Sad day in Green Bay, nationwide

The unthinkable has happened, Brett Favre has retired. This is a sad day for Packers’ fans, NFL fans, and sports fans everywhere. I don’t care who you are, Bear fan, Viking fan, you had to like watching Brett Favre play football. To think the Packers will take the field next year with someone other than No. 4 hard to comprehend. I know I have been critical of Brett and I even said it was time for him to hang it up. Deep down I never thought it would really happen this year. The lure of the Super Bowl I thought would bring him back, not drive him away, as it appears to have done.

In his voice message to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Favre seemed like a man wearing the weight of 253 consecutive starts on his shoulders. Like I said a before, if Favre comes back it is Super Bowl or bust and that is a lot of pressure on someone, even Brett Favre. It sounded like Favre doesn’t have the passion left to do the things necessary to continue playing at a high level, and Favre would never sacrifice his level of play just to play longer. To me, the final record Brett set is one of his all-time great marks. In throwing for  4,155 yards last year Favre set the record for quarterbacks in their last season. Beat it by about 600 yards over Roger Staubach. That might be a record that lasts as long as his consecutive starts record, or more. Brett walked away on his terms, still healthy and still able play at a high level.

I  am the first to admit I have already shed a tear or two for greatest quarterback of my rememberable Packer life. How can one not when watching Favre destroy the Raiders 41-7 a day after his dad dies (thank-you NFL Network)? That is the reason the world loves Brett Favre, he is one of us. He played the game like I did in my parents back yard, which was the biggest on the block so most games were played there. I could easily picture Brett out there with us, at age 8 or age 38, running over my sister’s tree.

Everybody is already trying to determine where Favre ranks in history. If you rate quarterbacks by championships, then Bart Starr is the greatest of all time with five in seven years. If you rate them on intelligence,  Starr should still be first by most will say Joe Montana. If you rate them on ability, most will say John Elway. If you rate them on arm strength, Favre is number one. But when you put all of that together I would have a hard time choosing between Johnny Unitas and Favre. Those two guys probably did more for the NFL with their styles of play and will to win than anybody else, and Favre has won more games than any quarterback in history.

I’m sure you are all aware of my emotional rant hours after the Packers’ devastating loss to the Giants in the NFC Championship game. You are all free to hit me with the “be careful what you wish for” email. I will apologize for that rant right now. I’m sorry for loving the Packers too much. That said, I do love the Packers and I do think they still have a bright future. I’m still a fan today ad will be tomorrow. General manager Ted Thompson was preparing for this day since the day he took the job. Now we will find out if his plan works or if he is the next guy out of job, only he won’t be retiring. Thompson’s choice of Aaron Rodgers holds the career of not only Thompson, but also head coach Mike McCarthy  in the balance.

I think the Packers will be OK. Brett Favre can never be replaced. I don’t think there will ever be another quarterback like him who like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods clearly transcends the sport they are in. For all Tom Brady’s success, he’s no Brett Favre. The rules of the NFL have changed and tough guys at quarterback are not really needed any longer. Favre was big and played big. How many times have we heard him compared to a lineman?

I’m going to think back and put together some of best Brett Favre moments for you. Maybe I’ll have some you might not remember, having seen every game No. 4 has ever played, half of them live at Lambeau.  We’ll look to the future later. For the time being it’s all about Brett Favre.

More to come…

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  • scotto

    well put….looking forward to the Brett Favre moments!

  • TRIP

    I’ll never forget the times I remember Favre dumping hail mary’s on the Bears and my mother looking at me crazy because I was going berserks, running around and such. I am going to miss watching that guy. Being 20 years old, I’m proud to say that I started watching football when I was 9, in 1996, and I have been a Packers fan since then. However, its hard to imagine a Green Bay Packers team without its hero, Brett.

  • Cody

    I’ll never forget any of the games that I watched him play in. The thing that really makes me sad is that I was never able to attend a game! Ever!!! I was making plans already to be sure to get to one this season so I could experience Favre first hand, but now I can’t. Favre is the best QB ever to play in my mind, I have a friend who is a huge fins fan and we argue all the time about who is better Favre/Marino, and truly Favre is. It really sucks that he won’t be there next year, but hopefully Rodgers will show up this year and prove that he is our man. God bless you Favre, we miss you already!

  • Zach

    If ever there was a player that could put a person on such a rollercoaster ride of emotions, it is Brett Favre. The knot in your stomach when Favre airs one out, only to be overcome with sheer joy as a receiver brings it in in stride for six points. Never, ever, will I feel the same about watching a football game. Thank you number 4.

  • http://www.packernet.com admin

    That’s what I’m talking about. How can we ever get used to no No.4? That pass last year in Denver, what a classic. How do you choose a number one, or top ten memory? This is going to be tough…

  • Jeff

    Don’t choose, Al. Just keep writing till you feel like you’re done. Some of my favorites still come from that wretched 4-12 season – watching those guys come out all dog-ass beaten down. Favre still throwing fastballs, still trying to shove one in there, still trying to dodge a sack and keep a play alive.

