Now that Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers are on good terms as he’s set to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame on July 18 before returning to Lambeau Field to have his number retired on Nov. 26 when the Packers take on the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving Night, Favre has been making his rounds with the Green Bay media and he’s been contrite about the way things ended in Green Bay.
Favre spent 16 out of his 20 years in the National Football League with the Packers, but when the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers to be his replacement as Favre played into his late 30s, tension grew between the franchise and the future Hall of Fame signal caller. In an interview with ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, Favre accepted partial responsibility for the hostile nature of his departure. He told Demovsky the following:
“I think at some point what crossed my mind was, ‘How did it ever get to this point?'” Favre said in a phone interview in advance of his July 18 induction into the Packers Hall of Fame. “To be arguably one of the most successful players in Packers history, and I would think [a player who was] well-received by the fans, especially up to that point, you’re just thinking, ‘How did it get to this point?’
“Of course, we’ve talked about that, and I take my share of the blame as well, but it was just hard. It was a surreal feeling.”
And that’s shockingly the first time that Favre has ever publicly acknowledged that the way he waffled in making a decision that ultimately forced the Packers’ hand. And while it’s nice that Favre will finally get to return to Lambeau Field and receive the adulation he deserves (unlike the inhospitable return he made on Nov. 1 2009, where he was booed mercilessly before throwing four TDs in typical Favre fashion in leading the Minnesota Vikings to a victory), it’s almost odd to see how retirement has softened the grizzled gunslinger.
As Favre continued to play into his 40s (and even contemplated playing beyond that), it was clear that he used the perceived slight of the Packers moving on to fuel his performance. He leaped at the opportunity to sign with the Vikings and take two cracks at the Packers a year, and he relished coming back to Lambeau and silencing a hostile crowd with a signature performance like the one he put together in the aforementioned game in 2009.
He was downright incredulous over the way things ended in his longtime home and that was clearly a motivating factor in him sticking around and playing for a few more years. That edginess was always a part of dealing with Brett Favre and that’s why at 45 years of age he still thinks he can make all the throws necessary to be an NFL quarterback.
However, even with recent comments indicating he’s still got that competitive drive, seeing him come to terms with his own responsibility in what happened in Green Bay is like seeing a part of Brett Favre’s competitive desires laid to rest. It’s sad, but it was a necessary part of his evolution as a person.
Perhaps he’ll find a new avenue to apply that personality trait to or maybe he’ll just put it to bed in an effort to focus on being a husband and father, whatever makes him happy. Regardless, seeing Brett Favre publicly apologizing feels strange and it makes us miss eternally scorned Brett Favre, even if it is the right thing to say and the right thing to do.