Tag Archives: Brett Favre

PACKERS FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Aaron Rodgers Makes Everything OK

81951_super_bowl_football

2013 was a dark year for Packers fans. We have certainly seen darker, even those of us who didn’t live through the 70s and 80s. The Packers were without Aaron Rodgers, and mostly because of Brett Favre’s “Ironman” streak Cheeseheads had forgotten what it was like to be leaderless. We had forgotten what it was like to try and win a football game without a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback.  Green Bay was losing games on a regular basis against teams that weren’t as good as they were because of quarterback play.

Then the Dallas game happened. The Packers came back from a 26-3 deficit led by backup QB Matt Flynn who had just come off of the couch to potentially save the Packers season. After a 1 yard Eddie Lacy plunge, Tramon Williams intercepted a Tony Romo pass intended for Cole Beasley and effectively ended the game.

Matt Flynn

In one of the most powerful images of his career, Matt Flynn celebrates Eddie Lacy’s 1 yard touchdown to take the lead in Dallas in 2013.

Former PackersTalk.com writer (and From the Benches host) Jacob Westendorf and I started talking about the scene from the Dark Knight rises where a masked Bruce Wayne sneaks into Commissioner Gordon’s hospital room you see here. Commissioner Gordon pleads, barely breathing: “the Batman must come back”.

Rodgers had to come back, and come back he did. No Packers fan forgets where they were when Rodgers took the snap, Kuhn laid out to block Peppers, and Cobb ran right past Chris Conte and into the Bear end zone on “4th and great”. Though Green Bay would fall in the Wild Card round to eventual NFC Championship participant San Francisco, they wouldn’t be 4x defending NFC North champs without “4th and great”.

We tend to romanticize sports and our athletic heroes. It’s natural. It’s all the same stuff: escapist entertainment. Football is unscripted, untainted good vs. evil. Your favorite team are the protagonists and the opponents the villains, trying to ruin your Sunday (and if you’re like me your week).

Things didn’t start out so rosy for number 12. When I think of Aaron Rodgers a different line from that movie comes to mind:

“He’s not the hero we deserved, but the one that we needed.”

Packers fans didn’t really deserve what Rodgers provided them from 2008-2010.   Most pined for Brett Favre to come back for a 17th season in Green Bay, even at the expense of losing Rodgers when his contract expired. A revolting few took it to another level. In the 2010 “America’s Game” documentary Rodgers tells stories about threats (from Packers fans!) about breaking his arm, even threats against his life.

Brett Favre Aaron Rodgers

When Aaron Rodgers arrived in Green Bay, Brett Favre made it clear that it was not his job to get Rodgers ready to start. As time went on, though, the two quarterbacks formed a friendship

The truth is, Aaron Rodgers made everything OK. When the most popular player in the modern Packers era created a divide in the fan base with his on-again-off-again antics, Rodgers debuted by throwing for over 4,000 yards, providing hope for the fan base.

Neither Favre (he physically fell apart) nor Rodgers (lost a ton of close games) qualified for the playoffs that season. In the end, the Packers looked like a promising young team and Favre looked to be done.

Then everything changed. Favre’s master plan fell into place.   The Packers accused the Vikings of tampering with Favre during his waffling summer of 2008. It was clear that Vikings coach Brad Childress coveted #4’s services and that Favre himself saw Adrian Peterson and the Vikings defense as pieces to a possible Super Bowl puzzle (he was wrong).  Brett Favre managed to work his way out of his Jets contract by “retiring” again and made his way to Minnesota.

“Our” quarterback, almost everyone’s favorite Packer, a folk hero had forced Ted Thompson to trade him, faked another retirement after one season and finagled his way to the Minnesota Vikings.  Packers fans all over were crushed.  I was crushed.

Favre wanted to win the Super Bowl. Possibly more than that, if the Packers wanted to move from Favre to Rodgers, Favre wanted to beat the Packers and the best way to do that was to go to the most talented inter-division rival, the Vikings.

