Brett Favre’s made the unlikely transformation from Wisconsin sports hero to persona non grata after he succeeded in his efforts to join the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. Looking back, this was a truly bizarre saga that’s hard to believe ever happened. Fortunately the saga is officially over and Favre is back to being a revered legend, but until recently it did not seem like that would ever happen.
The massive stockpile of goodwill Favre earned during his tenure in Green Bay was reduced to a pile of rubble and set on fire when his vendetta against Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy brought Number Four to the Vikings. The boos he received during his Lambeau Field homecoming were well-earned, and the eventual Vikings victory only escalated the vitriol directed at Favre. This cascade of negativity, as endless as it seemed, was only temporary.
It helps that Favre’s tenure in Minnesota culminated with a Favre-esque interception in the 2009 NFC Title game. It also helps that the Packers won the Super Bowl the following year and Aaron Rodgers won two MVPs after that. But even if the doomsday scenario of Favre leading the Vikings to a Championship and Rodgers turning into a bust became a reality, sooner or later Favre would have been forgiven by Packer fans. The news from the past week is overwhelming evidence that all is forgiven and Wisconsin’s love for Favre is back to pre-2009 levels.
Last week tickets went on sale for Favre’s induction into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame at Lambeau Field on July 18th. All 67,000 tickets sold out in a matter of hours. Keep in mind this is for his induction in the the Packers Hall of Fame, not the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. (Note to the NFL: that ceremony might need to be moved to a larger venue.)
On July 19th Camp Randall will host the inaugural “Brett Favre Legend’s Game.” This will be a potentially awesome flag football game that, in addition to including Brett Favre slinging passes in Madison, will also feature Ron Dayne and Donovan McNabb. It would not be surprising to see the lower bowl (60,000 seats) filled for this contest.
It’s refreshing to see that the proper order of the universe has been restored and Brett Favre is viewed as the venerable Packers legend he was always destined to become. While he deserved every boo directed his way for partnering with the Vikings, it’s more fun to dwell on the amazing things he did with the Packers than his brief stint in Minnesota.
Welcome back, Brett.