If only the legendary broadcaster John Facenda could be alive for just one more day. We would here him utter the words just one more time: “Welcome to the frozen tundra of Lambeau field”, in his slow, deep, but riveting voice. He would introduce us all to the most anticipated football moment of our lifetimes. November 1st,2009 will grab the attention of anyone who has every sat and watched one down of NFL football.
Ok,so through the years we have seen these moments, Wayne Gretzky goes back to Edmonton, Pete Rose goes back to Cincy, Shaq goes back to L.A. and so on. However none of them can compare to seeing Brett Favre step back on to the grass at Lambeau wearing the color purple. You may think you’ll have to adjust your TVs for just a moment, but oh no,this is very real.
It seemed rather meaningless in the grand scheme last year when Favre, who pulled the classic “retire then unretire” trick, went to play for the New York Jets. It was seen by many as just one last go around for a true legend of the game, just one more shot at glory before he hung it up. There was no meetings with the Packers, no revenge games and no division race that could be decided by his presence in New York.
The Jets had a decent season, as did Favre, finishing 10-6, falling just short of the playoffs. Favre had even suffered an injury to his shoulder which lead us all to believe that this great ride was over. And of course in perfect Favre fashion, he had given the press, the fans, and the people at ESPN another super retirement speech. Oh the tears, the agony, It made you just want too: PUKE?
That was so “March” of him. We had been duped again. Duped by an aging star whos only goal really is to find a way to miss training camps so his body won’t take such a beating and have to face the long hot 2-a-days. A clever individual who has found a way, year in and year out to buck the system. We all sat and waited, thinking for sure it was over, even being told during the process it was REALLY over, but in Favreland those words mean as much as a politician promising to lower taxes.
So now the ultimate wrinkle has been added, Brett will wear the colors of the Packers arch rival, the Minnesota Vikings. Twice this season these two teams will hit the field. The quotes and newspaper clippings will be enough to wallpaper and entire Green Bay home for sure. The talking, the taunting, some lesser known Packer trying to make a name for himself by trying to wipe Favre off the face of the Earth, it should all be readily available for us. If the NFL is trying to get men into the soap opera legion then this is its perfect weapon. It almost feels staged, as if the three teams involved( Packers, Jets, Vikings ) all scripted it to turn out like this.
We won’t see Favre in his purple until week 3 of the preseason as he continues practice and tests his still ailing shoulder. The men you have to feel for here is Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. These are the “other” QBs in Minnesota, the men who were told “thanks for holding down the spots until the superstar decided to get here”. Somehow Favre always finds a way to show up to work, kind of like that really mean teacher we all had in school who never missed a single day, although we prayed for a substitute every night before going to bed. So any other QB on the depth chart may as well learn how to high-five teammates and swing rally towels, because that appears to be all they will be good for this year.
So Favre had said in his latest press conference that a “true Packers fan would understand”. Understand? What exactly are they to understand? You can blame GM Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy all you want. You can blame Aaron Rodgers all you want, but truth be told they had a job to do, and they showed up as soon as the door opened for business. Favre made a mockery of his former team two years in a row now, and the world has a hard time viewing him as “the good guy”. The non-stop ranting and anger directed at Favre in my opinion stands as totally justified. Packers fans as well as football fans all over the world are correct in feeling made fools of by this whole nightmare.
Well whether it is crazy or not, scripted or not, the entire football world will be focused on Green Bay Wisconsin come November 1st. Your local game will no doubt be delayed to watch him hit the field for his first series. We will see the emotions and feel the impact. No matter what side you take in all of this you will not be able to look at this as a ho hum moment. Set your recording devices, get your food and drink ready, this moment may never come our way again. A true legend, not being traded away, or walking for free agency or even being pushed out by age and lack of playing time, but just retiring to unretire will face his former team and beloved fans. It almost smells like a Mob hit doesnt it?
Just remember fans it is, after all just a game. I’d hate to see death threats and other senseless behavior leading up to this moment. He’s a human being and he made his choice. No matter how ugly we see it as, its done. So make sure you send the wives out, take the phones off the hook, press your butts into your most comfy of chair, because this one will promise to be special in some way, shape or form. Just another meaningless game? I don’t think so!
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