Better Late Than Never, Brett Favre is a Packer Forever

Growing up a Vikings fan, I had many opportunities to see Brett Favre play. More times than not, it was to victory over my team. When I moved to Indianapolis in 2004, the first Colts game I ever attended was against the Packers. I watched Peyton Manning go play for play against Brett Favre. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was watching two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

Then there was the time, it still seems surreal, that Brett Favre actually became a Viking. I admit it was fun to watch. But let’s be honest, it never looked right. It never felt right. It just wasn’t right. You can put Brett Favre in purple and call him a Viking, but I knew what you knew and what he knew as well, that Brett Favre was a Packer. And he always would be.

Even as the enemy, I loved to watch Brett Favre play football. I know all players say they love the game, but none of them showed it on the field quite like Favre. He played with such passion, such enthusiasm, and such unadulterated joy. Every time he strapped on his helmet, he was like the boy back in Kiln, Mississippi, playing for his hometown team. Whether or not the NFL changed him, it never changed the game for him.

When Brett Favre retired (for the fifth time), it never felt real. Probably because he came out of retirement four of those times and most of us were waiting for him to do so again. But also, because he was estranged from the Packers, it never got the attention it deserved. It never felt final.

That is, until now.

On July 18, 2015, Brett Favre returned to Green Bay, Wisconsin. He passed through the tunnel at Lambeau Field one more time. Greeted by 67,000 fans in green and gold, they thanked him with a four-minute-long standing ovation. And Favre thanked them back in his speech.

“If there were any doubts before, there’s not any. I truly thank you.”

-Brett Favre

Still holding NFL records, including consecutive starts, quarterback wins, passing yards, and completions, Brett Favre was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on Saturday night. His number 4 jersey was officially retired. And at long last, his storybook career got the fairy tale ending it deserved.

Better late than never, Brett Favre is a Packer forever.

And life in Green Bay is just as it should be.

 

NFL Free Agency: Free for All. But Not Free — at All.

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A new NFL season is upon us.

With NFL free agency signings slowing down a bit, I thought it would be a good time to step back and review what we’ve learned so far about the 2014 season.

John Elway and Bill Belichick are already engaged in a season-long chess match. So far, the Denver Broncos have claimed Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware, leading us to believe that “offense wins games — defense wins championships,” may be their mantra this year.

Meanwhile, the Patriots gathered Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Brandon LaFell. And according to their former cornerback, Aqib Talib (who claims he does not have a hip problem), the Patriots report fake injuries. Which surprises no one.

Michael Vick will stay in green and white, but he won’t be wearing number 7. Vick may challenge Jets quarterback Geno Smith for the starting job — but says he won’t challenge him for his number. Also, the Jets aren’t happy unless they have a full-fledged quarterback controversy on their hands. And ESPN camped out at training camp.

Mark Sanchez will also stay in green and white, as he heads from the Jets to the Eagles, where he will compete  for the job of backup quarterback to Nick Foles with Matt Barkley. Apparently, the job requirements for backup quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles include good hands (for clipboard holding), playing for USC, and being really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Speaking of ridiculously good looking…in releasing wide receivers Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn, and Domenik Hixon, the Carolina Panthers must think quarterback Cam Newton really is Superman and that he can throw the ball and catch the ball — himself. No one will be more impressed than Gisele Bundchen if Newton is indeed able to pull this off.

The NFC North is playing musical chairs (or musical ends), with Julius Peppers going to the Packers, Jared Allen to the Bears, and the Vikings still deciding which Packer they will sign this season.

Denver running back Knowshon Moreno is taking his talents (and his tears) to Miami.

Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is still in the NFL, now backing up Colin Kaepernick at the San Francisco 49ers. And making twice as much money — for now.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signed former Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden to ride his bench. And his unicorn.

If you’re a veteran player, prepare to sign a short contract, with one year deals becoming incredibly popular this offseason. There’s a reason they call the NFL “Not For Long.”

And not for long just got, well — less long.

Stay tuned.

XO