Brett Favre went on to have one of his finest statistical seasons in Minnesota in 2009. He set a career high in passer rating at 107.2. He and his Vikings swept the Packers and he was booed heavily in his return to Lambeau wearing enemy purple. Favre even won a playoff game in Minnesota before throwing a season-ending interception in the NFC Championship game against New Orleans.

How did Aaron Rodgers make it all better? By sweeping Favre and his Vikings in 2010, including a 31-3 embarrassment that effectively ended Minnesota’s season, Favre’s last. More importantly, Rodgers brought Coach Lombardi’s trophy home to Green Bay. He strung together the finest 4 game playoff run I’ve ever seen.

Rodgers threw 9 touchdowns and ran for 2 others against just 2 interceptions and capped it off with a Super Bowl MVP performance in a victory over the Steelers. Rodgers and the Packers were standing tall. Favre’s consecutive game streak was over and the Vikings were left in shambles.  Aaron Rodgers wasn’t the hero we deserved, but the hero that we needed.

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Ross Uglem is a writer at PackersTalk.com. You can follow Ross on twitter at RossUglem

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Inside the Bear Den: Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers vs Bears

Not only am I a Green Bay Packers fan living in Chicagoland, but I also married into a family filled with Bears fans. I actually proposed to my wife mere minutes before the 2010 Packers/Bears NFC Championship game. It was a fantastic day!

Over the three and a half years that we’ve been married, many interesting conversations have come up at the dinner table concerning the Green & Gold, so I thought I’d sit down with my brother in-law and get his thoughts on a few topics having to do with the Packers. For our first conversation, we talked about quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Jordan: What is the first thought that comes to your mind when I say the words “Aaron Rodgers?”

Eric: Hopeless…for the Bears. Honestly, it’s like comparing him to LeBron James and all the grief that he’s given to the Bulls over the years. It’s so frustrating. And it’s even more frustrating to look back at all the quarterbacks the Bears have had over the years while the Packers transition right from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers. I mean, are you kidding me?

J: How would you describe Rodgers’ play on the field?

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A Few Words to Those Still Holding a Grudge Against Brett Favre

brett favre hands up

As the days tick down to Brett Favre’s return to the Packers as part of his enshrinement into the Packers Hall of Fame, I have been reminded about the anger that some have against the former quarterback.

No one will ever forget the summer of 2008, and the drama that hung like a cloud over Green Bay during that odd period of time. It was the best soap opera that ESPN could buy, and EVERYONE paid attention.

Likewise, no one will ever forget the 2009-2010 seasons. While Aaron Rodgers was establishing himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Favre had taken his talents to the rival Minnesota Vikings. Take the drama of the summer of 2008, multiply it by infinity, and that’s what the four games between these two teams became. While the Vikings came *this close* to going to the Super Bowl with Favre under center, the Packers did go to the Super Bowl in 2010-and won-with Rodgers under center.

So here we are, five years removed from Favre’s last game in the NFL. Favre has admitted fault in his departure from the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and Favre have shaken hands and moved on from any issues they had. All of the talking heads in the Packers organization have voiced their support in welcoming Favre back into the family. Let bygones be bygones, time to move on, right?

Right. Except for a select few who continue to hate Favre with all of their energy because of his unceremonious exit from the Packers.

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The Green Bay Packers – It’s That Time of Year Again

Mike McCarthy, in the moment.

It’s that time of year again for the Green Bay Packers.  My least favorite part.  The slow part of the offseason.

There’s very little news and of it, very little of interest.  Yes, there are moments.  Mike McCarthy’s changes to the coaching staff (bye Slocum, we’ll find a new coach to demand be fired on a regular basis), his decision to no longer call plays (which I agree with) – that is noteworthy.

Or, Brett Favre’s suggestion that his Packers Hall of Fame ceremony be held in Lambeau Field.  While I myself would not pay cash money to see such an event, a lot of people would, and it would be fun for both those “true fans” and Favre to have a mutual lovefest.  It would also generate some serious cash for the Packers Hall of Fame and probably the Green Bay area in general.

