I don't care about all the records you hold. I don't care about your Super Bowl ring. And I'm going to forget about your year with the Jets. Let me explain.
I've been a Packer fan since the 60's. While all my friends were Giants or Jets fans, I grew up idolizing Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. Winning was all I knew my first five years as a football fan.
Life was great. Then came the 70s and the 80s. Yes, I got to watch the likes of Scott Hunter, David Whitehurst, and Randy Wright quarterback the Packers. There were a few good years with Lynn Dickey and Don Majkowski, but never another Super Bowl visit.
Despite those lean years, I stayed loyal. I subscribed to the Packer Report so this Jersey guy might have some idea of what was going on with the team. I eagerly awaited the NFL draft every year to see who my beloved Packers would select. There were plenty of disappointments there also.
Then of course, you came along Brett (thank you again, Ron Wolfe). Being a Packer fan was fun again. You were the gunslinger, the swashbuckler. You were fearless. You could throw the long ball or whip the ball between defenders on the slant pass. You were adept at avoiding the rush and could even run the ball (in the early days).
Along came Reggie White, and some others, and you brought us back to the Super Bowl. Life was good again. But something was different for me. It wasn't just about the winning. I was enjoying football again because of your passion and joy for the game.
We all know about the hardships and tragedies you have had to endure. But through it all, you never stopped playing the same way. You never stopped carrying your teammates on your back (literally, in Greg Jennings' case) and raising them to new heights.
You had an amazing year in 2007. If only you could have stopped there. If only you could have gone out a Green Bay Packer. I admit that I've been critical of you this past year for how you handled your un-retirement. But I forgive you for that, and all is forgotten. The Packers organization has similar sentiments, with this statement on their web site:
Congratulations to Brett on a remarkable career. The Packers organization wishes him and his family well. Brett always will hold a special place in Green Bay Packers history, and we remain committed to retiring his number at an appropriate time in the future.
Yes Brett, they will retire your number in Green Bay, and then you will be a Packer again. All will be forgotten.
Thanks for the memories...