    That pass to Donald Lee this year – falling down, draped with a d-lineman, sidearm, “what the hell are you thinking” kinda Favre special. Damn, man!

    Watching Favre trying to throw a block leading the end around . . . at 38!

    Watching him jaw-jack with some DT who just smacked him.

  • Justin

    Brett of course has all the records, the super bowl win, the MVPs, the streak. But to me the thing about Brett is he was one of those rare athletes who was worth the price of admission. Joe Montana, Walter Payton, Michael Jordan. These guys were worth the price of admission and so was Brett. Every game you tuned in for you knew he was going to do something special that made you say WOW. Thats what I will remember about Brett.

  • Adam

    Tough guys at QB are needed anymore? The defensive guys are bigger and faster and QB’s go down more every week than ever before. Tough guys are needed now more than ever. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning – great great great players, but never get enough credit for their toughness. They, especially Brady, might even be tougher than Farve!

  • Greg

    Picture it. Late Oct 2008. The Pack are 6-1 and off to a great start with Rogers at the helm. Through no fault of his own, (you can’t fault him for not being Favre) he takes a big hit and doesn’t make it back to the huddle. Out for 4-6 weeks.

    Favre comes out of retirement. No minicamps, no training camp, mentally fresh!

    I can see it happening.

  • Pete H

    Hey Adam, talk to me in 10 years when Brady catches up to Favre!

  • Reid

    The character and passion of all of us as Packers fans will be tested more than it was 2 years ago when we were 4-12. Let’s take some time to mourn, remember, and comment about Brett. Before the season starts, we all have to ask ourselves, “Are we tough enough to throw 100% support behind Aaron Rodgers?”. He’s going to need us.

    It would be pretty cool if everyone showed up at the first home pre-season game wearing Favre #4 jerseys/shirts/etc., then when Rodgers was announced, everyone took off their Favre jersey and had a #12 on underneath.

  • Dave

    Very well put.

    My only response to the article is that I don’t think you should back down from your original thought that Favre should retire. I know I’m not. It’s so obviously time for him to make his grand exit that even he knew. Favre’s passion for the game of football has never and will never be equaled, but despite that fact he realized that now is the perfect time to exit. He had a glorious year of football, set all his records, and helped his team win.

    I give Favre a HUGE amount of credit to come forth and say that he just can’t do it. I wish Favre the best in his future endeavors and hope he has as many quality moments spending time with his family as he has playing with the GB Packers. He was a true spectacle to watch and I more than likely will never be graced with such an athlete to watch again.

    Let’s all be happy for what he’s given us and not mourn the fact he’s gone.

    Reid, I love the idea. Rodgers has the potential to carry this team. The players have confidence in him as well as the coaches and the organization. I for one trust TT and McCarthy to know when they have a talented player. Sure one could question whether he is going to stay healthy or not. All we can do is hope for the best and wait and see.

    “In Ted Thompson we Trust”

  • Oconomowockid

    Ted Thompson will have to be flawless because there are those already looking for his head. His job is on the line over the next couple of seasons and from what I have heard his style hasn’t led to having alot of friends. Winning is everything TED!! If you don’t win I will join those who ask him to move on. For those who say we have to “hope for the best”, I say no. We would have expected to make it back to the Division Championship game if Favre was returning. We should expect that or more now that our biggest liability has retired right. So I say “Super Bowl or BUST”

    Dave don’t back away for your call on Favre to retire. Just demand a return to the NFC championship game at a minimum from this next years team and management. They have the same team in place and from your opinion is we should be better off.

    In Favre I always trust, TED will be a footnote when the Packers history books are written.

  • si

    it was also a sad day in england :(
    hearing it felt like the 1st time you get kick in the balls
    all the highs all the lows it was worth it

  • kiedrowicz

    It’s nice that you are sorry for ranting after the Giants game. Too late! It was people like you who caused Favre to beat himself up about that loss. It was big mouths, like you, who caused him to retire. Well, enjoy watching the Packers lose for the next three seasons. And forget your stupid clips on the “best Favre moments.” Don’t you get it? You should have done that after that Giants game not now after it’s too damn late.

  • MacCheez

    C’mon, kiedrowicz, like Brett has nothing better to do than sit around and monitor packernet.com? Don’t get me wrong, Al, it’s a great site, but I suspect even you would agree that Brett really doesn’t give a crap one way or the other about what you think.

  • Pingback: A Nice Post by Al at Packernet « packergeeks()

  • Dave

    Oconomowockid,

    You need to seriously take a look at the players that Ted Thompson has brought to this team in the 3 short years he’s been here.

