Anyone who knows me knows my all time favorite football player is Brett Favre.
I’ve never tried to hide it. You may even say I am obnoxious in letting the world know this.
Favre was, is, and always will be at the top of my list.
What most people do not know is the reason why. With his induction into the Packer Hall of Fame a little more than a day away, now seems like the best time to explain why this is the case.
I was 17 years old when Favre took over for Don Majkowski as the Packers quarterback. After living through the late 70’s and all of the 80’s with little more than Lynn Dickey to cheer about, Majkowski was my guy. The unbelievable 1989 season had brought hope to a fan base that was desperate for anything to cheer about. And Majik Man was the one who was going to deliver us from the depths of the NFL.
Unfortunately for the Packers fans, that 1989 season was followed up with two seasons of what we were accustomed to: at or near the bottom of the standings. It was brutal. Again.
When Mike Holmgren was hired in 1992, I had no idea what was to come. Neither did my father. We were both so tired of watching our beloved Packers suck, we were ready for something to happen. Anything.
That anything happened on September 20, 1992. Favre took over for an injured Majkowski, and never looked back.
As I look back though, it was ironic that this event took place at the time that it did.
Like most 17 year olds, I was difficult. Not a troublemaker, just difficult. I disagreed with my parents-and everyone else-on just about everything. I pissed and moaned when things didn’t go my way. The person that I did this to the most was my dad.
My dad had very low tolerance for bullshit. He didn’t accept it at work, and wasn’t going to take it at home. This is not to suggest that he was a bad father. Far from it. He was just very cut and dry in his ways, much the same that I am today.
Despite our differences, there were two things that bonded us from the time I was a small child: the New York Yankees, and the Green Bay Packers. We loved these teams. No matter what else was going on, if something was happening with our teams, we could forget whatever differences we had and unite in our love of these teams.
We were both immediately struck by Favre. The way he played the game, his energy, his enthusiasm. It was great. The fact he was a damn good quarterback certainly helped things as well.
From that moment in 1992, my dad and I were bonded by Brett Favre.
Winning a Super Bowl, losing a Super Bowl, MVP’s, thrilling OT playoff wins, absolutely horrific playoff losses. We shared all of those memories. All of them.
After every game, we would talk about what happened, how it happened, what should have happened. Inevitably, Favre’s name would be brought into the discussion.
As I got older, and life started to move a little faster, we made it a point to continue this weekly tradition. It was something that nobody could take away from us. The one common theme in every discussion we had was number 4.
I remember how disappointed he was after the 2008 NFC Championship Game. I am not sure if it was the way the Packers lost, or knowing that he may never again get to see his beloved Packers get that close to a Super Bowl again. What I can tell you is my dad was genuinely saddened after that game.
It was the last game he would ever see Brett Favre play in a Green Bay Packers uniform.
My dad died a little more than a month after Favre was traded to the Jets. He didn’t watch Favre with the Jets the final weeks he was alive. Honestly, I don’t know if he watched any football at all. I tried to bring up the subject, and it would be quickly changed. Sometimes I wonder if he knew his time was coming to an end, and didn’t want to continue a tradition he knew was coming to an end.
Now, on Saturday, that tradition can be continued one final time.
When Brett Favre walks out onto Lambeau Field on Saturday night, I know my dad will be there with me. I know he will smile as he watches Favre take his place among the all time Packer greats. We will be able to share that moment, when the greatest player who ever put on a Packers uniform strolls out of the tunnel. And I can’t wait.
The bond that my dad and I have because of Brett Favre is something that I will always treasure. It is something no one can take away. It is something that will last forever.
From my dad and I-welcome home Brett.
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.