The Brett Favre Crisis: Green Bay Packer Fans Need To Get Over It and Move On!

Ben VogelContributor IJuly 11, 2008

Since last March, when Brett Favre told the world that he was retiring, it has been difficult for Packer fans.  For 16 years, we have been fortunate enough to have the same quarterback every week of every season.  He has played through pain and loss.  He has also brought us a Superbowl championship and respect throughout the NFL.  As a result, it should not be surprising that Favre has become an icon in Green Bay.  Brett Favre is not just a great quarterback who deserves his number retired.  Rather, he has achieved legendary status that could eventually place him in front of Lambeau Field in the form of a statue.  

I must admit that I wasn't as upset as I thought I might be after he retired.  I also must admit that I have developed an overenthusiastic attitude toward the Aaron Rodgers era, whether it is warranted or not.  However, as Packer fans, we did not have a choice.  Favre retired, and that meant it was time to move on.

Now, many months later, we are beginning to see that our organization is not perfect, and neither is Brett Favre.  We don't know what is being said between  Thompson, McCarthy, and Favre.  All we know right now is what we've heard from everyone else, including Favre's family.  Throughout this entire fiasco, Favre has said nothing.

However, before we start judging people, We must remember that football is first and foremost a game.  Favre has taught all of us that.  He loves to play every Sunday.  He, himself has said this in press conferences, including his retirement.  In fact, it has almost always been evident on the field as well.  I gotta admit I got a huge kick out of seeing him throwing snowballs during one of the games this past year.  The guy loves what he does, and I find that admirable.  There are many people in this world who hate their jobs.  In fact, there are many athletes out there who probably hate their job.  Just look at all the athletes who are simply in it for the money!  Favre has a love for the game, and that can't be something which is easy for him to let go of.

As Packer fans, we must remember not to be selfish.  First of all, Thompson (love him or hate him) is in a horrible position.  He has already started moving the Packers in a new direction with a new quarterback, and two freshly drafted rookie quarterbacks.  Is it right for Favre to expect the Packers to take him back and mess with everything that McCarthy has done over the last several months?  The honest answer is, "no".

However, does Favre have a right to play?  I would say, "yes".  After all, it is HIS legacy, not ours.  All we do on game days is sit in our lazy-boys eating junk food and drink beer while Favre is taking all those hits for real!  Are we going to stop appreciating Favre simply because he decides to come back and play? 

I think such an opinion is unfair and selfish.  Favre has given the Packers something which fans from other teams still dream about.  All we have to do is take a second to look at the Chicago Bears...okay, maybe not.  That would take too long.  The point is that we have been competitive for the last 16 years largely because of Brett Favre.

As fans, we need to trust Thompson and McCarthy.  They will make the best decision for the franchise.  We also need to trust Favre to make the best decision for HIMSELF, NOT US!  I would love to see Favre back in a Packer jersey next year.  However, I think I might have to let go of that idea and face the fact that we may see Favre in different colors next season.  Does that mean I am going to throw away the Favre jersey sitting in my closet?  Absolutely not!

Favre cannot play for much longer.  His internal time clock just won't allow it.  However, if he feels he has some ability left (which he obviously does), he should be allowed to play without criticism.  Do I wish he hadn't retired in March so we could avoid all this drama?  Absolutely!  However, what's done is done.  Green Bay has been blessed with 16 great seasons from one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. 

If Favre ends up playing for a different team next year we need to simply get over it and move on!  Let Favre make a decision without criticizing him.  Football is just a game.  The players should WANT to play.  We need to remember that regardless of what happens, Favre will eventually retire his jersey in Green Bay.  His legacy cannot, and will not, become disassociated with Green Bay.  Understanding this, we need to let him play if he wants to and forget about how his "legacy" might look.  After all, doesn't that legacy belong to him?