It is time: for Favre’s Return

brett favre arms up

Five years ago, the unthinkable happened. The Green Bay Packers traded the face of their franchise. Unceremoniously, Brett Favre moved on to play for the New York Jets, and eventually the Minnesota Vikings. His move to the Vikings caused a divide among the fan base.  He went from the most beloved, to the most reviled. It was one of the most controversial moves in NFL history, and still resonates with fans today.

Many have called him a traitor. There was animosity between Favre, and the front office, signs at Lambeau once read “Judas betrayed only one, you betrayed us all”. Favre often talked about playing against Green Bay hoping to “stick it” to General Manager Ted Thompson. Packer fans called defeating the Vikings twice in 2010 revenge because of how everything changed. It has never been directly quoted, but there had to be some extra satisfaction for Thompson as well.

Time has passed, wounds have healed and it is time to move on, and make things right again.

Recent history would suggest to you that the Packers always had some sort of conflict with Favre, that he was a player who caused trouble. In recent history it is easy to come to that conclusion. Favre was consistently in the news for all the wrong reasons. Flip-flopping on retirement, negotiating for players in the media and the previously documented desire for revenge against the franchise for which he was best known.

The truth of the matter is there are four major pillars in the renaissance of the Green Bay Packers in the early 1990s. Bob Harlan, Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre. Harlan was the man with the vision to bring in Ron Wolf. Ron Wolf was the man with the guts to take a risk on a player who was talented, but had plenty of character questions after one season in Atlanta. Mike Holmgren was a man who had the patience, and the guts to stick by that player even when his coaches did not support the move. Finally Favre was the player who pulled everything together.

Football has always been a game about quarterback play. By the time Favre arrived in Green Bay the quarterback position was becoming of even higher importance. Quarterbacks like Troy Aikman, Jim Kelly and were stars taking over the league. Wolf traded for Favre with the vision he could be one of those players. Flashes of brilliance came early for Favre as he threw a strike to Kitrick Taylor in the end zone to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals. Favre became the starting quarterback later that season, and took the Packers places they had not been since Lombardi arrived. Within five seasons of becoming the Packers full time starting quarterback Favre had taken the Packers to three NFC Championship games, two Super Bowls, and delivered the franchise’s first title in 29 years.

Without the presence of Favre, other important pieces were not coming to Green Bay. The most important free agent signing since unrestricted free agency began in 1993 was Reggie White signing with the Packers. White was a player who was the best at his position, and changed the culture in Green Bay. White made it ok for other free agents to sign in Green Bay. It was not a black hole anymore. None of that would have been possible had it not been for the young, promising Favre in the fold. Without Favre, the Packers do not get White. Without White the Packers do not win a Super Bowl. Favre, with the help of the four previously mentioned men helped resurrect Green Bay into a lot of what it is today.

Packer fans may still hold a grudge on Favre for his messy exit, and the success of Aaron Rodgers has made it easier to forget him. It is however Rodgers that has made this relationship able to be mended.

During Super Bowl week the NFL had its annual award ceremony. A shocking moment occurred during this ceremony. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, perceived enemies presented an award together. It was revealed after the event that Rodgers and Favre talked on the phone for a significant amount of time, and Rodgers said what I did earlier. It is time to move on from the divorce. Time heals all wounds, even the wounds of wearing the reviled purple and gold. It is time to accept Favre for what he was and to appreciate the things he has done. Without Favre’s addition to Wolf, Harlan, and Holmgren the Packers are likely a run of the mill franchise as opposed to the model organization they are modern day.

Since the time of the handshake heard around the world, there have been different interviews by Favre saying he will have his day with the Packers to celebrate his storied career with the franchise.

Mark Murphy, Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, there is no better time than now.  Aaron Rodgers started the movement, and it is time for you to follow the face of your franchise. Bring back the former face of the franchise. A pillar of this organizations rebirth.

It is time, for the return.


Jacob Westendorf is a writer at You can follow Jacob on twitter at