Appreciating BrettPosted:Jul 15th, 2015 5:39 pm
If you plug my name into YouTube, you'll no doubt find a short video of me disposing of my Brett Favre bobblehead, using an oversized golf club. That bobblehead sat on my desk for years while I worked in sales at KFAN, a constant taunt to Vikings fans of what we had and they didn't. I decapitated it shortly after the news that Favre would become a Viking.
You familiar with Ross Bernstein's classic "I Love Brett Favre/I Hate BrettFavre flip book? There's a chapter with my thoughts in there. I'll let you guess what side of the book I'm on. http://www.bernsteinbooks.com/books/love_hate_favre.aspx
Here we are five years later, with Favre about to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame this weekend. If Ross were writing the book today, I'd ask to be on the flip side.
The ending was bitter, but that's the way things often go in sports. Favre would do things differently if he had a second chance and the Packers might have too. Big picture, getting Rodgers on the field secured another generation of contention and the rare seamless transition from Hall of Famer to Hall of Famer. Of course, we didn't know that at the time.
My radio show on KFAN coincided with Favre's rise. After getting turned away in '95, I got the green light for "Packer Preview" in the fall of '96 and we all know what happened that season (This website started in the fall of '10 and we all know how that season ended. Maybe I need to come up with something new this fall...maybe a Monday morning "Packer Review" podcast?).
Favre's incredible seasons in Green Bay are the reason my show took off; I have no doubts about that. We tuned in every week, knowing we were watching greatness, but also knowing that he provided the unexpected every now and then, for better or worse. There were more highs than lows. We all have our favorite moments. Mine was being at the Metrodome when he hit Greg Jennings in the end zone to pass Dan Marino for the all time touchdown record. To do it in the Vikings' house, a team in constant search of a quarterback, made it even sweeter.
We read about Favre today, seemingly at peace with his life after football; family man, hunter and professional putterer around his 465 acre estate in Mississippi. Now we all wish for him good health in his middle age and beyond, precisely the thing that he will always be remembered for. A quarterback who refused to play injured, whose starting streak will never be challenged.
I won't be there this weekend, but I will be at Lambeau on Thanksgiving night. I'll dig deep into my hat basket and dig out my Favre hat to wear that night. It hasn't seen the light of day in around 8 years. But I'll wear it proudly that night--to recognize the guy most responsible for resurrecting the Pack from a quarter century of relative anonymity.
Just as it should be.