A What If Scenario About the Packers, Brett Favre, and…Vince Lombardi?

Let’s get something out of the way right now.

The Packers and Brett Favre are going to reconcile.

It is going to happen. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. This is going to become a reality in the not too distant future.

The most recent comments about this gradual process by Packers President Mark Murphy indicated that this was going to be a reality last year, if not for Favre’s commitments coaching high school football:

 “We do have ongoing communications with him, and I think relations are good. We’re hopeful to have him come back soon. We wanted to have him come back to a game last year, (but) his team kept winning and winning, so it kind of made it tough to find a time where it worked.”

The reconciliation process between the two sides has been a slow process since the former quarterback retired for good following the 2010 season. Both sides have spoken kindly about the other, with olive branches extended by both parties. At this point in time one could say that their relationship is one of respect. Both the Packers and Favre have seemingly put their differences about how their “marriage” ended in a messy divorce and have begun the next phase of their relationship.

It will never be the same, but there is at least a relationship between the team and their future former Hall of Fame quarterback.

For the fans, it is a different story.

Many of the Packer faithful still hold ill will toward Favre. Many hate the way he acted in his final years as a Packer. They hate the way their relationship ended in the Summer of 2008. And they REALLY hate the way Favre would go on to play for the Vikings. Four years removed from playing the game, and there are still some who want nothing to do with Favre because of the events which concluded his career.

When Murphy offered this latest development in the ongoing mending of fences between the two parties, it set off a firestorm of comments across the internet. Many were complimentary toward Favre, saying that the sooner he walks back onto the field at Lambeau the better.

Others were…well, see for yourself:

 

“I’ve yet to see anything from Favre that indicates he no longer hates the Packers organization. I’ve seen the Packers make many overtures. Until he seeks some kind of forgiveness from the fanbase, I say the Packers shouldn’t bother with trying to create some kind of reunion based on false pretenses. What Favre did is the equivalent of Michael Phelps unretiring back to gold-medal swimming but deciding to swim for North Korea or Russia.”

 

“Mark Brunell was better in the late ’90s than Favre.”

 

“What was Favre’s record as a starter versus Brunell? That is the stat that matters. I know brunell sure won a lot right? Favre carried bad teams those years. Brunnell had two good years in which the jacksonville D was ranked in the top 5 both of those years (98,99) His record as a starter was 78-73 which was mostly bolstered by a 13-2 record in 1999.”

 

Favre was in the Fouts/Kelly area as far as overall worth. And that STILL is HOF caliber, number retirement, and ring-of-honor caliber. This need by so many packer fans to take that worthy caliber and try and stuff Favre up with the Grahams and Montanas and Bradys gets very annoying, and it simply is a ploy to say that Favre had every right to be as big a jerk as he wanted to be the last several years (starting in about 2004).

 

“But, regardless of overall worth, I had had enough of his BS before he went to the vikings. The fist pumping glee in 2009 after beating the Pack certainly didn’t help. Favre thought he should be the GM of the team, and when that was denied him, he went off the deep end. There are plenty of competitive guys who rate better than Favre – all time, at QB or not – who handled the inevitable end with their career establishing team without resorting to the years long snot-fest Favre did.”

 

“Are rings of honor and retired numbers inevitable? Sure. But I don’t have to participate or dutifully go out and part with a stack of $20’s for memorabilia like the Packers and the NFL want me to. If others do, more power to them. Get your kicks where you can in the dirt sandwich of life. But don’t cram the “greatest ever” and “saved the franchise” roadkill down my throat in the process. In the end, it’s a disservice to all the other men who helped turn the team around.”

 

Interesting opinions by fans who to this day are still bitter about the way things ended between the Packers and Brett Favre.

For those people who still believe that Favre does not deserve any sort of recognition for his time in Green Bay, here is something to ponder:

Vince Lombardi retired as Packers’ coach following the team’s victory over the Oakland Raiders. He would stay in Green Bay for one additional year, serving as the team’s General Manager for the 1968 season. When an opportunity was presented to Lombardi to coach the Washington Redskins while being a part owner in the team, Lombardi jumped at the chance. He would coach one season for the Redskins before passing away in 1970.

While this never became a reality, what if Vince Lombardi had returned to Green Bay as the Head Coach of the Redskins? Would he have received a warm welcome from the Packer faithful for the nine seasons he coached there, creating a dynasty in the process? Or would he have been booed unmercifully the way Favre was when he returned in 2009 and continues to be in some ways to this day?

Would it have made a difference if Lombardi returned as coach of the Vikings? What about the Bears? Would either of those teams swayed the way fans reacted?

