"To Boo, or Not To Boo"

Ben SchnelleContributor INovember 5, 2009

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 03: Helmets sit on the field during the Green Bay Packers practice at summer training camp on August 3, 2009 at the Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A Packer fans story:

True Green Bay Packer fans have been listening to people around the country complain about them booing Brett Favre in his debut as a Minnesota Viking at Lambeau Field, just as they listened to it when he came back to play the previous two years, and as a Packer fan, I think it’s time to explain why we did it.  It’s not what you think.

As a general community, Green Bay Packer fans love Brett Favre. In our minds he is one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game, he helped the Packers turn around years of poor play, and he will always be admired for playing every game with the passion, and emotion it deserves.

We will not forget his first pass (and yes announcers, you don’t have to say it was to himself every single time it happens in every game, we know). We will not forget his gun-slinger style of play during the wins and losses, or his consecutive games streak.

We will not forget his addiction issues, or his performance against the Oakland Raiders after his father’s death. We will not forget his wife’s fight against breast cancer, or his back-to-back-to-back MVP seasons.

We will not forget the Superbowl victory, or his NFL record for most career interceptions thrown. We will not forget them, because they are part of Green Bay Packer history, not because they are Favre moments. Favre is NOT bigger than the Green Bay Packers, and no single player, coach, or other element of the team ever will be. 

That’s the difference. We ARE the Green Bay Packers. We do not debate retiring as fans, and owners. We do not think about rooting for another team, and we simply don’t understand how people could root for the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, or Dallas Cowboys. We really don’t. 

Some of the other teams are okay, as well as some other players, but we can’t find anything for those three teams. We don’t ask if our friends, or family are watching the game on Sunday, we ask where they are watching it. Open practices are attended by thousands of paying fans, pre-season games are sold out, regular season games are set plans, and playoffs are not missed, the streets are empty during all of them, and we discuss the details all year. 

We take mistakes to heart, and wear losses as scars. We are going to come to games hours before, and stay hours after. We are willing to volunteer our time to shovel the stadium. We are going to cheer our hearts out for the next game, no matter how many losses came before (remember the 80’s when games were still sold out).

We are going to boo every player, or coach that decides to leave the team, and community when they play us, and at the same time, we will support them when they aren’t playing us, and they will live on forever in our memories.

All that being said, we also hate the way things were handled. We wanted Brett to play and for us, there was only one decision, if Brett wanted to play, we wanted him here. We wanted our kids to see how he played the game, and we wanted to give him a great career ending. But Brett kept wavering, and we couldn’t stand his indecision, and lack of commitment to the team, and community. 

We were tired of the stupid interceptions, poor decisions in the playoff games, and growing ego of the past few years. To us, his indecision showed it was time for him to retire. It didn’t cross our minds he wanted to play, and there were other factors affecting his decision.

At the same time, we also hated how indecisive Ted Thompson seemed to be, and how he handled the situation. Had Thompson come out and said he believed Aaron Rodgers was ready, wanted to give him a shot, and planned to use the opportunity to invest in more talent on the lines, or at running back, it would have been hard, but we would have gotten on board. We would have thrown Brett the best retirement celebration the NFL has ever seen, and we would have supported our new quarterback in full as it was the right thing for the Green Bay Packers. 

We still support Brett, and wish him the very best, but we will not support him against the Green Bay Packers. The Green Bay Packers are more than a football team, they are part of our families, and lifestyles, and no single element will take away from that!