Time to end deep chill between Packers and Favre
John Rehor, Packers contributor
The Packers' brass say they want to bring Brett Favre back into the "family." Read the full story here.Photo: Image by Journal Sentinel
GREEN BAY - Green Bay is known as the Frozen Tundra, and for good reason. The cold, Arctic chill often descends early in the fall, and is unrelenting for months.
The ground, once lush with green vegetation, becomes a hard, cement like surface. Snow covers the hard ground, often not melting until well into the spring. The icy wind blows hard off the bay, offering no relief from the cold stare of Old’ Man Winter.
This sounds like something which should not be discussed during the dog days of summer. But at 1265 Lombardi Avenue, this exact scenario has been in place for five years now.
Ever since the messy divorce of the Packers and Brett Favre, there has been a cold chill between the team and its former quarterback. The cold wind the comments made by both sides during the “Summer of Favre”, the hard surface the impermeable stance by both sides.
This divorce divided the fan base, and continues to do so to some degree. It split a once unified Packers Nation into two separate states, forcing the individual to choose their loyalty.
Favre’s becoming a member of the hated Vikings in 2009 added to this chill, deepening the freeze to the point where many wondered if one of the most beloved Packers would ever come back to Lambeau Field in good graces.
The coldness between the two parties was evident for years. Winter had settled in for a long stay.
That was until late this winter, when for the first time, the deep freeze began to melt.
When Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre appeared on stage together to present an award at the NFL Honors ceremony, it was the first sign that the long winter was about to end.
The shaking of hands between the past and present was symbolic-it signified that the person most affected by the events during the Summer of 2008 was prepared to move on. And by Rodgers moving on, the rest of us should as well.
Much like the first thaw creates the dawning of new life in the spring, this appearance spawned a series of events which have given hope to a new life-one of renewed co-existence between the Packers and Favre.
Team President Mark Murphy has mentioned several times this year that retiring Favre’s number 4 is a priority for the organization. Although this has been mentioned several times in the past, including the original plan to do so in Week 1 of 2008, Murphy has also acknowledged that he and Favre have been in contact.
Aaron Rodgers has said it is time to let the healing process begin between the fans and Favre, sprouting more hope for the future between the two sides.
"It’s been too long. I think our country and the state of Wisconsin, these people are people of second, third and fourth chances, and I think it’s time to let the healing process begin for those who are still upset about what went down,” said Rodgers.
Favre himself has opened up about the past, including his acknowledgement for causing the very public divorce in 2008.
"I was at fault…I feel that both sides had a part in it. If you could go back, would I or them have done things differently? I’m sure both sides would. But you can’t," said Favre.
Head Coach Mike McCarthy has also expressed a desire to move on and welcome Favre back into the Packers fold.
All parties involved had spoken, expressing their willingness to let bygones be bygones and let one of the most beloved players in team history back into the family. All but one person, the person many believe is responsible for creating the chill to begin with.
General Manager Ted Thompson.
Thompson finally broke his silence regarding the matter during his press conference following Tuesday’s Training Camp practice.
“I think it’s wonderful," said Thompson.
"Talking about this place and what it means…as others have said, this is going to happen. There will be a Brett-coming-back thing and him getting his due arms, as he should. The man played for a very long time here and was a marvelous, marvelous football player and a good person in the community, he and his wife. I think it means a lot for the Packers for Brett Favre to be remembered in a good light. I have no objections at all.”
At long last, all parties have spoken, everyone wants this to end, and everyone wants there to be some sort of relationship again.
The winter may have lasted longer than many wanted it to, but the thaw which began in February should now be complete.
Finally, it seems as though Packers Nation will finally get some relief from the cold winter which had settled over it for some five years.