Forgive me while I ramble on a green and gold theme
We knew he couldn't play 4-ever, but we hoped. We cheered "One more year!" one more time, and hoped he heard us. Fans all over wore the green and gold and sported their #4 jerseys. They'll wear those forever. It'll be a classic jersey, since there's not a chance in the NFL that another Green Bay Packer will ever wear number four again. It'll be up there with 15 and 66 and only a few more. For ten trivial points -- can you name the two players I just identified by number? For bonus points, can you name the other GB Packer players whose numbers have been retired?
My husband emailed me this morning as it unfolded. Apparently one of the big networks broke the news, but it hadn't been independently confirmed yet. Minutes later, after a phone call to the team's PR department, his station also aired the story.
I announced it to my class shortly after receiving the email. Many of my little darlings are also fans, and they were shocked and surprised. Consider that they've never known Green Bay with another quarterback; Ironman Favre was always, always, there.
He livened up the game with his gunslinger attitude and his dramatic play. He made mistakes, but he more than made up for them. For a southern guy, he sure played well in the cold. I'll never forget the time he blocked on a running play and got called for a personal foul: unnecessary roughness. A quarterback? Only Favre.
He faced major personal tragedies while in the public eye, and handled them with class. Hurricane Katrina destroyed his childhood home. His wife developed breast cancer. His father died the night before a major game on national television. He battled addiction to a prescription painkiller. He faced fair-weather fans who said he was washed up, too old to play well.
Through it all he continued to inspire fans and foes alike. Anyone who couldn't laugh when he instigated a snowball fight on the sidelines had to be a bah-humbug or a Seahawks fan. But when he came running out of the tunnel, the crowd roared.
I have many memories, including watching him lead the team to victory in Super Bowl XXXI, being in the same (large) room with him when he appeared on Larry McCarren's Locker Room show, and rejoicing in his many records established and re-established.
What can I say? Good luck, Brett Favre, the Packers won't be the same without you. And neither will Wisconsin. Thanks for everything -- and mostly, thanks for the memories. Stumble It!