Favre News: If Brett's Done, He Should Patch Things Up With Packers
I lost my lunch today.
No, not like that. I was carrying my plate back towards my couch when the headline screamed across ESPN:
"Sources: Brett Favre telling Vikings he is retiring"
My initial reaction was to drop my food on the floor, which I did. My second reaction was to actually think about what I just read.
First, I thought this was stunning considering everyone thought he'd play. Then I thought harder: this is Brett Favre. Things could change in one month, one week, or one hour.
There is no need to go into Favre's waffling over retirement dating all the way back to 2006 (perhaps even before then) when Packers coach Mike McCarthy was preparing for his first season at the helm. We all know that sad tale of how Favre went from folk hero to public enemy number one, particularly amongst the Packer faithful.
That said, let's assume (yes, I know what happens when you assume) that Favre REALLY means it this time and hangs up the cleats for good.
First, a disclaimer that is being shared by basically everyone in the NFL: I'll believe it when I see it. If the Vikings get through their bye without Favre playing under center, then we know he is for real.
Say that does happen and Favre finally is done with football. What should be the first thing he does?
This is a no-brainer: patch things up with the Green Bay Packers. Like, right now.
Are there bad feelings on both sides two years removed from a messy divorce? There is no doubt. Many figure that Favre won't be welcomed in Lambeau Field until general manager Ted Thompson, McCarthy and perhaps even team president Mark Murphy have moved on.
As crazy as it sounds, I don't think it should (or will) be that long.
Will it happen this year? Doubtful, and you can obviously forget about it if Favre decides to play.
Still, it is in both Favre and the Packers' best interest to move on and kiss and make up. Whether they will admit it or not, Cheesehead Nation still feels strong emotional attachment to Favre. That likely will never change.
For Favre, the benefits are obvious. He will be able to go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a Packer and will be cheered instead of jeered by Packers fans who will make the sojourn to Canton for his induction. There will be a lot less awkwardness and he and Packers fans can be one big happy family once again. It would also give Favre a clean conscience leaving no regrets over his career.
Making up with Favre helps the Packers too. It would unite the fan base that is somehow still divided over the decision to trade Favre despite the stellar play of his successor Aaron Rodgers. Retiring Favre's number in a ceremony would bring in fans from all over the country and being able to once again use Favre's image in promotional materials would benefit the franchise considerably.
Now, some may say this may put more pressure on Rodgers. Say what? After what he went through during that debacle during training camp in 2008, I think it's safe to say that seeing Favre's image around town won't affect Rodgers. After all, he dealt with that his first three years in the league.
The healing process won't be easy. Favre made his issues with Thompson crystal clear during his first un-retirement two years ago. In fact, it seems that Favre never liked Thompson from the moment the general manager walked in the door in 2005.
This is where both sides should admit that the separation turned out to be the best for both sides. The Packers have yet another franchise quarterback and Favre was able to continue to play the game he loves so very much.
It's time for both sides to move on. Both should admit they made mistakes and have learned and grown from them, although it could be argued Favre never really did. Now is not the time to be pigheaded. It's time to reconcile, not divide.
They same time heals all wounds. Two years is likely not enough time for the healing to be completed in the saga between Favre and the Packers. Still, Favre needs to straighten things out with the Packers and it should be sooner rather than later.
One time Favre said he will forever be a Green Bay Packer.
If he really stays retired this time, we will find out if he means it by how soon he patches things up with the team he helped put back on the NFL radar.
Follow Kris Burke on Twitter @KBurkePackers
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