We can only speculate, but I would be willing to bet that Lombardi would have received a hero’s welcome when he walked back into Lambeau Field, regardless of the team he happened to be coaching at the time.

So why is it so different for Favre? Why is there so much animosity to this day towards him? What needs to happen for him to not necessarily be greeted as a king, but at least have the respect of the fans for the time he spent in Green Bay?

Every Packers fan is certainly entitled to their opinion about Brett Favre. We all have them. But to those who still harbor such resentment toward the man, we circle back to the beginning of this article. It’s going to happen. Favre will be back in Green Bay at some point. No matter how much you may not want it to happen, it is going to be a reality.

To those who feel this way, ask yourself this question when Favre walks back out onto Lambeau Field again: if that was Vince Lombardi, would you be booing him?

You and I both know the answer is no.

 

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John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.

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 johnrehor@yahoo.com.

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11 thoughts on “A What If Scenario About the Packers, Brett Favre, and…Vince Lombardi?

  1. Fans who hold ill will towards Favre are actually still very attached to him. If they did not have strong emotional feelings about him, they would not bother with the vitriolic hate. In a marital divorce, if one partner still actively “hates” the other after a number of years, it’s actually a measure of how much in love they are with the other. Otherwise, it wouldn’t matter to them what happened. So, hate on. It just shows how you can’t get over your love of Favre.

  2. Excellent comment Suzanne.

    Expanding on your comment: The relationship between Favre and Packers fans was equivalent to a divorce. The fans are the children in this scenario, the team and Favre acting as the parents. And those who are still angry toward Favre are actually still attached, but cannot express this in a positive manner. Instead they hide this through anger. While all they really want is for the two sides to once again be happy, like they used to be.

    The divorce between the Packers and Favre and their subsequent efforts to reconcile was and is fascinating exploration into the attachment fans have with their favorite teams and players.

  3. Great Article John, I couldn’t agree with you more. Brett Favre has always been my Quarterback and always will be. Those people who hate or hold a grudge don’t really know how the game works. We have plenty of ex packers that played for other teams including the Vikings, its the nature of the game. I still say if Bob Harlan would have been in charge Favre would have retired a PACKER!

  4. Excellent comment Suzanne.

    Expanding on your comment: The relationship between Favre and Packers fans was equivalent to a divorce. The fans are the children in this scenario, the team and Favre acting as the parents. And those who are still angry toward Favre are actually still attached, but cannot express this in a positive manner. Instead they hide this through anger. While all they really want is for the two sides to once again be happy, like they used to be.

    The divorce between the Packers and Favre and their subsequent efforts to reconcile was and is fascinating exploration into the attachment fans have with their favorite teams and players.

  5. Great Article John, I couldn’t agree with you more. Brett Favre has always been my Quarterback and always will be. Those people who hate or hold a grudge don’t really know how the game works. We have plenty of ex packers that played for other teams including the Vikings, its the nature of the game. I still say if Bob Harlan would have been in charge Favre would have retired a PACKER!

    1. Thanks Mark! And I totally agree that if Bob Harlan was still running the Packers, a lot of things would have been handled differently. The Summer of 08 most assuredly would not have taken place.

  6. Great article and very good points of view. I believe Favre should be welcomed back for all the years he dedicated himself to the Packers and the NFL. Life goes on people. He is still one of the best ever to play the game. He helped put Green Bay back on the map and i am proud he was a Packer.

  7. Great article and very good points of view. I believe Favre should be welcomed back for all the years he dedicated himself to the Packers and the NFL. Life goes on people. He is still one of the best ever to play the game. He helped put Green Bay back on the map and i am proud he was a Packer.

    1. Thanks for reading Glenn, and for the comment.

      My personal belief is that those who forgot the 16 years Favre spent in Green Bay and remember only the way things ended with his eventual playing in MN are the ones who are suffering. Would it have been nice to see Favre retire as a Packer? Absolutely. But because it didn’t end that way is no reason to suddenly erase him from existence. It’s an odd treatment of an athlete in my opinion. But I respect those who feel that way.

  8. Your absolutely right john. People have to get over it already. Before Brett came we had Lynn Dickey and Scott Hunter you want to go back to those days,I certainly don’t. He went for the money and that’s it. Everyone else would do the same thing and if they say they wouldn’t there full of you no what. And I guess same people aren’t going to cheer for Peppers? And if you believe that I got a bridge to sell you.

    1. Lynn Dickey was a very good quarterback. He just played on teams that had atrocious defenses. But I get what you’re saying. And thanks but I’ll pass on your bridge offer.

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