Brett Favre is going to have his jersey number retired by the Green Bay Packers at some point. He is one of the greatest players to ever play for one of the greatest franchises in sports. Regardless of the way Favre’s relationship with the team ended, we all know what the final chapter will be. We just don’t know when it will be written.
On Thursday, Packers president Mark Murphy said that Favre could visit Lambeau Field for a game this upcoming season but that the team is not planning to retire his No. 4 just yet. Why? Fear of Packers fans booing.
“I don’t anticipate having him retire a number this season, in a game this year,” Murphy said, via Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin.com. “We have very good relations, and very good communication, but I don’t anticipate that this year.
“He wouldn’t want to come back and get booed. You can’t control 80,750 people … [but] I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it’s less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue.”
Last month, former Packers tight end and Favre teammate Mark Chmura said he was told Favre backed out of a previously scheduled Lambeau Field appearance because he was concerned he would be booed.
“Brett was confirmed to come up here to a game last year,” Chmura said during his radio show on 540 ESPN in Milwaukee. “But (he) had to cancel at the last second, a game late in the year. Brett is very afraid of getting booed at Lambeau. And that’s why he’s reluctant to come up.”
Wilde also noted that former Packers kicker Ryan Longwell, who signed with the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 after spending six seasons with Green Bay, signed a ceremonial one-day contract with the Packers last year and was booed by some fans when he returned.
The difference is Longwell is a kicker. Favre spent 16 seasons with the Packers and won a Super Bowl. He missed just one game during his Green Bay career, and that was in his first year with the team. Last year, Favre admitted he was at fault for the way his tenure with the Packers ended. Not to mention, the Packers won a Super Bowl after he left. It’s not as if he left the franchise in shambles.
Personally, I think enough time has passed. Fans love being part of the feel-good moment. Favre and his grey beard and hulking muscles will receive a warm welcome when he decides to return to Lambeau.
H/T Eye on Football