his on-field issues with turnovers, and the fact that he orchestrated his own move to play for a rival while throwing everyone else under the bus (I'm not even sure I care that it was the Vikings), I just plain don't like him as a person.

We're told that he's "fun" and "one of us", but I guess I don't feel that way? I see it, he's a philanderer that comes off as self-centered and disingenuous. He's praised almost universally for his "honest to a fault" "he is who he is" persona, but I think that's a construct.

To be honest, I believe (and we've seen this stuff come out here and there) that there's a LOT more about Brett that we don't know. Whether it's screwing around on his wife, or leaving friends, family, coaches, and teammates in his wake on his way to stardom.

I know 99% would disagree with me, but I don't feel like we actually know the real Brett. Contrast that with our current QB, who I think says and does what he wants, when he wants, and doesn't care what anyone thinks.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 11, 2015 at 06:27 pm

I essentially agree. I wouldn't want my children to look up to Brett Favre as a person. Sending a picture of one's junk to a reporter is unforgivable. The "I'll decide soon if I am going to return for another season" stuff was never soon, which was before the retirement stuff. The separate locker facilities and his other behavior showed that he did not care about his teammates anymore or what became of the Packers if and when he left. I think many of the things he did were due to the size of his ego. I'm not sure whether he is a mature person to this day.

That all said, I don't doubt that he had a passion for the game, that he gave all he had during the games, or that he was a great QB. I don't doubt that he had a kind heart for the fans, when it didn't run up against his ego. I don't have a problem with GB honoring his accomplishments on the field. I suspect that teams have honored some of their players for their accomplishments on the field even though some of them might not have been wonderful human beings. So, I will clap politely for Mr. Favre whenever he comes to GB from time to time.

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4thand1's picture

July 11, 2015 at 09:32 pm

SOB, all these comments and no free prize. dammit!

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packersrule's picture

July 11, 2015 at 09:51 pm

Brett Favre was the right QB at the right time but time has past him by. I am indifferent to Brett's return. I stopped following or reading articles about him years ago.

I guess I read this one because he was coming back but it's 5 mins that I won't get back. My feeling is Brett Favre was great but he is not Aaron Rodger.

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egbertsouse's picture

July 13, 2015 at 08:20 am

I booed him when he was in GB Every time he made one of those bone-headed, game -killing iNTs.

I grew up watching Bart Starr. That was my model for a HOF QB. I never could stand this maniac running around slinging the ball all over the field with his eyes closed. I didn't like him long before he whined his way out of GB and texted pics of his donger to hot babes.

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egbertsouse's picture

July 13, 2015 at 08:31 am

I have to thank him, though. Since I would never go see him get honored, I made enough selling my tickets to the Thursday game to put in a patio, which I'm enjoying as I write this. Thanks, Brent!!!

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