But when it’s down to the big news of the day, generally speaking,  being the dismissal of a wide receiver I admit I’d forgotten existed and the Minnesota Vikings picking up Brandon Bostick (what IS it with the Vikings and Packers players?) – it’s really reached the doldrums of the offseason.

A little hope is on the horizon.  The NFL Combine is about to start, and with that will come rampant speculation on the upcoming draft and who the Packers can find to fill the holes still remaining (one of them probably being a replacement for Tramon Williams)  in what looks to be a strong team for this year.  Ted Thompson will be looking to lock up people like Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga.

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Brett Favre Returning to Lambeau

BrettFavre

No matter how badly your feelings were hurt when Brett Favre “retired” from the Green Bay Packers and made his way to the Minnesota Vikings after a short layover with the New York Jets, chances are pretty good that you’re looking forward to him returning to Lambeau Field to have his jersey retired where it rightly belongs.

Yesterday, Favre announced on his website that he will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame later this year – a place where he was destined to be the second he took off the green and gold for the final time. Favre stated:

“It was a tremendous honor to play 16 years for the Green Bay Packers. Now to have my named placed among others such as Starr, Hornung, Kramer, Taylor, Lambeau, Nitschke, Lombardi, Davis, White and Hutson is a special honor that I share with all of my teammates and coaches, and that would not have been possible but for the foresight of Ron Wolf, the greatest GM in the history of the NFL. I’m truly looking forward to celebrating and sharing this special moment with all of the great fans of the Green Bay Packers.”

No date has been set yet for the ceremony.

Currently, Favre holds NFL records for most passing yards (71,838), pass completions (6,300), pass attempts (10,169), interceptions thrown (336), starts (298) and wins (186). His career mark of 508 touchdown passes was eclipsed by Peyton Manning this past season.

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Green Bay Packers – Media Day Memories

REGGIE WHITE

A highlight of every Super Bowl week is Media Day – the day that reporters get to bombard the players with questions about the season, the upcoming game, and just about anything else they can think of. Even though the Packers aren’t participating in today’s Media Day in Arizona, let’s take a look back at a few memories from Packer Super Bowl Media Days past.

Super Bowl XLV was the last time the Packers were subject to Media Day. Check out interviews with Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews, B.J. Raji and Matt Flynn.

As you can see, reporters ask just about anything. One reporter even asked what Aaron’s 80-year old grandparents’ names were! Clay Matthews was a good sport when a reporter asked him to don a Troy Polamalu wig and then spell his last name, and Matt Flynn took some solid questions about playing in his home state of Texas and playing behind Aaron Rodgers.

Tom Crabtree was also happy to give one reporter a tour of his tattoos. The same reporter interviewed Andrew Quarless and Daryn Colledge on their tattoos as well.

Media Day is also a day where the news outlets aren’t the only ones to bring along cameras. Players also bring along their own equipment to capture the week they’ve been dreaming about since they were little kids.  Here are some fun pictures from the Media Days for Super Bowls XLV and XXXI.

Jennings Driver Media Day

BJ Raji - Media Day

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Some People Can Just Never Win

favre check

Some people can just never win.

No matter what they do, their actions will be analyzed. Over and over. Trying to find some deeper meaning to what is said, how it was said, why was it said, why wasn’t it said. And so on. And so on. And so on.

One person who will never fully win in the eyes of Green Bay Packers fans is former quarterback Brett Favre.

It somewhat makes sense. After the messy divorce between him and the team during the Summer of 2008, and his subsequent joining their arch rivals the Minnesota Vikings, Favre alienated a portion of the fan base who once adored him.

I could mention that divorce was six years ago, and great strides have been made since then to reconcile the once frosty relationship Favre had with the Packers organizartion. Strides that include Favre and his replacement Aaron Rodgers appearing on having moved past the friction that existed between them. Strides that include Favre taking responsibility for the way things ended in Green Bay for him as a player. Strides that include the Packers welcoming Favre back into the family next year as the sole entry into the newly renovated Packers Hall of Fame as a way to honor his on field contributions during his sixteen years as a Packer. But you know, that would be foolish.

Foolish because some people can just never win.

The most recent example as to why Favre can’t win ocurred this just past week.

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