18 years ago, some redneck named Brett Favre took over as quarterback of the Green Bay Packers.
This guy was a Bozo; he was always making stupid plays, yet just making enough great plays to offset those.
Nobody thought he'd stick around at first, but he did. And he became one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever line up under center for an NFL team.
He took a city that's as passionate about football as any city is about any sport, and he brought them back to the glory days that they had experienced 30 years earlier.
They loved him, and he loved them.
It was a perfect relationship for the quarterback who loved nothing more than the game of football, and the city that felt the same way.
They were a match made in heaven.
As Favre's career kept progressing and progressing, the accolades began to add up.
Three MVPs, a Super Bowl Ring, three first team All-Pro births.
It became clear fast that this guy was here to stay, and maybe become one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever live.
However, just like anybody else, the years started catching up to Favre and his performance clearly began to slip.
But this loyal crowd wasn't ready to give up on their beloved signal caller just yet.
Even if they didn't think it was best for the team, they would have done anything to keep this guy around, because those were the types of fans they were.
Then came 2007.
Thirty-eight-year-old Favre was starting to seriously contemplate retirement, but he decided to stick around for one last season.
It turned out to be one of his best, as he found the fountain of youth on his way to leading a young Packers squad to a 13-3 record.
He even took them within one overtime period of the Super Bowl.
Then it happened.
Favre decided that he no longer wanted to play the game of football, and he hung up the cleats.
Packers Universe was in a state of depression, and just when they were starting to get over it, guess who was back?
This late return for Favre was the beginning of the end.
It caused World War III as the entire United States were divided in half between Team Ted Thompson and Team Brett Favre.
Some Packer fans thought that he made his decision, and it was time to move on, while others wouldn't dare say no to Brett Favre.
When he finally realized he wouldn't be a Green Bay Packer any longer, his mission became clear—he wanted to join the Packers arch rivals (Minnesota, of course) and make sure they knew what they were getting rid of.
After a one-year stop in the Big Apple, Favre retired again, only to join the Minnesota Vikings months later.
To Packers fans this was a dagger to the heart.
After years and years of cheering Favre on, he flipped them off.
This became known as Favreageddon.
Every Packer fan was calling for Brett Favre's head, and the fact that he beat the Packers twice and caused them to lose the division didn't help matters.
All of a sudden, after doing nothing but praising and defending Brett Favre for their entire lives, Packer fans were doing nothing but pointing out his flaws.
And that brings us to where we are now: 2010.
What is almost assuredly Brett Favre's last season as an NFL quarterback.
Last night, October 25th, 2010, will be the last game Brett Favre ever plays at Lambeau Field.
In that game his Vikings fell 28-24 at the hands of the one man he has unintentionally tortured over the last three seasons—Aaron Rodgers.
Favre was, of course, booed throughout the game and outplayed by younger quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
To me this game was a symbol.
This game was the official passing of the torch from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers as Green Bay's franchise quarterback; it was also one of the most emotional nights of my life.
I have absolutely hated Brett Favre over the last two years, yet I almost felt like rooting for him last night.
The heart he showed reminded me of exactly why I admired him so much as a Packer. He hobbled around the entire second half with clear pain in his ankle, but he wouldn't even let the training staff look at him.
Not only did Brett Favre lose the game last night, but he looked like a broken man. He looked like a man who so desperately wanted to win, but just didn't have it anymore.
He looked like a man who was ready to retire.
So I leave last night's game with an image of Brett Favre that will last in my head forever, an image that seems like a total opposite of my first image of him.
I leave last night's game with an image of Brett Favre walking into the Lambeau Field locker room as an enemy, a guy who, as much as he wants to believe he should wear purple and black, knows he belongs in Green and Gold.
I leave last nights game with an image of Brett Favre being booed out of Lambeau Field, something I never thought I'd see in my life.
Time heals all wounds, and I sure hope it can heal this one.