Despite reports to the contrary, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre doesn’t care about the possibility of being booed during an as-yet-hypothetical return to Lambeau Field to have his No. 4 retired.
“I’ve heard that was a concern of mine and I’m here to tell you I’m not,” Favre told ESPN 1000 in Chicago Monday. “I’m not worried about that. I’m well aware that you can’t please everyone. Not everyone’s going to like you regardless and, you know what, so be it. But I think the 16 years that I had in Green Bay speaks for itself.
“Yeah, you’re right, I have played with other teams, but I will be remembered as a Packer. I feel that. I think the true Packer backers, which there are tons out there, feel the same way. I’m not the first player to play for other teams or rivals.”
Favre got a chilly reception at Lambeau Field in his two return trips to Green Bay as a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and 2010.
Favre was acquired from the Atlanta Falcons in a trade in the spring of 1992 and, after taking over for an injured Don Majkowski in a Sept. 20, 1992, game against the Cincinnati Bengals, wound up starting the next 253 regular-season games for Green Bay, along with 22 playoff games.
But after announcing his retirement in March 2008 only to reverse his field and want to return to the Packers, he was traded to the New York Jets in August 2008.
After he was released by the Jets after the 2008 season, he signed as a free agent with the Vikings and spent two seasons in Minneapolis, leading the Vikings to the 2009 NFC Championship.
“As time goes by, that’s how I will be remembered, as a Packer, and that’s how I want to be remembered,” Favre said.
Packers CEO Mark Murphy said earlier this month the prospect of booing fans at a jersey retirement celebration was a concern for the club.
“That is an issue,” Murphy said. “He doesn’t want it and neither do we. He wouldn’t want to come back and get booed. You can’t control 80,750 people. I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it’s less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue.”
For his part, Favre says he’s in regular contact with Murphy and former Packers CEO Bob Harlan.
“In spite of what people may think—and I really don’t pay attention to what people are saying—I just know the facts and the facts are that I feel like the relationship is a good relationship,” Favre said. “I’ve had contact with Mark Murphy on a regular basis in regards to how we’re going to do this, the ceremony. Bob Harlan … is working diligently. He’s kind of spearheading the Packer Hall of Fame/jersey retirement ceremony and I have been working with him diligently on getting this done.”
There is a bit of a ticking clock on this—the Packers have said repeatedly that they want to have Favre’s jersey retired in advance of him entering the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s eligible for induction in 2016, so that leaves this season and next as the window for getting it done.
It’s time. Yeah, the departure was bitter. Yes, he signed with the Vikings, but lots of players have done the same.
I understand fans have this notion of loyalty in their heads, yet they are hypocrites about it—because it’s just fine if the team trades a player away or a marginal player gets released and signed with the Bears or the Vikings.
But if a star player does so, then that player is disloyal? That’s just silly. This is their job. If you got fired by your current employer, you wouldn’t think about trying to get hired by a rival so you could maybe get a little payback?
Yeah. That’s what I thought.