    Jones James
    Korey Hall
    Mason Crosby
    A.J. Hawk
    Daryn Colledge
    Greg Jennings
    Jason Spitz
    Will Blackmon
    Tony Moll
    Johnny Jolly
    Aaron Rodgers
    Nick Collins
    Brady Poppinga
    Junius Coston

    Now, let’s compare 3 year of Sherman drafts:
    Ahmad Carroll

  • Dave

    Now, let’s compare 3 year of Sherman drafts:
    Ahmad Carroll

  • Dave

    Sorry, I guess Less than sings screw with posts and cut them off….feel free to delete my previous post.

    Now, let’s compare 3 year of Sherman drafts:
    Ahmad Carroll (Need I remind this was a 1st round draft pick)
    B.J. Sander (In the 3rd round???)
    Corey Williams
    Scott Wells
    Nick Barnett
    Javon Walker
    Aaron Kampmann

    Now keep in mind that I left off some big picks for TT that just haven’t had a chance to see their potential, mostly because they were picks from last year:
    Aaron Rouse
    Justin Harrell
    Jackson Brandon
    Barbre Allen
    Desmond Bishop

    You guys have to admit that you all LOVE Ron Wolf. That guy built us a Packers team that could have won multiple Super Bowls had our head coach paid attention rather than sitting on the sidelines thinking about Seatle.

    Well in my honest opinion TT has had extremely good drafts rivaling those of Scott Pioli(Patriots VP/GM) and Ron Wolf.

    So I restate:

    “In TT I trust” :)

  • Jeff

    Reid –

    I like the jersey idea so much. That would be an outstanding way of paying respect to the old and welcoming the new. Well said. Now if we could just make it well done . . .

    As for TT and his drafts – I wanted his head on a plate, but I was wrong (Jury still out on Justin Harrell though). We were a couple first downs away from going to the Super Bowl last year in TT’s third year. The team was built on a young strong core and cap-friendly besides. There were things I didn’t agree with, but it’s tough to debate results. Not only are we in good shape, we are in good shape for years to come assuming the NFL can deal with the contract.

    Of course TT’s job is on the line. GMs are always on the block – everybody in the NFL is on the block. It’s the most competitive arena around, and that’s why I love it.

  • Dave

    Jeff,

    I admire the fact that you can stand up and say that you were wrong. There are very few people that can do that. It’s an admirable quality. Don’t feel bad there were many “professional” sport writers that wanted him gone. Actually, there are still a few around.
    I have yet to see any of those so called professionals step up and admit that they were wrong.

  • Oconomowockid

    Dave,
    Like I said SUPER BOWL or BUST right!! You post after next season!! We are better off with Favre retiring and we are a better team right!! SUPER BOWL OR BUST!! No step backward, no rebuilding, lets win we are a better team now!!!!!!

  • Dave

    Ocono,

    Now your twisting my words, and on top of that your changing the subject. You fail to recognize that Ted Thompson is the reason that the packers went from a 4-12 team to a Super Bowl contender. I realize he’s not the only one, but you have to admit he’s the one that put the talent on the field.

    Also, I’m not saying that they will be better off immediately. What I’m getting to when I say the ‘Pack will be better off is the future of the team. We have a TON of young talented players and there is a window of opportunity which probably lies in the next 3-4 year where our team peaks. What I’m saying is it’s best for the ‘Pack that we get our young QB time under center so that he can be ready for that peak. What I would hate to see is for Favre to leave right in the middle of that “window” and have our team lose multiple super bowl contending years looking for a QB.

    So, in summary, we may not make it to the Super Bowl this year but trust me, we will soon! Let’s all just hope that TT is right about Rodgers!!

  • Barbara

    Packer fans want a way to say thank you to Brett Favre. I just finished reading Deanna Favre’s autobiography. I was impressed by how much it means to the Favres to make a difference in people’s lives through their charity work. I also heard that they are taking a well-deserved rest from their fund-raising.

    I’d like to challenge Packer fans everywhere to be the “12th man” for the Favre family’s charities this year and make “#4” donations to the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation (disadvantaged and disabled children in Wisconsin and Mississippi) and the Deanna Favre Hope Foundation (breast cancer). Give $4.44, $44.44, or whatever feels right using the number 4. Anyone who watched Brett Favre’s news conference could see that this man doesn’t want to be the center of public fanfare. Yet he deserves to be celebrated for his legendary contributions to the Packers and Wisconsin. So let’s show Brett Favre how much we care by giving 4 for #4. Brett and Deanna, we’ve got your backs for those who benefit from your charities while you begin the next stage of your life. God bless you!

    Brett Favre Fourward Foundation
    Deanna Favre Hope Foundation
    1 Willow Bend
    Hattiesburg, MS 39402

  • TRIP

    This post is funny considering all you’ve said since. LOL