“The impossible is possible tonight.” Billy Corgan (performed by The Smashing Pumpkins)
For five years, there has been an icy chill in the air for the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and a former player.
The divorce of Brett Favre and the Packers still weighs heavily on the hearts of many. The former favorite son now a bastard child to many who support the green and gold, hoping to never see him around the shadows of Lambeau again.
His successor, Aaron Rodgers, has said that after the departure of Favre from the Packers, these two former teammates have no relationship, despite spending four seasons on the same roster.
Favre has made comments ranging from his not being surprised about Rodgers’ success to his being surprised it took Rodgers three seasons to win a Super Bowl which left everyone wondering what his true feelings about Rodgers were.
And stuck in the middle were the fans, still hashing it out five years later, about whether mentioning Favre was grounds for banishment in the eyes of some.
That may have changed last night.
Appearing together at the NFL Awards Ceremony, Rodgers and Favre shaking hands may have been the moment that was needed for the ice to finally break in the strenuous relationship between Favre and the Packers.
Their exchange, while scripted, offered at least a glimpse of a life where both quarterbacks could at least have a quasi relationship with each other, not for personal reasons, but for the good of the Packers.
It was a necessary moment of peace during a seemingly never ending civil war.
There is no doubt that at some point, Brett Favre will return to Green Bay in some capacity. It is going to happen. Anyone who thinks otherwise is truly kidding themselves. His actions off the field, in particular that fateful summer, will never take away all the good he did on the field. And that, if for no other reason, is why Favre will be welcomed back by the Packers brass.
And that brass starts with Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers was stuck in the middle of the Summer of Favre. He was asked to play quarterback, and that is what he did. The decisions that preceded this-Favre’s retirement, his unretirement, and subsequent trade-were done by everyone EXCEPT Rodgers, who stayed out of the soap opera, focusing on the playing field rather than the microphones when he every question was about what was going on with Favre.
Perhaps it was important to Favre to let Rodgers know he did not have an issue with him personally, and that is why they agreed to appear together.
And maybe, just maybe, Rodgers knows that for the good of the franchise, it was important that an olive branch be extended to Favre. And if neither Ted Thompson or Mike McCarthy were going to make the first move, who better to do it than the man who was stuck in the middle of the soap opera, the face of the franchise?
As a fan, there was no more cathartic moment for me over the past half decade than to see these two players, both of whom hold a special place in my heart, to finally shake hands. This brief interaction let it be known that it was alright. That as a fan base, we were going to be alright.
There may still be some deep seeded feelings toward Thompson and McCarthy on Favre’s part. That ice may take a few more years to crack through. But for one moment, one very brief moment, the chill between number four and number twelve seems to have gone away.
We may not be able to forget some of the actions of that fateful summer, which divided fans and continues to do so to this day. But if Rodgers is willing to move on, perhaps we should all do the same.
John Rehor is a staff writer at PackersTalk.com and co-host of Cheesehead Radio. To contact John follow him on Twitter @jrehor or email john [email protected]
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10 thoughts on “Thawing the Ice Between Favre and Rodgers”
Great read. At some point you have to move on. I am still ticked off about his little Viking escapade but that’s history.
Rodgers is 30… at some point a young stud will replace him. Let’s not repeat this mess again.
What happened can never be forgotten, but moving on is possible. And this was a necessary step. A very important necessary step.
IMHO, it’s largely irrelevant (except in the eyes of some fans) whether Favre and Rodgers have any kind of personal acquaintance. While protocol dictates that Favre has an open invitation to return to the Packers’ fold, it’s up to him if and when he decides to accept that gesture.
Obviously, the number 4 will be retired at some point in the future. But even then, I doubt that Favre will be a regular visitor to Green Bay in the manner of other Packer legends. In fact, that retirement ceremony may very well be the only time we see Brett Favre back at Lambeau Field.
I personally don’t care if Favre and Rodgers have any sort of relationship. That does not concern me. But I do think that Rodgers may have been acting as an ambassador for the team, even if it was his own doing. Last night might have been him sending the message to the higher ups “Enough is enough. It’s time to move on.”
It will be interesting to see if there is any response to last night from anyone.
As for roaming the halls at Lambeau, I don’t think that will ever happen the way some hoped it might. In March 2008, it might have. Based on everything that happened since then, you may be right-he may only go back for a retirement ceremony (at least before Ted and Mike are gone). But the more important thing is that he is part of the “family” again. That is what is best for the franchise.
Nice work here, John…
I’m happy to see this. I still really don’t care about the Viking thing. It’s human nature to want to beat the team that didn’t want you any more, but more than that, the Vikings were the best fit for him.
The Packers used their leverage (plenty of cap room) to say “We’re trading you where we want to trade you, and if you don’t like it, retire for good.” They sent him to a fairly non-threatening team.
The next year Favre used his leverage (the lack of cap room for the Jets) to get a release and go to a team that gave him the best chance to win a title. Was there a revenge factor too? I have no doubt. But I also don’t have a problem with it. People love Rodgers for having a chip on his shoulder about the Draft. They love that interview where he said the 49ers would regret passing on him. This is the same thing.
GB picked Rodgers and it was the right move. Favre wanted to keep playing, and that was the right move as well. He had an amazing season in Minnesota and he was having an MVP-type year for the Jets until he hurt his arm. It’s just business.
Not sure what I like more…John’s article or the intelligent responses.
It’s the readers. It’s always the readers. Without them, especially those who leave comments, who would make us question why we started writing in the first place?
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