Hey there, Green Bay Packers.
I get where you're coming from. Trust me, I get it.
I've been a die-hard Packers fan since I was 10 years old, and that was 16 years ago. Watching Favre lead the green and gold for 16+ weeks each year has been as cemented to me as the law of gravity or the sky being blue on a clear day. It just "never wasn't". Now, with the coming of last year's awkward Jets season of highs and lows, and this year the tossing on of a Vikings helmet in August, I can say I'm torn by my allegiance.
But let's be real, here. The NFL is a fickle business. Most guys get 10 good years IF they're lucky. What with competitive talent, injuries, free agency and salary caps, there are very few guys you can get used to seeing in one uniform year-in and year-out.
Then we have Brett Favre.
Everyone knows the story. Nearly 300 consecutive starts at QB. Ridiculous. A record few have a chance of ever touching, save for Peyton Manning's health and longevity, but let's say its safe to assume this record will not break.
I'm going to put myself in the shoes of Favre for a second. Because as a Green Bay Packer fan, I have issues with the Vikings. I have issues with the waffling. Most people do. So instead, pretend I'm Brett Favre;
I've got every record in the game. People idolize me for both my love of the game, the way I played it, and my "gunslinger" mentality. They would play like me if they could stand behind center. They admire my grit, my perseverance, where I'm from and where I've been. Hell I'm the best quarterback in history. I'm a damned LEGEND.
Why don't I walk over to the mirror? Look at me. I'm still in pretty good shape. Hell, I've still got the arm. You know what, my torn arm is still likely better than Jackson's young arm. PLUS I know the Vikings offensive system better than any quarterback in the league. I think I can do it. I can still do this. I can't walk away if they ask. They need me. They want me. They love me. It's because I'm special. I'm Brett Favre. Right?...
Snap back to me. Now think about it. If you were Brett Favre you would have the largest freaking ego in the world. And you earned it. But mostly you just bought into it. All the years of consecutive starts, all the years of playing injured and playing without a good running back. You think you can do anything. Even at age 40. Are you delusional? A bit. But you're still talented enough to convince yourself you can still play. Because hey, you are.
Brett Favre is still capable of playing. I say capable. I don't say he's got the mastery of his craft. Or the speed. Or the arm. But he's still physically capable; that combined with his ego are the two reasons he's in purple right now. And it's literally that simple.
So as a Packers fan am I upset, even slightly angered that #4 went to Minnesota? Yeah. But can I blame him for being who he is, or for buying into the ego and the image that has been built over the years? Hell no. He built that reputation in Green Bay. For MY team. Those were his glory days. Nobody can take that away from me as a fan. Now, as for feeling threatened by a 40-year-old Favre marching into Lambeau as "the enemy", pssh. C'mon now. 2TDs, 2 INTs and probably 230 yards passing. This isn't a 30-year-old MVP Favre. This isn't even 37-year-old renaissance Favre, either.
So I say this to the loyal Packers fans out there. Root for your Packers. It's all you can and want to do. But in the very back of your heart, root for Favre's success in Minnesota simply for the sake of being a fan of football. Root for him the 35% of the time when he still has it. Making crazy throws and dancing around like a kid. It's fun, and it's always been, and if you're a true fan of the game, you'll love it. For the last two decades, it's been Favre for as long as any of us can remember. Now, as for the other 65% of the time when he just looks old and adds to his INT record? Just feel sorry for him. And feel happy. Happy for the fact that he's not throwing those INTs in Green Bay this year.
Bottom line: You can have your Favre and your GB, too.